Ohio Student Punished for Quoting Bible in Response to LGBT Flags

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by Bruce Walker  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 13, 2019   

Gabby Helsinger disciplined for Christian response to homosexuality

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In a move reflecting increasing intolerance of traditional Christian values by public employees, an Ohio high school suspended a young woman for posting Bible verses in response to posters and flags at school celebrating homosexuality. Gabby Helsinger, a student at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Ohio, was told March 8, the day after she affixed the Bible quotes to her locker and elsewhere, that she would be punished with an in-school suspension.

The disciplinary measure prompted the student to record a video in which she recollects the events. The video was originally posted on the Facebook page of Helsinger's mother, Tina Helsinger. Since it was posted on Friday, March 8, the video has gone viral and has prompted widespread coverage with major news outlets, including Fox News and PJ Media.

 I felt the need to write down some Bible verses so I could put them around my school.

Helsinger says: "So on Thursday when I got to school, I see that there were pride flags, posters around my school. And I felt the need to write down some Bible verses so I could put them around my school. And I wrote them down and I put them around the lockers, the walls."


When Helsinger returned from lunch, she witnessed school teachers removing the verses. The following morning, she was summoned to the principal's office. She was notified that her suspension was punishment for alleged "abuse of others, disrespect, rudeness" and "targeting the GSA [Gay Straight Alliance] organization."
 
Her suspension was punishment for alleged 'abuse of others, disrespect, rudeness' and 'targeting the GSA [Gay Straight Alliance] organization.'
When asked by Principal Scott Butler if she had received permission from school officials to place Post-It notes with biblical phrases on them in her school, Helsinger responded:
I asked him why every time Jesus or God or anything like that gets brought up at school, it gets taken down right away. But we can put gay and pride stuff all over the school and not have to take it down and people talk about it, but when you talk about God or Jesus you just get put down, you're not allowed to talk about it.

As reported by Faithwire, Lebanon City School District Superintendent Todd Yohey acknowledged Helsinger didn't violate any school policies:

Though administrators are not permitted to discuss specific disciplinary actions against individual students, Yohey confirmed that the school's Student Code of Conduct does not prohibit the sharing or posting of religious text or imagery on school grounds. He also confirmed that like the GSA, religious clubs are allowed to meet and advertise during school hours.

Church Militant has attempted to reach Helsinger's mother unsuccessfully. But Tina Helsinger's Facebook page acknowledges she and her daughter attend the Solid Rock Church in Lebanon. The evangelical denomination espouses as its tenets:

There is one true and living God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
The Bible is the inspired Word of God and it declares His design and plan for man
Jesus, God's son, was both human and divine
Though originally good, man fell into sin — ushering evil and death into the world
Everyone can be reconciled to God through confession, faith and repentance
In water baptism, communion and the baptism of the Holy Spirit
That sanctification is a process
The mission of the Church is to seek and save all who are lost
In divine healing of the sick
That Christ will return to the earth and rapture his church

Additionally, it states its core values: "EVERYONE needs Jesus, EVERYONE matters, EVERYONE needs a friend, EVERYONE has a purpose."

Despite attending a church promoting traditional Christian values, the family's faith has unleashed a predictable torrent of vitriol on Tina Helsinger's Facebook page. Ironically, many of those stating the Helsingers' religious views are hateful toward the LGTBQ community are offensive, sacrilegious and unprintable.

Tina Helsinger has posted contact information for Lebanon High School's principal and vice principal, asking that people write in support of her daughter:

Principal Scott Butler: 
Butler.Scott@lebanonschools.org 
(513) 934-5100

Vice Principal Butc Ferrero: 
Ferrero.Butch@lebanonschools.org 
(513) 934-5104

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