In a matter of days, North Carolina high school student David “Cole” Withrow’s situation has changed dramatically. For one, Liberty University announced Thursday that it will extend a scholarship to Withrow after he was suspended and arrested for accidentally leaving a shotgun in his pick-up truck parked in the school lot.
Withrow, a high school senior and Eagle Scout, had been skeet shooting the day before the incident and inadvertently neglected to store his firearm. Once he realized his error, he immediately locked the gun in his truck and went inside the school to call his mom so she could come pick it up.
But a Princeton High School official overhead Withrow’s phone call to his mother and the school promptly called the police. After the gun was discovered in his truck, he was arrested and charged with a felony. The school is not allowing Withrow to return to school of the rest of the year, however, an attorney for Johnston County Schools on Thursday said he will still be allowed to graduate on time by attending an alternative school, WTVD-TV reports.
Now, Liberty University is stepping in to make sure that the high school senior will be able to continue on to college.
“In reaction to the gun control debate in America, Liberty University recently loosened – not strengthened – its concealed weapons policy on campus, and is now providing a scholarship to a North Carolina high school student who was arrested for leaving a shotgun in his pick-up truck in the school parking lot,” the school announced in a press release provided to TheBlaze Thursday.
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The Pentagon announced today that military members who want to talk about their faith with other members have every right to do so, backtracking on a previous warning against “proselytizing,” which it said could be subject to court-martial.
The statement from Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen said the Department of Defense “never and will never single out a particular religious group for persecution or prosecution.”
The Pentagon walked back its statement earlier this week after the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records relating to Pentagon statements on the issue.
“Members of our military should not be denied the very freedoms they fight to defend. Freedom of religion and speech are paramount among those freedoms,” said ADF Legal Counsel Joseph La Rue. “We appreciate the Pentagon’s clarification, but little or no evidence exists of coercive proselytization in the military, so we are still troubled over what motivated the original comments.
The Pentagon’s Christensen said in the statement today that the Department of Defense department “makes reasonable accommodations for all religions and celebrates the religious diversity of our service members.”
“Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization),” he said.
Christensen said that if a service member “harasses another member on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, then the commander takes action based on the gravity of the occurrence.”
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A high school student in Methuen, Massachusetts has been arrested after allegedly sending terrorist threats via text message and social media. “We took this very seriously,” said Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon. Solomon said that the student, Cameron D’Ambrosio, posted a rap threat containing references to the White House, the bombing of the Boston marathon, and the line, “everybody you will see what I am going to do, kill people.”
D’Ambrosio’s threat came to the attention of the police after a fellow student reported it to school administrators. Superintendent of Schools Judy Scannell said, “Once again we have to commend the Methuen High School Student who came forward, we always say, if you see something, say something, and that’s what this student did. We also want to commend the school safety officers and the administration for bringing this to our attention immediately. Threats of this kind of violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, not in Methuen they won’t.” D’Ambrosio could do 20 years of hard time.
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