High School Student Suspended for Responding to LGBT Pride Flags with Bible Verses
Last Thursday, a high school girl in Ohio responded to LGBT pride flags by putting up Bible verses. Teachers took the Bible verses down, and the girl received an in-school suspension. That afternoon, her mother posted a video about the event, accusing Lebanon High School of celebrating evil and punishing righteousness.
"Lebanon schools celebrates [sic] evil and punishes righteousness!!" Tina Helsinger posted on Facebook. "Parents - if this was happening to your child - what would you do?"
Her daughter Gabby Helsinger tells her story in the video.
"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," she says in the video. "And I wrote them down and I put them around my lockers, the walls."
"I was coming back from lunch ... I see the teachers taking them down, and the next day, I got called to the office and there is a letter that says that I have an ISS, which is an in-school suspension, and the reason why I have it is because 'abuse of others, disrespect, rudeness' because I put Bible verses up 'targeting the GSA organization,'" the girl recalls, referring to the school's Gay-Straight Alliance.
"I did not know what the GSA organization was or meant," Gabby Helsinger insists. "Seeing that there was [sic] people in my school that needed help and they don’t need to be living in the confusion of wondering if they should be gay, bi, lesbian, trans, anything like that, and I know that God is the only way that they can be healed by that, and that’s why I did it. I was not targeting any kind of organization or anything like that."
The high school girl recounts her discussion with the principal. "When I got sent to the office, he was talking to me and he said, 'Why did you put these up here?' And I said, 'Because I wanted to spread the word of God.'"
"And he goes, 'Well did you have permission?" And I said, 'No.' And I didn’t know you had to have permission because people do it a lot, putting post-it notes up on people’s lockers, so I just did it."
The girl continued, "And 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 can talk about it, but when you talk about God or Jesus you just get put down, you’re not allowed to talk about it."
"Yes, there are clubs that are at my school which pray every Wednesday in the morning by the flag, but in my school they have a video announcement on Wednesday when you have team, it’s like once every month, and there is the gay club on that news that we watch, and you don’t see anything about God clubs or Christian clubs or anything like that," Gabby Helsinger said.
She insisted that posting the Bible verses had nothing to do with attacking the organization, but rather spreading an alternative vision to the one effectively endorsed by the school. "I just thought the need to put them up and I was not targeting any organization like that," the high school girl concludes.
PJ Media reached out to the principal and vice principal for comment and Todd Yohey, superintendent of schools at the Lebanon City School District, responded. He did not clarify which Bible verses were posted or defend the decision but merely said the school district does not discuss discipline.
"We do not publicly discuss the discipline of individual students," Yohey told PJ Media. "In general, when a student violates the Student Code of Conduct, there are consequencse [sic] for those actions."
Yohey did not explain how Gabby Helsinger had allegedly violated the "Student Code of Conduct." Ostensibly, she did so by targeting the GSA, although she says she did not know about the organization.
Gabby's mother, Tina Helsinger, did not respond to PJ Media's requests for comment or explanation of which Bible verses were posted.
The case seems another example of Christianophobia — the anti-Christian bias documented in the book So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States? by sociology professors George Yancey and David Williamson. Liberal activists are most likely to have a political animus against conservative Christians and evangelicals, but this animus has spread in society.
Often such fears are justified as a response to the negative ways Christians have treated LGBT people in the past. Christians should and do lament these abuses and work to treat all people well. Yet many LGBT activists demand that everyone celebrate LGBT pride, despite the fact that the Bible clearly condemns homosexual activity as sinful and teaches that humans are made male and female.
When Christians treat LGBT people well but refuse to celebrate same-sex marriage or transgender identity, activists condemn them as discriminatory bigots. This is where anti-Christian animus comes in. Some LGBT activists have become so distrusting of Christians that any mention of the Bible is seen as an attack on their identities and way of life.
Christians have indeed been pushed away from the public square, with Democrat-aligned senators launching witch hunts against Catholics and evangelical Christians because they disagree with LGBT pride — and suggesting that disagreement with these issues disqualifies a person from serving in public office.
Outrage ensued when news broke that Karen Pence — the vice president's wife — had returned to teaching at a Christian school that upholds the Bible's sexual morality. This launched a movement to "Expose Christian Schools," bringing anti-Christian animus out into the open as perhaps never before.
Christians and conservatives have been branded "hate groups" by the far-Left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and cut off from social media and programs like Amazon Smile.
Most recently, another high school girl was suspended for wearing a "Make America Great Again" hoodie and holding a Trump flag.
In the case of Gabby Helsinger, LGBT activists have flocked to comment on her video, slamming her "hate rhetoric and propaganda mindset." Lori Viars, central committee chairman at the local Republican Party, said that LGBT activist groups had shared the video. One activist, Mark Ryan, tagged the ACLU of Ohio and Equality Ohio in a comment on the video.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.