but two sisters are refusing to return to school after an incident at their school. The incident in question concerns a classmate who decided to rip pages out of a Bible.
As many Parker High School students get ready for Christmas break, junior Elle Jacobson is at home and will not be returning like her friends.
“I have never felt threatened like that in a classroom before,” said Jacobson.
The 17-year-old is talking about an incident in her English class two weeks ago during a class presentation.”
This boy got up and his visual aid was a Bible and a book. And he got up and started his speech by saying ‘Now, this piece of crap’ and pointed to the Bible.”Jacobson said that she quickly felt threatened.”He took the Bible and he said, ‘I’m going to do this because I can. I’m going to do something that your stupid, little minds aren’t going to be able to comprehend and he took the Bible and started ripping out pages.”
What caught my eye is that the Bible was only one of the books the unnamed student held up. The second is alleged to have been a collection of works by Ralph Waldo Emerson. If you’re familiar with Emerson’s work then you know that a reoccurring theme is that conformity is a vice.
Conformity is the chief Emersonian vice, the opposite or “aversion” of the virtue of “self-reliance.” We conform when we pay unearned respect to clothing and other symbols of status, when we show “the foolish face of praise” or the “forced smile which we put on in company where we do not feel at ease in answer to conversation which does not interest us” (CW2: 32). Emerson criticizes our conformity even to our own past actions-when they no longer fit the needs or aspirations of the present. This is the context in which he states that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen, philosophers and divines” (CW2: 33). There is wise and there is foolish consistency, and it is foolish to be consistent if that interferes with the “main enterprise of the world for splendor, for extent, …the upbuilding of a man” (99).
Conformity in America as it relates to the Bible is that the collection of works is something good, worthy of being preserved – despite what one may actually think of the collection. It’s the foolish face of praise, the forced smile. If this unnamed book was in fact the student’s second book, it puts his remark about doing something the other student’s could not comprehend into striking context and proved his point.
“Little minds” cannot fathom that someone would look upon a revered symbol and precede to destroy it. Such minds retreat back to the castle, where all is safe and sound.