Senior Alex Lonsdale, a member of Liberty High School’s nationally ranked debate club, discovered after the fact that not all debate topics are created equal.
In a conversation with schoolmates, Lonsdale made reference to pro-terrorist sentiment among British Muslims. Not one to air empty opinions, Lonsdale cited polls by ICM Research for the British documentary “What British Muslims Really Think.” Extrapolated from the results was the likelihood that up to 100,000 British Muslims sympathize with suicide bombers and that two-thirds of all British Muslims would not contact police if a relative were involved with jihadists.
Fellow debater Faraz Pervaiz, a Muslim, took exception to Lonsdale’s comments. “Why are you making my religion out to be like that?” Pervaiz reportedly said and left the discussion. “I wasn’t saying that ‘you’re a bad kid because you’re Islamic,’” Lonsdale told The College Fix, a national conservative publication. “I wasn’t being rude. I didn’t personally attack him at all.”
Three days later Lonsdale was called to the Liberty High principal’s office where he met with the principal, vice principal and Pervaiz. According to Lonsdale, Pervaiz claimed that he said “all Muslims are terrorists.” Again according to Lonsdale, school officials accused him of “creating an emotionally unsafe zone.” They sentenced him to serve an in-school suspension for the remainder of that day and the following day.
Pervaiz apparently called Lonsdale “retarded” during their discussion but escaped punishment. A believer in free speech, Lonsdale did not object.
“I don’t know why that kid didn’t just walk away if it made him uncomfortable,” said Carrie Lonsdale, Alex’s mother and a former Army field medic. Carrie told The Fix that “she sees a disconnect between the school’s mission to prepare students for life and the school’s disapproval of uncomfortable topics.” Liberty High students “need to be responsible, they are young adults,” said Carrie. “And then they treat them like babies.”
One bright note is that the reporter for The Fix is a student from the University of Missouri, Kayla Schierbecker.