William Swinimer is a year 12 student at Forest Heights Community School in Chester Basin, Nova Scotia. He was suspended by the school's headmaster last week after 'repeatedly' wearing the bright yellow top with the slogan 'Life is wasted without Jesus' emblazoned on it. He had reportedly been asked in the past by his principal not to wear it in school.
After a meeting, teachers finally decreed William could return to school AND wear the T-shirt. But his father has now pulled him out entirely - despite staff plans to give a talk on balancing religious freedom with students' rights.
William's father John says he wants nothing to do with the talk and says that the tax payer is 'paying for him to learn his academics as well as the other students' he added he was 'not standing for any of this stuff.'
The Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports that cap-wearing and pony-tailed Mr Swinimer stormed across the the school car park waving a copy of the New Testament at reporters as he announced he was removing his son from the school.
"He will not attend this school unless they are having reading, writing and arithmetic, good old-fashioned academics. When they're having forums, when they're having other extra curricular activities, he will not attend that school," he said, refusing to answer reporters questions about the situation: "I'm making a statement here, I'm not answering questions."
The family's pastor said William will now finish his studies at a different school.
The District superintendent Nancy Pinch-Worthylake said she was 'very disappointed' that William was not in school or involved in the talk.
His fellow students said the youngster 'constantly' preaches Christianity to other pupils and 'refuses to stop' - saying that the situation was much more than about a T-shirt:
"This thing never was about a shirt ... He's telling kids they'll burn in hell if they don't confess themselves to Jesus," classmate Riley Gibb-Smith said.
The school board said the boy was 'defiant' and had ignored previous requests not to wear the shirt.
Sounds like an awful lot of fuss over a T-shirt - a good reason for schools to have a compulsory uniform, perhaps?
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