A Canadian high school student was suspended for a week because wore a t-shirt promoting his Christian beliefs and he was told if he wears it again – he could be suspended for the remainder of the school year.
William Swinimer, a student at Forest Heights Community School in Nova Scotia, was punished for wearing a shirt that read, “Life is wasted without Jesus.” The shirt is a reference to a passage of Scripture from the New Testament.
Swinimer told Fox News that he was told the shirt was a form of “hate talk.”
“I’ve been told by my principal that it is hate talk and is disrespectful to other people’s religions,” Swinimer said. “She said it (the shirt) cannot be in school because people would get offended.”
Nancy Pynch-Worthylake, the school board superintendent, told The Canadian Press that the wording on the shirt is “problematic.”
“If I have an expression that says, ‘My life is enhanced with Jesus,’ then there’s no issue with that, everybody is able to quickly understand that that’s my opinion about my own belief,” she told the newspaper. “If the shirt were to say, ‘Without Jesus, your life is a complete waste,’ then that’s clear that it is an opinion aimed at somebody else’s belief.”
Swinimer confirmed that he had been disciplined a number of times for wearing shirts with religious references.
“I’ve found that they have dissed Christianity quite a bit,” he said. “I do not want to be disrespectful of anybody else’s religions. I don’t want to put down anybody’s opinions. All I want to do is stand up for rights and freedoms of Canadians.”
The school does not have a dress code and Swinimer said students wear a variety of t-shirts. But he said for whatever reason, his Christian shirts seem to get him sent to the office.