Last week, students at Birdville High School in North Richland Hills, Texas reportedly used a passage from Leviticus to justify why Smith is going to hell. Smith, who identifies as both gay and Christian, reacted by tearing out the scripture from his own personal Bible.
“At my high school, some kids like to say that being gay is a sin and that you can’t be gay and Christian. I wanted to bring my Bible to school and interpret the books of Leviticus and Romans, because they are often used to bully gay people,” he told the Star-Telegram.
As a result, Smith was suspended from school for three days.
His discipline slip stated that Smith’s offense was “distraction and disruption in class by tearing up Bible in class.”
Mark Thomas, a spokesman for the Birdville School District, told Star-Telegram that any student who is disruptive to the learning environment is disciplined as determined by the BISD Student Code of Conduct.
Evidently, the students who initially relentlessly taunted Smith are not considered by school officials to have been disruptive.
Bill Burgess, an attorney from the Washington, D.C, organization American Humanist Association, wrote in a letter that the Birdville district should expunge Smith’s record of the suspension, citing the disciplinary action was a blatant violation of his First Amendment rights.
“Isaiah’s Bible was not the source of disruption,” wrote Burgess, “the bullying was.”
He continued: “Instead of reprimanding the bullies, the school punished Isaiah for offering an alternative viewpoint on the Bible.”
Smith returned to school earlier this week and is reportedly now considering legal action against the school.