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Gay Tolerance Puts Indiana Teacher Under Investigation

In February I posted about the publication of a student-written pro-gay tolerance article in a high school newspaper at Woodlan High School in Indiana. The article caused a major stink with the school's principal, Edwin Yoder, who then demanded that he be able to sign off on every issue of the newspaper. He also gave the supervising English and journalism teacher, Amy Sorrell, a warning for "insubordination".

The article read, in part: "I can only imagine how hard it would be to come out as homosexual in today’s society. I think it is so wrong to look down on those people, or to make fun of them, just because they have a different sexuality than you. There is nothing wrong with them or their brain; they’re just different than you."

WoodburnNow the news from Indiana is that Sorrell has been put on paid leave "while the district investigates allegations that could lead to terminating her contract."

Sorrell tells the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette that she has no idea what's going on: "I’m assuming it’s with this whole mess of all this other stuff, but I really don’t see how it got this far. At this point, I’m just waiting to find out what the allegations are."

The principal's new rules have caused the students to stop publishing their newspaper and start studying about freedom of the press, the Gazette reports.

Student news adviser put on paid leave [fort wayne journal gazette]

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Comments

  1. The idiocy of the wingnuts and their desire to demonize gay people knows no shame and no limits. They will never open to a dialog in which their children get information about homosexuality, they prefer their spawn to be as bigoted and obtuse as they are.

    Posted by: Xavier | Mar 21, 2007 10:21:03 AM


  2. The Midwest is certainly giving the Deep South a run for its money concerning intolerance.

    Posted by: mark m | Mar 21, 2007 11:14:11 AM


  3. This situation is idiotic, but we can't demonize the whole midwest based on what happened in some crap town in Indiana. You can find plenty of intolerance on the coasts too. Actually, the upper midwest has a long history of socially progressive traditions, based largely on the "live and let live" philosophy of the scandinavian immigrants who settled there. Lately that has been tempered by the zealotry of the baby-boomer neo-religionists, but I really think that's a passing thing. Cities in the midwest can actually be very nice places to live if you're gay or lesbian.

    Posted by: Brian | Mar 21, 2007 11:46:04 AM


  4. Oh, give me a fucking break with the selective perceptions of the "tolerant" midwest/upper midwest. Only four of those states went to Kerry in 2004, one LESS than went to Gore in 2000! Of them, Michigan and Wisconsin have amended their constitutions to ban gay marriage, resulting even in the elimination of domestic partner benefits in Michigan. Those don't reflect recent "neo-religionist" trends, but the formalization of a traditional rejection of gays. Some have antidiscrimination laws, but pick any of those "very nice places to live" and try walking down the main street at noon or into a local church or ballgame holding hands with your lover and see what happens.

    Posted by: Leland | Mar 21, 2007 1:05:40 PM


  5. Maybe orgainzations like the Victory Fund should invest a little more time/energy and money (like the religious fanatics did 40 years ago!) in promoting openly gay candidates for school boards and small city councils. The power of one openly gay person in a position of influence can affect thousands. It's just difficult to believe that in 2007 a school principal can act so unilaterally without any serious response from the school board,parents or other gay students?

    Posted by: ShawnSF | Mar 21, 2007 1:25:06 PM


  6. As a follow up, the EACS school board shut down Sorrell and dozens of supporters from addressing the board at last night's board meeting: http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/16944919.htm

    Looks like this story is quickly evolving into a case of censorship, in addition to what appears to be a potential move by the board to fire Sorrell over the student's opinion piece being published, as hinted at by the board's president in the article above.

    Posted by: Kurt | Mar 21, 2007 2:43:33 PM


  7. "The principal's new rules have caused the students to stop publishing their newspaper and start studying about freedom of the press, the Gazette reports."

    My jaw dropped...

    That's all I really have to say, how absurd is that punishment, of all things.

    Posted by: Jaesin | Mar 21, 2007 7:55:33 PM


  8. Oh, oopse, after re-reading it, it seems I misread my own quote. The students themselves are studying up on freedom of the press, not being forced to (however I wouldn't put it past them.).

    Honestly, I just don't understand the insecurity of some people.

    Posted by: Jaesin | Mar 21, 2007 7:57:36 PM


  9. Christianity is supposed to preach love, acceptance and fellowship with ALL God's creation. For homosexuality to exist it is therefore necessary to presume that He intended it to be so. There was nothing so terribly wrong with the editoral the students posted. It wasn't an advertising campaign to recruit more 'gays' into society, nor to parade that being 'gay' is so much better than being 'straight'. I feel the Principal is using his authority to quash the rights so desperately fought for throughout American History, the right to freedom of speech, freedom from oppression and any other of the much vaunted constitution of the United States. Time to grow up, time to accept the differences in each of us that make us a whole. Just another kick in the kneecaps for "Gay rights" and a need for the 'moral majority' to get there way again. God bless America

    Posted by: Drew | Mar 21, 2007 9:57:38 PM


  10. "This situation is idiotic, but we can't demonize the whole midwest based on what happened in some crap town in Indiana."


    Whatever, I'm from some crap town in Indiana, and I guaran-damn-tee you that you can demonize the whole Midwest on account of this total idiocy. Hell, Ohio and Michigan have already, like the good white puritantical states that they are, constitutionally banned gay marriage and anything resembling that which might condone the incidents thereof.

    I was born and raise there, and I love the area, but god-damn, the people need to pull one big collective head out of a slightly smaller but nontheless massive anus.

    Posted by: Chuck | Mar 22, 2007 5:01:31 AM


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