Earlier this week in Denton, Texas, the First Amendment seems to have been compromised by a few high school essays that mentioned the Second one.
High School seniors at Denton High School were given a simple assignment in their English class: Write a paragraph about something you did over the weekend. There was no additional direction on topics for the essay. However, a few students who wrote about guns, including attending a gun show or going to shop for a gun, were told that they would be given a zero on the assignment if they did not change what they were writing about.
The teacher, Mr. Dewey Christian, reportedly told the students that the topic was unacceptable.
Denton High School senior Alex Wright explained what happened to him:
“Mr. Christian said I want you all to write a paper, write about a fun experience you had… a nice experience. … So I said, me and my mom went to Cabella’s to buy a gun. As soon as he heard the word “gun,” he told me to sit down.”
Marshall Williams, another student in the class who was given the option of a zero on the assignment or a rewrite, told about going to the Fort Worth Gun Show – something he has posted on his Facebook page:
In the comments section of Williams’ Facebook of this photo he posted the following;
Today I held both the guns used in Aurora and at Sandy Hook Elementary. Contrary to popular belief, everyone in my vicinity did not die.
Classmates reportedly laughed at the students after their papers were rejected based solely on their subject matter.
Williams and his mother Kimberly visited the school on Monday and confronted Mr. Christian, recording the conversation with a cell phone camera:
After speaking with the teacher, Kimberly Williams and her son were not satisfied and demanded an apology. KDFW-TV that the school district and Dewey Christian sort of apologized. Marshall Williams says that the apology is not yet satisfactory.
The news outlet also reports that the school district claimed:
“The teacher’s intent was for guns not to be trivialized in any school situation because of recent events.”
After hearing the school district’s response, Marshall Williams replied:
“I don’t feel like I’ve gotten an apology yet. I feel like he has just stomped on our right to free speech. He told us we would not be allowed to express ourselves and didn’t even consider what we had said. He didn’t have a clue of the content of my paper before he told me… he just knew that my paper was about guns before he told me that I would be getting a zero on the assignment.”
Calls and emails from TheBlaze to Mr. Christian have gone unanswered.
Watch the full TV report from KDFW: