Bible pest sues school over tracts

Bible pest sues school over tracts

A Christian teenager in Washington state is suing his school district in federal court, claiming that he was suspended on three separate occasions for passing out Bible verses and preaching aloud at school-sponsored events.

According to this report, Cascade High School senior Michael Leal, above, spent an hour in court last week while lawyers argued over his right to distribute religious literature at school. Said Leal, who plans to be a missionary when he graduates this spring, told the court:

I want to get the Gospel forth in school through Gospel tracts.

Leal has been suspended for distributing Christian pamphlets, and preaching to students during breaks.

The district says current school policy limits the distribution of literature to campus entrances and exits and only before and after school. The policy is designed to promote order, safety and learning.

Last year, when the clash between Leal and his school was first reported, the student claimed that his rights were violated with unfair punishments while the the school said that he had continued to cause “substantial disruption”.

School attorney Michael Patterson said in an October 27 letter to Leal’s attorney:

At no time was Mr  Leal told that his distribution of material or his statements were inappropriate at school because of their religious content. Rather, he was informed of District policy … and told that he needed to comply with it. He was also informed that he could not create a substantial disruption at school or school events.

At the centre of the row are the disruptions Leal is said to have caused, with the school district and the teen’s attorney’s offering varying accounts of what unfolded. While the district claims Leal’s peers complained over his proselytizing, his attorneys begged to differ.

Pacific Justice Institute Brad Dacus said in a statement:

It is deeply troubling to see a school district dig in its heels on a policy that is so clearly unconstitutional. We are eager to vindicate Mr Leal’s rights and prevent him from being expelled for simply sharing his deeply-held beliefs.

According to the complaint, the student’s problems with administration began on September 3 last year when he passed out tracts during lunch. This landed him in the principal’s office.

Then Leal appeared at an evening event in October, loudly preaching to students and handing out tracts. He was reportedly approached by the principal during the school-sanctioned event and asked to stop. When he declined, the police were called to stop the “substantial disruption”.

Authorities spoke with Leal, but didn’t take any further action, the outlet reported. The student was, however, suspended the next day. Just a few days later, Leal again handed out tracts at another school event on October 8, further drawing the ire of administrators.

He was suspended most recently on October 31 when he was seen passing a tract to another student in math class.

Officials say they were simply attempting to stop what they deemed to be continuous acts of disruption, but Leal’s attorney’s counter that the teen did not harass or bother others with his activities.

Court documents filed on Leal’s said:

Leal has not now, nor has he ever, used preaching or distribution of literature, to harass, intimidate, or bully any students, school employees, or others on campus.

Leal and his attorneys believe that the school unfairly cracked down on his religious and constitutional rights.

Appeals could take this case all the way to the US Supreme Court.

23 responses to “Bible pest sues school over tracts”

  1. Angela_K says:

    Another fool who can’t keep his delusions to himself. When I was at school in the ’60s, if somebody handed out religious leaflets they would be laughed at and probably beaten up; we’ve become too tolerant of religion.

    OT. I see the nutter who dressed as a Monk and posted anti-gay leaflets through letterboxes has been let off.

  2. Broga says:

    I can imagine this pest, fuelled by a smug, self righteous attitude, and loving the attention he is getting. In his ignorance he will, of course, either be unaware or choose to ignore, the obscenities, contradictions and cruelties espoused by his bible. He intends to be a missionary. I suspect that is one of the few occupations that would want him.

  3. barriejohn says:

    Don’t fret yourself, little boy; all those whom God wants saved will be saved, and there’s nowt that anyone can do about it:

    “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” (Eph. 1:11)

    “…chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood.” (I Peter 1:2)

    “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8:29)

  4. TrickyDicky says:

    If this teenage is serious about his desire to bring the gospels to the heathen masses I would be prepared to chip in a few quid towards an air ticket for him to spread the word in Islamic State, I would also chip in for a ticket for his lawyer to accompany him.

  5. L.Long says:

    Listen kid you want to be a psychotic delusional dimwit, fine!!! Be so!!!
    But keep your BS to yourself, I do not need you!!!!
    As my only prayer….Oh Gawd protect me from the Aholes who are trying to protect me from myself!!!!

  6. SallyinMI says:

    He’s just trying to bring people to Jesus, and thinks he doesn’t have to follow the rules of the school district, which have been pointed out to him time and time again. Even the Gideons in MI know the rules..they stand on the sidewalk away from the middle school buildings in the spring with their Testaments, and hand them out to students who want them, not to everyone. They are not preaching fire and brimstone; they just hand out a small New Testament.
    I wonder how his attorney would feel if this was a Jew passing out the Torah, or a Muslim? Yeah, the rules would surely apply then!

  7. Trevor Blake says:

    Christians want the state to accredit Christian schools that are not held to secular standards. Christians also want secular schools not held to secular standards. I notice a trend.

    There are any number of Christian high schools this student could attend that will welcome his behavior. Allow his behavior at a secular school and the door opens to all other similar behaviors. No more time for secular school, then.

    Young men do well to make themselves stand out and be defiant. But what a bullying way for this young man to do so.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    ‘…for simply sharing his deeply-held beliefs.’

    No – for being an absolute fucking nuisance.

  9. Broga says:

    ‘…for simply sharing his deeply-held beliefs.’

    I love that word “simply” with its suggestion of innocence, candour and purity. How would he react to an atheist sharing atheist beliefs? We know the answer because bigots like this youth know they have the truth and know that challenging his beliefs must be wicked.

  10. Cali Ron says:

    Sharing implies that it was 2 way and wanted by those he was proselytizing, but that was clearly not the case. Did even 1 other student step up and say he wanted to hear what he had to say? Once again, the religious think they are deserved of special treatment because their “god’s chosen”. If he was handing out atheist tracts the Pacific Justice Institute whould be right their agreeing with the school and wanting him punished. The Pacific Justice Institute is a right wing, evangelical christian organization that has been designated a hate group by the SPLC and has a sordid history of attacking LGBT and non christians. For details see:

    Right Wing Watch

  11. Cali Ron says:

    Nice! I love Peanuts, too!

  12. dennis says:

    yes, Broga you are most correct “fuelled by a smug self righteous attitude and loving the attention.” i had to put up with him for 4 years in high school but what was fun to watch was him and the jewish kid (yes a jewish kid in TEXAS public schools in the 60′) go at each other. he got to where he would just tell me to repent and I would exercise my juvenal middle finger.

  13. Paul Cook says:

    I wonder if our US friends on here can answer why the US has such a bible bashing culture with people like this who ought to be well educated and mature. The US has a secular constitution yet the overt almost deluded and ignorant Christianity there makes statistics of general education on things like how old is the planet, make the US look like a dictatorial communist state where there is no freedom of thought and no education worth noting.
    In Britain we don’t quite have a secular country yet the majority of us see through the stupidity of Christianity – and most religion -and we tend to be apathetic to it- it’s the mad mohammedism which causes us concern, for reasons which are obvious.
    But I for one don’t understand the stupidity of some (and that’s a big some) in the US

  14. CharlyO says:

    “fuelled by a smug self righteous attitude and loving the attention”
    I must disagree with this – he is only ‘having the courage of his convictions’.
    I did #$% like that once so I can talk.
    He may, like me, find out what a crock of @$#^# it all is – but that takes more time and information, as I found out.
    He is young.
    The self righteous thing does not apply in my opinion – I never felt that way.
    And, yes, I feel stupid and embarrassed for taking so long to figure it out myself.

  15. jay says:

    Angela Kay:”When I was at school in the ’60s, if somebody handed out religious leaflets they would be laughed at and probably beaten up; we’ve become too tolerant of religion.”

    Actually people passed out leaflets for everything in the 60s from screwball politics to new age BS. I’m sure there were plenty of odd duck religious crap in there too.

  16. Cali Ron says:

    @Paul Cook
    Sadly, Paul American institutions have been getting more religious while the average American is getting less. Right wing evangelicals have been energized by the overtly religious “tea party” and wealthy donors to psuedo religious organizations like the Pacific Justice Institute, who despite their name are not interested in justice, but rather increasing religious intrusion in American’s life. They have been pushing insane ideas like teaching creationism in school as an alternative theory to evolution. They are organized and have lots of money, which in America is the key to everything. They have been working the anti gay, anti LGBT, anti immigrant, anti minority issues a lot, recruiting all those haters who feel justified in their hatred by the religious leaders who preach that God hates those people, too, so it’s all right.

    Ironic, that England actually has state sanctioned religion although most English citizens are not that religious, while America technically has a secular government, but the majority of American’s are christian. Although Islamophobia is alive and well here christianity is more of threat to our personal freedom than islam. The one up side is that the percentage of Americans who are religious is declining. I could go on, but this is probably not the appropriate forum for an extended diatribe.

  17. barriejohn says:

    Cali Ron: “Islamophobia is alive and well here “. You’ve used the wrong word there, but I do agree with you that, dangerous as Islam is in many respects, our chief enemy in the western world remains organized Christianity, and I don’t see that changing in the foreseeable future.

  18. Newspaniard says:

    Where are the parents of this attention seeking little brat? Who is paying all these legal fees? Doesn’t the school have videos showing the disruption he caused or would using them be against his ‘human rights’? For once, it is the local education authorities I feel sorry for, who are going to find legal fees to defend themselves against this idiot. Let’s hope the judge sees sense straight away, gives the boy a good slap and throws the case out of court. (Sorry, I slipped into fantasy mode at the end. American courts are no longer about justice but about which party can afford the most expensive advocate. Ho Hum)

  19. Ex Patriot says:

    Why is he even going to school if he wants to be a missionary, that really does not take any brains to go and screw up someone’s traditions and culture. I also hope the judge has a common sense to throw the case out of court. Some one else mentioned that maybe he should go mission in the some muslim country, ,that is a good idea they can then send his head home on a platter.

  20. Cali Ron says:

    barriejohn: Ops! Rushed that one do to time restraints because I felt compelled to explain “the stupidity of some (and that’s a big some) in the US”. In retrospect, there is no rational explanation for stupidity like that.

  21. Robster says:

    Has anyone done a test on this Leal fellow to make sure he’s not a wind up or battery operated, remote control drone proselytizer? His actions, as reported seem to be specifically programmed. When there’s a school event of some sort, he’s taken off the charger, wound up and wheeled out to tout the tripe. To call him artificially intelligent would be perhaps a bit generous.

  22. Atabale says:

    These type of dingbats should be studied, too allow for a new category (“religion personality disorder”, or what ever…) in the DSM-VI.