Monday, April 09, 2007

Blow the Man Down....

A pirate’s life for he: Suspended “pastafarian” speaks out

Jason Bugg at the MtnXpress writes "Bryan Killian is a lot like any other 16-year-old. The North Buncombe High School sophomore enjoys music, computers and hanging out with his friends. But when he decided last week to come to school dressed like a pirate, his life took a decidedly different turn, placing him at the center of a whirlwind of controversy over freedoms of speech and religion.

At first, Killian wore both an eye patch and inflatable sword (the kind offered with a Happy Meal at McDonald’s, where Killian works). When school staff asked him to shed the swashbuckling regalia, he put the sword away, but kept the patch—and continued to wear it even after administrators told him not to.

Killian says that, unlikely as it may seem, his patch is a matter of principle. He professes devotion to “pastafarianism” (the tenets of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), which holds that pirates are deities.

But school officials didn’t see the eye patch as a true religious symbol, and they suspended Killian for refusing to lose the “disruptive” attire, causing an instant media frenzy that has ricocheted around the Internet and even the international press. ("Student Punished for Spaghetti Beliefs,” read the headline in one British newspaper.)

Buncombe County Schools officials released this statement about the matter: “As far as we are concerned, our decision to discipline this student had nothing to do with religion or religious beliefs. All of our schools adhere to dress codes. Clothes and items that are deemed to be inappropriate or disruptive to classroom instruction are prohibited. The student was warned four times to remove the attire. Punishment was administered due to the student’s decision to repeatedly disobey the administration’s directive.”

Now Killian’s back in school, where, most of the time, he keeps the patch in his pocket. But he’s still got plenty to say about the pirate hubbub. Last week, Xpress interviewed him over a burger and fries at his workplace.

Below are excerpts from that conversation..."


Reason 1,289 that I love Western North Carolina! I'm glad he picked Pirates, Ninjafarian just doesn't do it...


Jason Bugg wrote more about this encounter at his blog, So Much For Tact.

Good read!

1 comment:

Edgy Mama said...

Whenever I read "pastafarian" I imagine someone with spaghetti for hair.