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Oklahoma school suspends girl for casting spell

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,alt.magick,alt.religion.wicca
From: "Rick  Howard" 
Subject: Re: Oklahoma school suspends girl for casting spell
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2000 20:36:21 -0600

Tom Schuler  wrote
> "icsel"  wrote in message
> news:8v2qfv$
> >
> > I have seen this site. I am not aware of any press release from
> > the school.  Please let me when there is one and post it.

I don't think there was a press release.    The web site for the
school contains nothing about the case.

But the school did take the unusual step of making a public
statement.   Here is a transcript of the report about the
public statement carried by one local television station.
These  reports were aired on October 31, 2000, at
5:00 P.M. and at 6:00 P.M. on KTUL Channel 8
in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

                                       5:00  Report

Mark Bradshaw (achor):  Diane, will the district fight the charges?

Dianne Harrigan (reporter):  Well, that's what we found out today that
the school district will fight a civil rights law suit filed by the ACLU on
behalf of a 16 year old who says she was suspended for her interest
in the religion of Wicca and that she was unfairly suspended for
allegedly putting a hex on a teacher who later became ill.  Now, the
district would not comment on the specifics of the case but they
call it a waste of taxpayer money, and they say the timing so close
to Halloween is even laughable.  They also claim that they don't
suspend students for their religious beliefs.

Cathy Burden (Union Superintendent):  We do not suspend or
punish students for their religious convictions.  That is not one
of the policies that we have in our school district.  And as a
matter of fact we are very sensitive to the diversity of our
student body.

Tim Blackbear (father):  Their own rules is something they made
up and I'm sure that if the Superintendent's daughter or son were
in this situation she would be wanting to know how to defend
her daughter and whatever else.  But, you know, the rules are
made there and they just did not follow them.

Dianne Harrigan:  And coming up at 6:00 we will hear from
Brandi Blackbear who just turned 16 and her reaction to
today's news.

                                              6:00   Report

Charles Eally (anchor):  The student claimed that the district called
her a witch.   Does the district admit to that?

Dianne Harrigan:  Well, you know, they said that they can not
comment on the specifics of the case so they will not confirm
or deny that.  Only, we do know that they are not doing any
kind of internal investigation and the district says that no
teacher or principal is in trouble at this time, and that the fact
that the ACLU filed this suit so close to Halloween is bizarre.

Dr Kathy Burden (Union Superintendent):  The timing of this
case seems to have been done intentionally.

Dianne Harrigan:   The district says that the ACLU chose
Halloween time to sue the Union District over allegations
they wrongfully suspended 16 year old Brandi Blackbear
for looking into the Wicca religion.

John Butler (ACLU attorney):  It takes time to put a law
suit together like this and it had nothing to do with

Dianne Harrigan:  Butler says it all began when Brandi
drew a star like this on her hand with a pen.

Brandi Blackbear:  I think someone got the wrong idea
about what Wicca was and spread it around that way
because I studied Wicca and its an earthy thing.  No,
it's not Satanic or anything.

Dianne Harrigan:  It later led to allegations that Brandi
put a hex on a teacher who later became ill.
The district won't comment on the specifics of the case
but claims they don't suspend students for symbols alone.

Dr. Kathy Burden:  We have no policy whatsoever that
would eliminate a child from wearing a particular religious
symbol.  As a matter of fact, students so it all the time.

Dianne Harrigan:   The district calls the law suit a waste
taxpayer money but Brandi's dad isn't laughing.

Tim Blackbear:  And I'm sure that if the Superintendent's
daughter or son were in this situation she would be
wanting to know how to defend her daughter or
whatever else.  But, you know, the rules are made
there and they just didn't follow them.

Dianne Harrigan:   And the district says the law prevents
them from telling us exactly why Brandi was suspended.
In the meantime, this is certainly a story that is gaining
a lot of national attention.  As for Brandi Blackbear,
she tells us tonight that she is no longer interested in
the Wicca religion.

> It's highly unlikely that there will ever be one.  Lawyers for
> like schools routinely advise their clients to say nothing at all to the
> press ever.  Cases like this are often settled out of court with a clause
> that no one involved on either side can say anything about it to the
> It's possible that we may never know anything more than that the case was
> settled.

That is true.   But I don't think that will happen here.   I think the
school district wants to prove its innocence and a settlement
would not do that.

> > Oh, that sounds very reasonable to me, but he has done interviews. He
> > one with the Today show. That is the one I saw.
> Ah.  I was unaware of how much play this story was getting in mainstream
> media.  The place I first saw it was in one of those "people are sure
> and stupid" columns.
> > I am not charging that he is
> > abusive, I merely feel that he is self-involved to the point that his
> > daughter is getting expelled from school a second time for reasons that
> > just don't know about.
> It seems very likely that her first suspension was exactly as it is
> represented in the ACLU complaint.  The school officials, freaked out by
> Columbine, started acting hysterically.  This is not unusual.

The first suspension does sound like a typical post-Columbine
case, at least as the ACLU alleges it.

> to minor incidents has become almost a cliche among school boards.  A
> of mine had her daughter suspended for trying to pull off a bully who was
> attacking her friend.  The school officials said she should have let him
> beat up while she tried to get the attention of a teacher somewhere.
> Another young man was suspended for wearing jewelry that depicted a Native
> American peace pipe because they considered it "drug paraphernalia".  It
> wasn't a functional pipe at all, just a clay mold an inch long.  Stories
> like these are a dime-a-dozen.
> This case looks like just another in a long line of idiocities perpetrated
> by school officials who have chosen to adopt a bunker mentality.

Maybe.    Maybe not.   We have no evidence yet,
only allegations.

> > He is on TV and in the press, and stands to make some
> > cash in this suit. They ain't pagans. Let me repeat, they ain't pagans.
> They
> > said they were Catholic, I heard them say this, so I ain't conning you.

The news report quoted above says that the girl is no longer
interested in Wicca.

From: "Tom Schuler" 
Newsgroups: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,alt.magick,alt.religion.wicca
References: <8uunmv$> <8uvprq$> <8v03uu$r8k$> <8v2ipo$>  <8v2qfv$>  <8v7e2k$c0f$>
Subject: Re: Oklahoma school suspends girl for casting spell
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"Rick Howard"  wrote in message
> These  reports were aired on October 31, 2000, at
> 5:00 P.M. and at 6:00 P.M. on KTUL Channel 8
> in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

> Dianne Harrigan:   The district says that the ACLU chose
> Halloween time to sue the Union District over allegations
> they wrongfully suspended 16 year old Brandi Blackbear
> for looking into the Wicca religion.

This is a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts.  Here are quotes from
the ACLU complaint, which Harrigan certainly had read:

"Sometime prior to April 28th, 1999, Catherine Miller, speech therapist and
counselor for the Plaintiff, and Jack Ojala, the principal at the Eighth
Grade Union Public School, had heard by way of rumor that the Plaintiff had
written some short stories and that she had written something about an
incident at a school. They then proceeded to interrogate and investigate the
Plaintiff, Brandi Blackbear."

"Plaintiff carried a backpack with all of her school books and supplies
which had been left in a locked room. On April 28, 1999, Defendants Ojala
and Miller proceeded to open her backpack and search her personal effects
under the guise of looking for a gun. Unable to find a gun or anything that
could be considered a weapon, they confiscated all of her notes, school
work, and private notebooks, read through many of the stories, and
eventually came upon a story involving a fictitious shooting incident on a
school bus."

"Upon reading the Plaintiff's fictional narrative, a literary work in
progress, Defendant Jack Ojala and Defendant Catherine Miller panicked and
assumed that Brandi Blackbear was going to create an incident, and that the
Plaintiff was a deadly threat to all of the students because of the incident
at Columbine High School.
After reading the Plaintiff's notebook, the Defendants Ojala and Miller
notified her parents and summarily informed them that she would be suspended
from school."

"The second incident surrounding and giving cause to the Plaintiff's civil
rights cause of action occurred on or about the 13th day of December, 1999,
Defendant Charlie Bushyhead, the Assistant Principal for Union Intermediate
High School, along with Defendant Sandy Franklin, a counselor at Union
Public Schools, sent for Brandi and had her come into the office. When she
arrived at the office, Defendant Bushyhead started being hostile towards her
and accused her of being a witch."

"The Plaintiff had a star drawn on her hand in ink, similar to the star that
is printed on the flag of the United States of America, with a circle drawn
around it. Defendant Bushyhead accused the Plaintiff of having a pentagram
or a witches' symbol on her hand."

"Plaintiff, Brandi Blackbear, was advised that she could not use any kind of
emblems or any other paraphernalia that even remotely pertained to the Wicca
religion, although numerous students openly displayed other religious
symbols including the Christian cross and other items of religious
paraphernalia inside the school."

"The interview culminated with Defendant Bushyhead accusing Plaintiff,
Brandi Blackbear, of casting spells causing Mr. Kemp to be sick and to be
hospitalized. Based upon the unknown cause of Mr. Kemp's illness, Defendant
Bushyhead advised Plaintiff that she was an immediate threat to the school
and summarily suspended her for what he arbitrarily determined to be a
disruption of the education process. Apparently, Bushyhead believed this
alleged disruption was due to Mr. Kemp becoming sick because Plaintiff,
Brandi Blackbear, had supposedly cast a spell upon this school teacher."

Clearly, the ACLU did *not* allege that the student was suspended for
"looking into the Wiccan religion".  Harrigan, or the school district for
whom she speaks, is lying.  The ACLU complaint alleges that Ms. Blackbear
was suspended once for writing a scary story and again for being suspected
of casting an evil spell on a teacher who got sick.

They may dispute the facts cited in the complaint, but to misrepresent the
complaint itself is blatantly dishonest.

> Dianne Harrigan:  Butler says it all began when Brandi
> drew a star like this on her hand with a pen.

Another bald-faced lie.  See above.  The complaint states that it all
started when they chose to suspend Ms. Blackbear for writing a story that
frightened them.

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