I like to think I'm generally a tolerant guy. I strongly believe in the Constitutional right of all residents of the US to believe whatever bilgewater they want to believe, and within whatever legal boundaries society has decreed, to practice that belief.
So, to hear that there are idiot fundies in Oklahoma who believe in the existence of witchcraft doesn't twist my knickers. That doesn't mean I won't shake my head and even publicly call them idiots, though. (as you can see.)
What DOES get my knickers in a twist is the assistant principle (AP) in an Oklahoma school who suspended a student for 15 days for casting a spell that supposedly made a teacher sick! THAT crosses the line between his private beliefs and his very public, governmental duties which require him to administer education to Oklahoma's children in an impartial manner regarding the religious beliefs of said students and their parents.
Now, had that young lady conducted a public ceremony witnessed by other students which was intended to be such a spell (based on some weird teenaged belief in magic - which is NOT Wiccan, by the way!) I could understand his concern for her public display of ill will towards a teacher which could be considered to be a distraction to the educational atmosphere of the school. That would be defensible, even under the well understood scientific knowledge of today that completely invalidates any idea of magic as a real, tangible force in this universe.
Again, this idiot does have the right to believe in said magic. After all, if you are a Christian fundie, you already believe in magic, since only magic could raise a dead person back to life, and such is the central tenet of that faith. Oh, they don't use the specific term "magic", because it is widely known in this country that magic doesn't exist, right? But hey, it's all semantics. To paraphrase Heinlein, "One man's magic is another man's belly laugh"! (ok, so Heinlein used the term "religion" instead of "magic", but you get the idea.)
Upshot here is that this AP needs to be fired. Summarily and with prejudice, along with a bad job reference as to his inability to exercise good judgement regarding the separation of his private life and his professional life. Not for believing in magic, but for letting that belief spill over into the life of one of his students. Because holding a belief that such magic really is effective and using that belief as an excuse to punish the alleged magic wielder is akin to burning witches at the stake, and shows that the AP has no judgement or ability to discern fact from fiction.
I do have some questions, though.
Did the parents go through any kind of appeals process to protest the suspension? If so, what was the response of the school district? Knee jerk support of the AP? Was there any attempt by the District to even look at the reason for that suspension? I assume, because the parents have resorted to a lawsuit, that any response was unsatisfactory, but the answers to those questions would surely add details to the story.
I'm going to add this to the category of Harm from Religion, because if suspending a student through the belief she had really and truly cast a spell that harmed a teacher isn't hurting someone and damaging the reputation of the school, the School District, and the State of Oklahoma, I don't know what else would.
Words cannot possibly describe my disgust, my dismay, or my utter contempt for people who either do these things or allow them to happen.