Grovetown High School senior quote pushes the limit with religious comment

CSRA News
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High school seniors are learning how much words matter after one student submitted a controversial senior quote in Grovetown High School’s yearbook.

The quote reads, “I don’t know why people think Jesus Christ is coming back, he wasn’t nailed to a boomerang.”

Grovetown local, Pauline Banks, says, “I can’t believe he did it in the yearbook.”

A mother of a Grovetown High School student, Shawna Bates, doesn’t see an issue with it.

She explained, “I think a lot of people took it out of context.”

People divided over a senior quote published in the Grovetown High School yearbook.

Grovetown High School student, Ethan Bowdre-Bates, said, “I think he just wanted a reaction but I think he got his reaction.”

Now, the student’s freedom of speech is in question.

“The free speech amendment covers religion,” said Bates.

Chad Daniel, one of the parents who posted in public facebook group, says he agrees it is freedom of speech, but he says it should not be “printed in a book that a lot of kids purchase.”

“A joke needs to be taken as a joke, and I wish more people would take it that way,” said Bowdre-Bates.

Daniel said, “It shouldn’t have been in the yearbook. Joke or not.” 

“The school, they have an editorial staff, they have a yearbook staff. I don’t think they saw it as something like he didn’t agree with Christians or it was a hit towards Christians at his school,” said Bates.

Columbia County schools said they “try to have quotes appropriate for school yearbooks.” While each school has its own plan for the layout, the topic of removing quotes is now being discussed.

“Some teachers think it’s funny and some think it’s not. it’s very controversial there,” said Bowdre-Bates.

Some people say it’s a “generation thing” and morality is lost on kids, but others say life goes on.

“Young people this day in time don’t have the guidance that we had,” said Banks.

But Banks said, “times are different. you know there is a lot more accepting and I think we have to accept things as little jokes because if we don’t we can’t say anything.”

Columbia County Schools say the principals are coming together to figure out how to overcome the challenge of letting students pick their senior quotes.

Right now, there is a bill in the works in the Georgia state legislature dubbed The Student and Educator Faith Protection Act. It supports public school teachers and students the freedom to express their religious beliefs in a school setting regardless of what their religious affiliation is.

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