Posted Friday --- December 21, 2007 -- 6:00pm
Janesville: A Janesville student was suspended after ripping up the Bible and making disparaging remarks about Christians during a class presentation.
The incident occurred December 7th at Janesville Parker High School.
Elle Jacobson says a boy got up to give his assigned speech on the teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and produced a Bible. "He pointed to the Bible and said now this piece crap had absolutely no reasoning and he went on to declare how the Bible was not true."
Elle said the whole speech only lasted a couple minutes. "He said he was going to do something that our little stupid minds wouldn't be able to comprehend. He took the Bible and pulled it out in front of the class and first he started ripping out pages, and then he started ripping out sections. Everybody looked stunned. I was stunned. I was shocked."
The Janesville School District confirms the incident occurs, but can't release any disciplinary actions due to privacy concerns.
The Janesville Gazette reports the student was suspended and required to undergo a psychological evaluation before he could return to school.
Parker Principal Dale Carlson says the student was not disciplined just for ripping up the Bible. "There were other behaviors that came to our attention from the classroom."
Paul Jacobson is Elle's father. "This is really a story about school safety. That's what had me concerned."
Paul pulled both his daughters out of Parker 9 days ago. He wants the district to convince him this incident was not a precursor to another school shooting. "This boy has done something that is unbalanced, violent in my opinion. He tore that Bible apart as a effigy for Christians. This was not some kind of a demonstration about free speech, this was in my opinion the words of a sociopath."
Karen Schulte is Janesville's Safety and Security Coordinator. She say they consult with police and do a threat assessment on potentially dangerous students.
Schulte understands the Jacobson's concerns, and is frustrated herself when she can't help them. "It is hard sometimes because I want all students to feel safe at school, though I can't divulge certain information."
As for Elle, she doesn't want to go back to Parker. "The speech was so violating and hostile that I can't deal with going through another one again."
Friday was the last day of classes before Janesville's winter break.
School officials would not say if the boy has returned to school.
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