ROSWELL, New Mexico, September 17, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A New Mexico School principal has penalized three Christian students with suspensions for giving fresh Krispy Kreme Doughnuts with Bible verses to each of their teachers, according to the public advocacy group Liberty Counsel.
This school is already named in a pending lawsuit filed by Liberty Counsel on behalf of families and students who were bullied, and one suspended, for exercising their freedom of religion by distributing abstinence wristbands and plastic models of babies at 12 weeks gestation to bring attention to the life of unborn children in the womb.
According to Liberty Counsel, about 25 Christian students in the group, Relentless in Roswell, decided to express appreciation for their teachers by giving them doughnuts. Since the closest Krispy Kreme shop was in Texas, some of them drove almost six hours round trip, stayed overnight, got up at 3:00 a.m. filled their car’s back seat with fresh doughnuts, and got back to school on time to deliver the doughnuts.
But when the doughnuts were passed out, they included a scripture verse as well. For that, one student was immediately sent home, and two others were forced to spend a Saturday morning sitting alone in the classroom for four hours as a punishment.
"Our motives were not rebellious,” Pastor Troy Smothermon said of the Christian youth group, with which his church is affiliated. “If they were, we would have just bought a box of doughnuts down the street. The whole purpose was to encourage those in the school.”
He added, “We are challenging the constitutionality, but our motive here was to love. Faith without works is dead. We want them to know that we love them and that Christ loves them."
The Christian group has also handed out sandwiches, hot chocolate, and candy canes in the past to the student body and faculty. Some also distributed rocks with affirming words like "U are wonderful' painted on one side and "Psalm 139" on the other, as part of their ministry.
However, Liberty Counsel says that things came to a head when Relentless in Roswell decided to hand out plastic models of unborn babies. The incident, they said, ended up saving the life of a student who said she had planned to commit suicide because of the guilt she felt over her abortion. Liberty Counsel says that when she received a model baby with the scripture "you are fearfully and wonderfully made" she cried and prayed with the students.
However students were afterwards pulled out of class and instructed by Principal Ruben Bolaños to cease their "Christian" acts because they had made their point. He is alleged to have said, "I don’t like Christians. All they do is smile at you and then stab you in the back."
Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented that given conditions in schools today, to suspend the Christian students is an absurdity.
"Some teachers are worried about their students giving them bullets, and this school suspends students over a Bible verse! These students are living their Christian beliefs by showing kindness,” said Staver. “It is outrageous that the Roswell school officials are mean to these students solely because they are hostile to their Christian faith."