School prevents student from publishing editorial about atheism

Knoxville News Sentinel

Krystal Myers' editorial for the Lenoir City High School student newspaper about how atheists like her don't have the same rights as Christians met a somewhat ironic fate: It was not published. School officials feared "the potential for disruption in the school."

"School administrators do have the right to control information distributed to students if publication would cause a disruption in the school, confirmed Dr. Charles Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center in Washington D.C.," reports the Knoxville News Sentinel.

You can read the unpublished editorial here.

"As a current student in Government, I have realized that I feel that my rights as an Atheist are severely limited and unjust when compared to other students who are Christians," Myers writes. "Not only are there multiple clubs featuring the Christian faith, but youth ministers are also allowed to come onto school campus and hand candy and other food out to Christians and their friends."

Among Myers' grievances: public prayer at graduation, football games and school board meetings, as well as overt religious displays by teachers.

"Religion and government are supposed to be separate," she continues. "If we let this slide, what other amendments to the Constitution will be ignored?"

Myers, the News Sentinel story notes, "plans to study journalism in college next year."

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


Related News

Email IconGroup 3Facebook IconLinkedIn IconsearchGroupTwitter IconGroup 2YouTube Icon