Comments

  1. scott says

    Unfortunately, the ACLU is right, he has a right to his views even if they are disgusting. But I had to laugh when the commenter mentioned “something he had posted on his private Facebook page…”

    There is no privacy in the Facebook Age…

  2. ohplease says

    Free speech isn’t free speech if it isn’t free for everybody, but it’s not his speech that’s the problem. I wouldn’t want any hateful idiot, no matter what the target of their hateful idiocy is, teaching children. That’s a purely objective, moral, ethical and rational opinion.

    He is an idiot who has proclaimed his violent hatred for some of his students. He isn’t qualified to teach children. It’s that simple.

  3. Dback says

    This is problematic for me, because as much as I don’t like him or his comments, I taught a high school class recently on law in America, and we actually got to discuss same-sex marriage (it was in the textbook!). It was great to have kids discussing the issue rationally, and when they asked me my opinion, all I said was “I think it is peculiar that two strangers–or convicts–can get married and receive 100+ benefits from the government, yet two people who’ve built a life together for decades can’t.” I would’ve been very displeased if someone would’ve come down on me for even saying something this restrained as being “pro-gay.” So we’ve got to be careful with the free speech thing–we cheer when the other side is suppressed, we can’t then complain if we get suppressed.

  4. Mykelb says

    This man does have a right to his views, but not as a public servant who has the job of forming the minds of the young of our society. Would we put up with his views if they were anti-semetic, anti-black, anti-asian? I doubt it.

  5. BenB says

    I profoundly disagree. The exact purpose of a code of ethics is (as agreed-to by the teachers when they became such) to supplant certain freedoms for the sake of protecting the children in their care. Signing that code of ethics was undertaken voluntarily by the prospective teachers and, like any contract, they are henceforth subject to it. As for the bigoted statements, they seriously undermine Buell’s ability to teach without prejudice, not only because of the students in his care (who could be, for example, effeminate gay men or ‘butch’ lesbians) but because of the impact of LGBT historical figures on society, such as gay computing pioneer Alan Turing or writer and wit Oscar Wilde. Buell should not be allowed to teach.

  6. says

    They keep pretending that comments posted on your Facebook page are private. They are not. They are public. (As is evidenced by the fact they were discovered to begin with.) Everyone has the right to say whatever they want, but it is certainly not always the case that anyone can say anything anytime.

    Mr. Buell stands by his inflammatory and hateful remarks (they weren’t a passionate and rational argument; they were simply expressions of disgust), which I respect more than a fake apology, but it is reasonable for the school to question whether someone who is willing to say such harmful words publicly is able to treat his gay students or students from gay families with dignity and respect. He insists he treats all students with respect (while bringing God into it, why?), yet he never specifically addresses gay students and whether his open disgust would affect his mentoring of such students.

    If I were a gay parent or a parent of a gay student, I would need much more clarity from Mr. Buell before I let him anywhere near my kids. Even if he is within his free speech rights, how one conducts oneself on public forums–civilly vs. uncivilly–is an indication of character. A teacher making such hostile public remarks speaks to his lack of ethics. If the school wasn’t questioning his behavior they wouldn’t be doing their job.

  7. gggggb says

    What I don’t understand is why the ACLU thinks it’s fine to fire a teacher because he’s been in a few sex videos, saying that he would have a “much stronger case” if his job didn’t involve supervising children, while it’s fine to have a job with discriminatory opinions like that, all while supervising children? I don’t get it. I mean, some of those children will be gay, right? Why should they have to subjected to something like that, whereas I think it’s downright bizarre that you can be fired for being in a sex video or pornography film. I mean, it’s what everyone’s doing anyway — they’re just not on camera. Maybe I’m confused

  8. Mykelb says

    @Jack: Perhaps you weren’t paying attention. One of his STUDENTS read his webpage. He had to have friended the student in order for that student to see his posts. That is the problem. Teachers today are too close to their students, after school hours. If teachers expect to teach after hours, online, then they had better expect to behave in such a manner as well.

  9. nikko says

    Free speech has consequences. I don’t agree that he be fired, but exposed. Nonetheless, how many gay people have lost their jobs/homes for no other reason but for their sexual orientation?

  10. Brian in Texas says

    Free speech means the government can’t jail or kill you for speaking out or peacefully assembling. It doesn’t absolve you from consequences or from judgement by others on your speech.

  11. says

    this is not about free speech. it’s about an unrepentantly prejudiced bigot teaching a SOCIAL STUDIES CLASS.

    learn to discern, folks. the intellectually feeble minds “worried about this” are freaking pathetic.

    an unrepentant anti-black racist or anti-Semite would have been removed from his position in a matter of HOURS.

    why dont’ you wimps wise up, wake up, and stop worrying about condemning anti-gay bigotry? for real.

    this is not a case of “oh, what if someone gets fired for saying something pro-gay???” and stop being so weak as to think that would survive in a court of law.

    this is about a teacher making harmful statements against some of his students. yeah. that’s right.

    an unrepentant bigot teaching children. learn to discern, people.

  12. acorlando says

    I think Ernie might be on to something. This story has gotten a lot of local attention. The town, Mt. Dora, is known for its eclectic, progressive artist community. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the parents refused to allow their kids into his classes.

  13. says

    With that rationale, why do sports figures get suspended of fined for expressing their views? If a sports figure said black people make me sick, would everyone say, well OK, you have a right to your opinion. Can I have your autograph for my child? He thinks your great!

    No, they would not. They would say, I want to keep this man and his opinions away from my child. This man is not just some blow hard off the street. He has a position that requires tolerance, not personal rejection of individuals.

    His words are evidence of his inability to be fair and rational to all his students. He should not be teaching.

  14. Derrick from Philly says

    “an unrepentant anti-black racist or anti-Semite would have been removed from his position in a matter of HOURS”

    That may depend on what school district they teach in, Little Kiwi. I’ve had (and heard of) teachers that used code words or code phrases to speak their bigoted views, but they were never fired.

    For instance, a highschool teacher who defends the Confederacy and the institution of slavery might be fired if he taught in Atlanta, but maybe not if he taught in a more rural part of Pennsylvania…ooops, I mean, Georgia.

  15. luminum says

    Instead of defending a man with a masters degree who was fired unjustly and prejudicially from his job of teaching kids math because he had a previous and perfectly legal, unrelated profession of being in adult entertainment, the ACLU is instead spending their time defending this homophobic jerk.

    Time well spent, I guess. There are no “sympathetic lawyers” to be found at the ACLU for qualified people who only want to move on from a previous career to one teaching kids, but there are enough sympathetic lawyers for a homophobic, hate-spewing one? They’re less concerned with a hate-monger teaching kids than a guy with a first rate education who USED to be an adult film star?

  16. says

    LUMINUM – it’s awful and it’s typical.

    this country’s puritanical obsession with sex, and the fear of being “sexualized gay men” is pathetic.

    we’ve all seen it. the only gays who are ‘accepted’ are the ones who work their buns off to be as desexualized as possible. it’s shameful.

    and defending this unrepentant bigot? the wrong battle for the wrong reasons.

  17. J. Page says

    Buell speaking to his students: “…You won’t find a place that you will feel more respected…” Really?! If that is respecting everyone that is in your class, I am glad I never was. Everyone in this country has a right to free speech, but everyone is not free from consequences.

  18. JeffRob says

    Nope. Free speech is free speech, whether public or private, on Facebook or the street corner, by a social studies teacher or a truck driver. Unless he was inciting violence or causing panic, his speech is protected, period. Saying it makes you want to throw up is NOT a violent sentiment.

    He’s exposed as he should be, and every parent can and should remove their kids from his class, maybe forcing the district to lay him off or something. But fired or disciplined for the comment? That’s wholly un-American, and the same would be true if he said it about a race, religion, color or anything, so long as he is not explicitly inciting violence.

  19. says

    it’s not unAmerican to fire him for this comment. it’s utterly American.

    it may be unamerican to throw him in JAIL for this comment, but not to fire him from his job of teaching SOCIAL STUDIES to MINORS.

  20. anon says

    There’s again, a lot of confusion over these issues here.

    Normally, because this is a suspension and not a legal matter, it would fall under administrative law first, and he would have union representation. Normally, he would be suspended with pay with his record cleared after two years. Why the ACLU has gotten involved so early is not clear.

    Teachers must abide by a standard code of conduct, but it’s Conduct with a capital C. Not speech. Having sex is Conduct. Talking about sex is not. Teaching is conduct in some respects, but not all, and we aren’t talking about teaching.

    Sports figures lose out because they sign what amount to promoter liability clauses in their contracts, which means they are spokespersons for their teams. The fines they pay are not govt. fines in any case (and they get reimbursed more often than not by teams and unions).

    I’m thinking the ACLU is going after the school social media policy in general, which makes perfect sense, so they intend to be the plaintiffs.

    Most teachers unions have contracts that stipulate that teachers are not required to actually teach, but rather, shall be liable for “outcomes” far below the norm. This means that if the teacher sat there and said nothing this would be fine with the union and satisfied his contract as long as his students didn’t test badly. However, this is not necessarily the case everywhere. Some states have strict lesson plan following requirements.

  21. Scott says

    While we obviously disagree with him and his opinions, he does have the right to free speech, as doer all. And strictly speaking, he was not expressing a view that was contrary to school ethics code, or especially Florida law. Florida has defined marriage strictly between one man and one woman- without even consideration for domestic partnerships, much less civil unions or full marriage. Additionally, he wasn’t expressing a dislike per se of gay individuals, ( yes, I know, saying “gay marriage makes you puke” is in reality stating you dislike them) but he didn’t explicitly say that, or propose violence or discriminatory actions.

    He should and does have a right to free speech. That said, it’s cases like this which make independents -who don’t give a flip either way – nervous about gay rights and marriage equality. When someone expresses violence or proposes discrimination, then we can go all out on them

  22. JeffRob says

    Kiwi: we’re in agreement on the absolute equality of glbt people, and the equal nature of homophobia to racism and every other wholly irrational form of discrimination.
    But to qualify his Constitutionally-protected right as an American to express his views based on his job, however unfortunate, is a very dangerous proposition.
    Firings just for being gay are justified for the same reason: “they’re too dangerous to be around our kids!!”
    Free speech is free speech, and undue punishment is wrong, period.

  23. says

    I’m from Canada. My Canuck ass knows this is not an issue of “free speech”. AT ALL>

    how come you Americans don’t understand this?

    he was not thrown in jail. it’s not about free speech. its’ about the specificities of what he said in relation to his job.

    sorry, you’re wrong and my canadian ass is right. about YOUR country.

    go fig.

  24. Jack says

    Kiwi:

    Clearly your “canadian ass” is not right. It’s you who doesn’t understand this. It absolutely is about free speech. Throwing someone in jail isn’t the only method of punishing someone for speech. There is a long-standing “public employee speech doctrine” in this country, which deals with when the government (and yes, a school is a government “agency”) can fire an employee for speech, particularly political speech.

    I realize that as a Canadian, you might not be completely familiar with this, and as such to go around saying “I’m right and you’re wrong about your own country” is not only foolish (because you are in fact wrong), but makes you look like an ass.

    The problem with saying that his comments render him unfit to teach children is that this rationale leaves that determination to the morality of the prevailing majority. So, if a community is very anti-gay, then they could well say that a teacher’s support of gay marriage makes him unfit to teach children. Or to give you a different scenario, what about the teacher who has an atheist blog on which he bashes religion continuously. Would you support his firing because it insinuates that he is not able to treat religious members of his classroom equally or with respect?

  25. Derrick from Philly says

    A very difficult issue for me until LITTLE KIWI said something that made me understand my frustation: ” He is unrepentent” It means he doesn’t accept that as a PUBLIC employee he made a mistake by letting his politcal/social views become public.

    I guess, my public statements about Republicans would make me unacceptable to teach in a public school in the Republican suburbs (unless I kept my mouth shut on the subject…HA, that’s impossible!)

    He does have an obligation NOT to make kids in his classroom feel humiliated. Do his views on FACEBOOK bring his ability to do that in question? He’s a public school teacher–not private. Yes, you are entitled to freedom of speech, but members of the community are entitled to challenge what you said.

    I can remember teachers who would humiliate me and other Gay kids in front of the whole class. Of course, that was a different time. What bigoted teachers could get away with in 30 years ago was quite different.

    The suspension is proper (whether it’s legal, we’ll find out). If he says something like this inside the classroom using that kind of cruel language–he should be fired.

    It’s still very difficult issue for me: freedom to voice your personal views publically vs censoring yourself to maintain a civil and fair workplace/classroom place environment

  26. Arthur says

    He has the right to speak his view without punishment. But I have to say he is wrong to think that all of his gay students will feel safe and respected in his classroom now. If I were one of his students I would know that he is disgusted by my orientation and would have to qualify my relationship with him through that perspective. If he is so concerned with his students having trust in him he should try to imagine what they might feel as a result of his public comments.

  27. jayjay says

    so glad I live in Canada where we can differentiate hate speech which prohibits others enjoyment of life etc vs free speech which is a basic component for democratic society :)

  28. says

    @Jack: If a teacher made public statements that called Christian families (or black families, or Muslim families, or single-parent families) vomit-worthy scum, I think the school would have legitimate questions about whether such public statements create a hostile environment in the classroom for some students and whether that person is capable of treating students from those families in a respectful and dignified manner. Creating a hostile environment is different than using free speech rights to make a civil and reasoned argument, even an unpopular one.

    And, like I said before, whatever the legal situation for Mr. Buell, I think any gay parent or parent with a gay child would have the same concerns about Mr. Buell as a parent from a religious family would have if an atheist teacher said religious freedom was a vomit-worthy cesspool.

  29. Cody From Texas says

    @Derrick From Philly I have to agree with you 110%. This jack ass has the right to his free speech, but he doesn’t have the right to humiliate or alienate students who may be in his classroom or who may come from LGBTQ homes.

    The teacher (as a public official/civil servant) was wrong in allowing his privately held beliefs to become public. Now that this matter has become national news can this teacher adequately teach in a fair and impartial manner? Will his LGBTQ students still feel that they are learning in a safe, non-hostile, or bigoted environment?

    Yes, he has the right to speak his privately held religious beliefs. There are consequences to everything. If the court finds that his speech wasn’t in keeping with the “higher standard” that is set for educators then he will and must lose his job. Maybe he can go into the Fundamentalist Clergy where he can spew his anti-gay speech 24/7.

    However, his vitriolic speech posed against a specific group of people cannot be tolerated, because he is a representative of the local government.

    Teachers should not be fraternizing with their students on Facebook…for both the protection of the student and the teacher.

  30. says

    i’m so sick of this “oh, i was just expressing a view” b.s.

    it’s not about expressing a view, or a “differing view”, but a specifically bigoted one that will indeed contribute to not only a tense classroom environment, but the very culture of anti-gay bigotry that drives the young people of this country to suicide

    he’s unrepentant. he deserves to lose his job.

  31. Jack says

    @Ernie:
    I don’t know what story you read, but I didn’t see that he called gay people “vomit-worthy scum,” rather he said that about gay marriage. Which is, whether we like it or not a heavily political issue. There is a difference.

    @Cody:
    As I mentioned, unfortunately gay marriage is a political issue. You cannot ban a teacher from publicly participating in the political sphere just because you don’t like his opinions.

    @Kiwi:
    You still fail to grasp the problem. You find the speech problematic because you think the content is repugnant and antithetical to your moral standpoint. The problem is, that can easily be turned around on you when the majority doesn’t like what you’re saying.

  32. dancobbb says

    I am so saddened by so many of the comments that have been posted. THIS IS NOT A FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS CASE! And the ACLU is obviously NOT the organization I thought it was.
    Look, a person’s first amendment rights to free speech are abridged when they are PREVENTED FROM SAYING SOMETHING BY THE GOVERNMENT. Mr. Buell said plenty. He was never prevented or stopped from saying what he wanted to say. PERIOD. That’s the end of the discussion.
    The only reason why this issue can be presented as a First Amendment issue is because the society at large is generally unconcerned with statements that denigrate gay people. What if the President of the School Board were black, and on his own time, he posted derogatory things about what a “ape” the School Board President is.
    And a million other derogatory things. Shouldn’t the school district be able to fire Mr. Buell in that case because he is undermining the mission of the school –to teach children in an atmosphere of respect, decency and fairness. Imagine how the students would respond to such a personal war being waged between the School Board President and some rogue social studies teacher!!

  33. dancobbb says

    Wouldn’t these comments create a very chilly atmosphere for a gay student?? Let’s face it, if “teach” is saying that gays make him throw up, then what is “school bully” going to do to the gay kid in class??
    Nobody is saying that he doesn’t have a right to say what he wants to say –he does!
    But the first Amendment says nothing about the right to hold your job as a teacher when you create a very negative, ugly atmosphere for gay kids!

  34. dancobbb says

    At the bottom of this is that this man is a moronic believer in the impossible. His “passionate” speach is really the speach of a religious zealot. These people tend to have very little understanding of themselves and have very distorted self-images. I love to ask such a person:
    If, at the age of 2, you were stolen from your Christian parents in Florida and asported to Algeria and raised there by a devout Moslem family, what are the odds that today you would be a 100% Koran believing Muslim? I’d say the liklihood is about 100% because he is: 1) a zealous personality, and 2) a person with such little self-awareness that he has never seriously considered the provenance of his own religious belief.

  35. Cody From Texas says

    You have a right to say what you want, and before you speak you have to be willing to except the consequences for that speech.

    A teach is (and should be) held to a higher standard.

    I am not arguing his right to free speech…

    but Jack don’t the children have a right to a learning environment that isn’t hostile towards themselves and/or their families or friends?

    How would it go over if this same ass hat started saying that all people who live together who aren’t married are VILE PERVERTS AND ARE PART OF A MORAL CESSPOOL?…how would that go over with students who’s parents may not be married…or who are part of a single parent family and mom or dad’s significant other moved in…

    Hmmm…

  36. says

    Sorry, Jack, but I don’t see how his hostile statements about marriage equality can be construed as NOT also statements about gay families. For gay families, equality is no more a political issue than religious belief is for religious families. If I were a teacher and made public Facebook statements that stated that religious freedom was part of a cesspool that made me want to puke, I would fully expect that the school and religious parents would take notice and question my ability to treat their children fairly.

    If you would expect to be able to make such statements with impunity, then we simply have a different interpretation of the role of social media in public life and the degree of civility one can expect of teachers, even outside the classroom. I’m not so sure, however, that all of Mr. Buell’s defenders would be equally tolerant if he’d spoken with such disgust about, say, the family rights of the devout. Would he want his children taught by someone hostile to religious freedom? I doubt it.

  37. Jack says

    @DANCOBB:

    You can scream “it isn’t a First Amendment case” until you’re blue in the face, but you’d still be wrong.

    Being punished by the government for speaking directly and emphatically implicates the First Amendment. The Constitution is not the document you thought it was…

  38. AG says

    It’s good that on this site you rarely hear how tolerant “liberals” are. Cause on this thread it’s clear they are not tolerant at all. Once, (gay) “liberals” obtain a degree of power, they will try to silence anyone with an opposing point of view. And Canadian “liberals” surely beat American ones in their intolerance.

  39. says

    hey, AG, my canadian liberal ass isn’t the one working to deny your freedoms and equality.

    your conservative parents are. newsflash – you’re a disappointment to them, you always were, and you always will be no matter how much you try to tell them that you hate black people as much as you do.

    this is not a case of “oh, i don’t like what he said because it offends my morals” – this is a case of a man using specific words against a specifically targeted group that will INDEED make the LGBT students of this school targeted, and will only encourage anti-gay straight students to arrogantly defend their baseless prejudices.

    this is not about “things i dont agree with” and everything to do with the reality that those specific comments indicate a high level of anti-gay bigotry: this will make for a tense environment for the school’s LGBT students. this is not an opinion. this is a fact.

    AG, stop complaining about Liberals and realize that your conservative parents don’t love you or respect you, they merely tolerate you on the grounds that you cut off your balls to appease them.

    you could hang yourself tonight and they’d say “great! now we can tell everyone he wasn’t really gay, it was just a phase”

    never forget, they don’t love you. at all.

  40. says

    hey, AG, my canadian liberal ass isn’t the one working to deny your freedoms and equality.

    your conservative parents are. newsflash – you’re a disappointment to them, you always were, and you always will be no matter how much you try to tell them that you hate black people as much as you do.

    this is not a case of “oh, i don’t like what he said because it offends my morals” – this is a case of a man using specific words against a specifically targeted group that will INDEED make the LGBT students of this school targeted, and will only encourage anti-gay straight students to arrogantly defend their baseless prejudices.

    this is not about “things i dont agree with” and everything to do with the reality that those specific comments indicate a high level of anti-gay bigotry: this will make for a tense environment for the school’s LGBT students. this is not an opinion. this is a fact.

    AG, stop complaining about Liberals and realize that your conservative parents don’t love you or respect you, they merely tolerate you on the grounds that you cut off your balls to appease them.

    you could hang yourself tonight and they’d say “great! now we can tell everyone he wasn’t really gay, it was just a phase”

    never forget, they don’t love you. at all.

  41. Ishaq says

    Buell’s repulsive commentary made me nauseous. Did this man actually mention love? Gross. Honestly, knowing the facts, would you want this wad to continue teaching your kids? The mere thought is unsettling.

  42. Rin says

    The code of ethics that you subscribe to (and I taught school) is about your in school conduct. I could be a stripper at night if I wanted to –not that I do….unless it would bother @Rick. Ahem.

    Wouldn’t you rather people have the free speech so you know what you’re dealing with???

    Dr King said once that he knew where he stood in Alabama, and felt safer there than the North. I say this and no one seems to ever get it, but…

    If you force people to hide what they think it will just come out anyway passive aggressively. It is better to know where people stand and address it up front than for them to do slithery things back door.

    If my child were gay I would rather know how this teacher felt so I could confront him straight up and tell him if he ever discriminated against my kid I’d kick his old tired ass.

  43. Brian says

    Doesn’t his inclusion of the word “sin” make this about religion? And Facebook is as public as it gets. He may have made the statements in the privacy of his own home, but he made them on a very public forum, where I am sure many of his students could see them. I would not want this man teaching my children in any capacity. If the school reinstates him, I hope every parent of every one of his students requests their children be reassigned to a teacher who is smart enough to keep his or her bigotry and intolerance to his/herself.

  44. Randy says

    No question he has a right to free speech. The fact is, no one is claiming that he can’t say whatever he likes on Facebook or anywhere else.

    What the school IS saying, however, is that if you DO say something like this, you will be fired.

    There is a difference. In other words, nothing is stopping him from saying whatever he likes provided he understands that he might get fired.

    Plus, the school has a policy limiting the teachers’ rights to say what they like on social media. Don’t like the policy? Find another job.

    Buell wants his cake and eat it too — he wants to say what he likes, offends whom he likes, violate any policy the school has in place, and have no consequences. Sorry, but the world doesn’t work that way, and the 1st amendment doesn’t work that way.

    Free speech only means that the federal or state government will not prevent you from saying something in the first place, or will jail you if you do. Here, Buell is threatened with neither. instead, he is threatened only with termination.

    In the US, you do NOT have a right to a job. Your job can be taken away from you if you violate the employer’s policies.

  45. Jack says

    @Randy:

    That’s not completely true when your employer is the government.

    Do yourself a favor and read up on the public employee speech doctrine.

    Holmes’ statement in McAuliffe that “A policeman may have a constitutional right to [speak his mind], but he has no constitutional right to be a policeman” has long been repudiated by the Supreme Court.

    It’s one thing to disagree on what the outcome should be under the law. It’s quite another to keep insisting that it isn’t a First Amendment case when it emphatically is.

  46. Hollywood, CA says

    LMFAO! “The kids know that I love them, and respect them…” yeah, except the disgusting gay kids or chldren of gay parents, right?! Disgusting hypocrisy! Parents, get him the hell out of that school! You have the real power.

  47. AlamoSpartan says

    Does this guy teach in a public school? He says on the first day of class he tells his students he has love/respect/whatever for them as children/creations of God. Uh, what part of separation of church and state doesn’t Mr. History Teacher understand?
    He said repeatedly that he spoke out of “passion.” Gay people want to express their passion, too…by marrying. (Cut me some slack here; I know marriage isn’t just about passion — it’s building a life together, being legitimized, etc.)

  48. WatchCarefully says

    It’s interesting that if you do not agree with some people in this instance, you are a bigot or worse and should lose your job. So what many people who have weighed in are saying is that if you favor homosexuality or gay marriage, or if you are gay, you are entitled to teach; if you do not, you are a bigot and should not be able to teach. Last I looked, there was still a huge body of controversy about homosexuality and it would seem that people should be allowed to have honest differences of opinion. Especially regarding gay marriage.

    It is much easier to call someone with whom you disagree, a bigot, then to respect their point of view and agree to disagree.

    On Mr. Buell’s comments–his instinctive comments at watching gay men kiss is similar to those of people who tell others to “get a room.” The point is, does he have the right to express an opinion? What if he was at lunch with a group of friends and said the same thing? People are arguing about the public nature of FB. It’s a shame that whether or not it’s perceived as public, that the content of his speech is subject to viewpoint discrimination. That he can and did engage in discourse didn’t seem to be the point. His interaction on FB didn’t seem to be the issue. It was what he SAID. That means he was in danger of being discriminated against because of his viewpoint. That’s the entire issue.

    If some people feel like teachers should all be pro-gay, then there are many who believe otherwise, for sure. That’s why the point is how the students are treated. Parents know teachers have opinions that are not theirs. They know teachers have lifestyles they do not wish their children to be exposed to–and yet they trust that the teachers, in the end, will have their best interests at heart and be able to teach them.

    My children were taught by lesbians, liberals and devout Christians in public schools. They are fine adults because I taught them to respect people, to readily assert their own opinions and to let me know when their teachers tried to cut off their FIRST AMENDMENT rights. Children learn what they live, remember? So if they are gay, Christian, liberal, conservative–they need teachers who are the same–and who don’t insist only on their own kind as teachers.

  49. Derrick says

    That’s the most obserd mess I’ve ever heard. Suspending a teacher for his personal opion outside of school is ridiculous. what’s next? Them checking your cell phone? Text messages? What about them checking to see if your rent has been paid on time?! This is STUPID, the school should be giving the teacher compensation for his undeserved suspension.

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