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Austin Cline

School Bus Driver Fired for Being a Witch

By January 23, 2006

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Julie Carpenter is - or was - a bus driver in Princeton, Minnesota. She was fired when the school discovered that she was a witch and forced the bus company to get rid of her. She's suing, arguing that she's the victim of religious discrimination. The defense offered by the school district just make things worse for them.

KTSP News reports:

Carpenter says she never had a problem with her job until last week, when she mentioned being a witch. She says her employer said she was a great driver. Carpenter had been driving a bus for five years. She said she never once discussed being a witch with any children she drove on her bus.

The Princeton school district request that she have no contact with students, and says she is not a role model. The district says it can legally request her removal. “We have the right, that if we feel if somebody is not what we want them to be with children, or any other reason, all we have to do is let them know.”

If it’s OK to say that someone shouldn’t be around children merely because they are a witch (remember, she didn’t talk about her religious beliefs around the kids — she was fired because of what he religion is, not because of any religiously-motivated behavior directed at any children), then what’s to stop them from doing the same to other groups? Why can’t they insist that there be no Muslim, Hindu, or atheist bus drivers? Why not exclude gays, single parents, and divorced people from driving busses?

None of that would work, though the legal arguments against discriminating against people because of their religion are strongest. If the school district had evidence that Carpenter’s religion put kids at risk, then they might have reasonable grounds for dismissing her, but they don’t offer any such reasons. On the contrary, they don’t say anything about kids being put in physical danger; instead, they argue that her religious beliefs mean that she isn’t a good “role model” and that she isn’t “what [they] want her to be.”


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December 12, 2008 at 5:49 pm
(1) Einstein says:

Have you ever studied Calculus? Thought you were an atheist, but you defend self-proclaimed witches? Are witches ok? Do you think that is a rational way to think? Do you have children on that bus? Are you a self-centered pompous a**? Nice photo….try ex-lax.

December 12, 2008 at 6:52 pm
(2) Austin Cline says:

Have you ever studied Calculus?

Yes. What does that have to do with this story?

Thought you were an atheist, but you defend self-proclaimed witches?  

I wasn’t aware that being an atheist precluded me from defending the rights and equality of non-atheists. Do you only defend the rights and equality of people who agree with you?

Are witches ok?  

They are as OK as everyone else.

Do you think that is a rational way to think?  

I don’t consider any supernatural beliefs to be rational, but I also don’t think that people with irrational, supernatural beliefs should be denied basic rights.

Do you have children on that bus?

No, I wasn’t aware that that would be necessary to object to someone being treated unfairly.

Are you a self-centered pompous ass? Nice photo….try ex-lax.

And I suppose this comment of yours is a demonstration of how you aren’t self-centered or pompous? Do personal attacks on how others look fill some sort of hole or need in your life?

December 17, 2011 at 12:33 am
(3) Julie Carpenter says:

I know this is 3 years old, but I honestly never saw it.
Thank you for your kind words, Mr. Cline.
I never actually outted my faith publicly, the
politi-whoopsie-tician Jonathon Sharkey did it and I was not happy about it. It was when he announced he was running for Governor in Kbob’s Cafe up in Princeton.

I was fine keeping my beliefs to myself, it’s no one’s business except my own.

I have moved on to greener pastures bereft of vampyres that go politician in the night lol

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