Gabby Helsinger, a Lebanon, Ohio public high school student who was suspended after putting up Bible verses around her school in response to the Gay-Straight Alliance after it put up rainbow flags in the halls, says she was treated unfairly. It was not clear what the Bible verses were that Helsinger posted.
Said Helsinger in a video posted to Facebook: “On Thursday when I got to school, I seen that there were pride flags, posters around my school. And I felt the need to write down some Bible verses so I could put them around my school. And I wrote them down and I put them around my lockers, the walls.”
Helsinger said that she saw teachers taking them down when she returned from lunch and the next day she got called to the principal’s office where she received an in-school suspension.
The reasons given for the suspension were “‘abuse of others, disrespect, rudeness’ because I put Bible verses up ‘targeting the GSA organization.'”
“I did not know what the GSA organization was or meant,” said Helsinger.
Helsinger explained that she felt it was her duty to show LGBTQ students the word of God in order to rescue them.
“I seen that there was people in my school that needed help.” said Helsinger. “They don’t need to be living in the confusion of wondering if they should be gay, bi, lesbian, trans — anything like that. And I know that God is the only way that they can be healed by that, and that’s why I did it. I was not targeting any kind of organization.”
Helsinger said Lebanon High School principal Scott Butler asked her why she hung the verses.
“Because I wanted to spread the word of God,” she explained to him.
When asked if she had permission, Helsinger said she didn’t know that she needed to have permission because “people do it a lot — putting Post-It notes up on people’s lockers, so I just did it.”
“I asked him why, every time Jesus or God or anything like that is broughten (sic) up in school it gets taken down straight away. But we can put gay and pride stuff all over the school and not have to take it down and people can talk about it but when you talk about God or Jesus you just get put down and you’re not allowed to talk about it.”
Helsinger complained that public announcements at the school contain GSA events but nothing about Jesus.