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Quote# 81447

Regarding an atheist student's fight to not have a prayer at his high school graduation.

Mitzi Quinn has been on the staff at BHS for almost 25 years, much of that time as a senior advisor. In the past, Quinn said there have been students who were atheist, agnostic and other non-Christian religions who “had no problems” with the prayer.

“They respected the majority of their classmates and didn’t say anything,” Quinn said. “We’ve never had this come up before. Never.”

Throughout her time working with the student, Quinn said they never expressed their personal beliefs or that they had any problems with other students’ Christian faiths.

“And what’s even more sad is this is a student who really hasn’t contributed anything to graduation or to their classmates,” Quinn said.

Mitzi Quinn, Bastropenterprise.com 47 Comments [5/29/2011 4:41:19 AM]
Fundie Index: 39
Submitted By: emau99
WTF?! || meh
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Mudak

Or maybe they were too scared to speak up. Considering the threats this one has been getting, can you blame them?

5/29/2011 5:19:17 AM

Mortok

Because we all know Christians are first off the block to organize school events and help their fellow classmates, right?

5/29/2011 5:20:30 AM

random

well, ok, apart from the add hominem against the classmate of the "hur, he hasn't contributed anything nobody cares 'bout you"

I don't see why a prayer can't take place. If it isn't of a particular faith and it is just a praise to the "god" then I see it as perfectly secular and find. The students, like I was, that are atheist can just wait 2-3 mins outside or be patient inside.

You won't actually be hurt if you hear it. Of course, stealing time from lessons to do that IS hurtful, but in graduation it isn't illogical.

5/29/2011 5:20:55 AM

grad student

Maybe the students didn't "contribute" in his or her high school because s/he felt like an outsider in a community that considers Christ to be the center as a parent expressed in the other link.

5/29/2011 5:39:18 AM

solomongrundy

I see the school website has a poll where you can vote whether prayers should be said or not.

'No prayers' has 54% at the moment.

5/29/2011 5:42:03 AM

Percy Q. Shunn


5/29/2011 5:46:18 AM

Thinking Violet

I notice also that the options offered in the poll are slanted to imply that the prayer is only there because the fellow students want it. This does not seem to be the case, since there is no indication that the students were ever consulted. The poll implies that a choice in favour of constitutional correctness directly opposes the desires of the 'fellow students'.

"I agree. Nothing should be done to offend anyone regardless of their beliefs."

"I disagree. The student should respect the desires of their fellow students."

"No opinion."

A better question would be "Would I be offended by a secular prayer at the ceremony?".

As 'Random' stated, I don't see a problem with this. I wouldn't be offended by it, and nobody is forcing me to join in with it.

5/29/2011 5:56:33 AM

Sadhuman

It might not hurt them to just sit there quietly and listen to the others praying. But would it hurt them to keep their pray silent and between them and their God. Is there going to be a Islamic prayer? Or any other denomination? Or any other Faith at all?The student doesn't have a problem with other peoples faiths he/she has a problem of being forced to partake in them.

The end sentence is rather rude and insulting as well. I didn't do a lot to help my other students in my final year, but then again neither did 80 percent of the rest of the students. I have no doubt he/she isn't the only person to have not helped out.

Basically there is going to be a moment of silence, a perfect moment for anyone of any religion to make a silent prayer to their God/Goddess and not affect anyone else in any way at all. Isn't that the best option for everyone, no one gets put out, no one is denied their faith and no one is forced to join in to someone's faith.

5/29/2011 6:09:18 AM

Xotan

Mitzi Quinn is on the Bastrop staff?! shouldn't she know more than the pupils about the US's constitution and its first amendment?

5/29/2011 6:25:04 AM

Doubting Thomas

In the past, Quinn said there have been students who were atheist, agnostic and other non-Christian religions who “had no problems” with the prayer.

Those other students were probably cowed by all the Christian students and knew they'd be facing the same shitstorm this particular student is going through. And even if they had no problems with the prayer, this student does.

In the past, Quinn said there have been students who were atheist, agnostic and other non-Christian religions who “had no problems” with the prayer.

Probably because they were bullied into submission.

“And what’s even more sad is this is a student who really hasn’t contributed anything to graduation or to their classmates,” Quinn said.

Are you saying if the valedictorian had a problem with the prayers then there wouldn't be any problem? I don't care if it's the student with the lowest GPA possible to still graduate, you don't get to trample on their rights.

5/29/2011 6:41:00 AM

Selkie

Quinn sounds like a cunt. If she is on the school payroll she has no business making such a comment. She should be fired. Doesn't matter a damn what her personal position is; she doesn't get to be part of the mob.

5/29/2011 6:41:37 AM

nazani14

@ random-
"just a praise to the "god" then I see it as perfectly secular"

No. Secular activities do not include any kind of address to any kind of mythological being. The word you are looking for in 'nondenominational.'

On graduation day, when a young person is about to be rewarded for years of effort, it's particularly nasty to have the stupidity of religion shoved in one's face. Irreligious students know they will have to deal with this BS for the rest of their lives, but please, don't ruin this occasion for them.

5/29/2011 6:50:40 AM

arctic knight

The graduation ended up having a prayer, led by someone at the microphone.

http://www.msatheists.org/2011/05/bastrop-high-school-goes-ahead-with.html

5/29/2011 6:52:29 AM

Raised by Horses

"Quinn said there have been students who were atheist, agnostic and other non-Christian religions who “had no problems” with the prayer."

'Other non-christian religions'? Atheism is not a religion. Why is that so hard for people to comprehend?

"They respected the majority of their classmates and didn’t say anything,” Quinn said. “We’ve never had this come up before. Never."

Perhaps he thinks it is time to respect the Constitution-mandated separation of church and state. You're free to have prayers at home, not to force them upon everyone else in a public institution.

'“And what’s even more sad is this is a student who really hasn’t contributed anything to graduation or to their classmates,” Quinn said.'

And let's finish off this avalanche of inanity by poisoning the well with an irrelevant remark.

5/29/2011 6:57:29 AM

Skatepunk

Meh.

Not as crazy as trying to get prayer in public schools. Maybe I've been desensitized by all that I've seen in this site? IDK.

EDIT: Crap! It IS a public school! Wow.

5/29/2011 7:13:05 AM



They contributed the way the others students did. Graduating. So, maybe it's time to respect their choice, is that right?

5/29/2011 7:17:32 AM

derpmaster

Mitzi I'm sure Jaysus would approve of you taking piss shots at one of your own students.

Amazing that this is all it takes for people who are supposed to be grown-ups to start acting like spoiled children.

5/29/2011 7:56:12 AM

Deep Search

Ah, that stupid, poopy-head, lazy, atheist... Nobody gives a crap about their views or feelings, anyway. NICE.

Having a prayer recited at graduation is imposing religion on students. Sorry, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

5/29/2011 8:07:30 AM

solomongrundy

Quinn is described as a 'Senior Advisor' at the school (whatever that is), not a teacher.
As she appears to have not the slightest grasp of what the constitution says about separation of religion and state you have to wonder who on the staff she's 'Senior' to.
Certainly not Grounds-Keeper Willy, Cletus Spuckler perhaps?

5/29/2011 10:12:31 AM

aaa

This is pretty damn lame stuff.

5/29/2011 10:22:42 AM

grad student

@solomongrundy, "senior advisor" is probably something along the lines of a class sponsor which in most American public high schools would be a teacher. So no excuses for her.

As a former teacher, every system I worked in had a strict rule that in the case of any issue like this, no staff members--teachers or otherwise--were to be talking to the press. Only admins or district spokespeople were to be doing that. She should be disciplined accordingly.

5/29/2011 10:44:27 AM

Papabear

There is a difference between having no problem with something and being forced by social convention to sit there and endure it.

P.S. It is also rude and illegal, though I expect your area has gutless Gomer's unwilling to enforce laws they don't like.

5/29/2011 11:00:29 AM

Drax

Meh. This sounds like a lot of fuss over something pretty trivial to me. To be totally honest I don't see why the atheist kid is making such a big deal out of it, unless they're somehow forcing him to pray. He could just decline to take part or even leave the room for a few moments while they do their praying if he feels that strongly about it. On the other hand the member of staff was wrong to make disparaging remarks about the student. Both sides are being a bit childish here.

5/29/2011 11:28:40 AM

rallymodeller

@Drax:

That is the absolute wrong thing to do; having him leave the room when the rest of them pray is singling him out. Way to support bullying, there.

5/29/2011 12:25:25 PM

Drax

@rallymodeller: Take your point, but he's still singled himself out anyway, hasn't he, by making a big issue out of it? I didn't say he should be made to leave the room, I meant he should just be given the option not to join in the prayers if he didn't want to, including the option to leave the area where people were praying if he really did find it intolerable to sit through it. No, of course he shouldn't be picked on for choosing not to join in - I wouldn't join in either - but at the same time, if the religious lot want to mumble a prayer among themselves, why is that so offensive to a nonbeliever? So long as nobody is being forced to participate, I really don't see what's so bad about it, sorry.

Mitzi Quinn is still completely unprofessional in the way she's slagged him off to the press, though.

5/29/2011 12:40:31 PM
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