Jerry Buell: ‘I Try to Teach and Lead My Students as if Lake Co. Schools Had Hired Jesus Christ Himself’

Jerry Buell, the anti-gay teacher whose remarks about same-sex marriage on Facebook got him temporarily suspended from teaching and made him a hero to the religious right and groups like NOM, and the Liberty Counsel (which is representing him), is now under scrutiny for remarks he wrote in his class syllabus and on his school website.

2_buell WFTV reports:

In one section Buell wrote, “I am a man of God and I try to be like Jesus every day. I teach God’s truth, I make very few compromises. If you believe you may have a problem with that, get your schedule changed, ’cause I ain’t changing!”

Then there’s a comment from Buell’s website stating, “I try to teach and lead my students as if Lake Co. Schools had hired Jesus Christ himself.”

Buell doesn’t understand what the problem is, because he’s been anti-gay been using the same syllabus for years.

“The school district is saying that might run a foul to what they call the separation of church and state,” said Buell’s attorney Harry Mihet. “We are going to have to evaluate the schools position and engage them in some dialogue.”

The school district believes he violated the constitutional provision of separation of church and state.

This is a new controversy, separate from the Facebook one.

On Facebook, Buell had written that he “almost threw up” in response to a news story about same-sex marriage in New York. Buell also called the marriages part of a “cesspool” and said they were a sin.

Buell returned to his classroom this week.

Comments

  1. Gay American says

    ‘I Try to Teach and Lead My Students as if Lake Co. Schools Had Hired Jesus Christ Himself’

    Can I Throw up now….Marytr says what? …and IF this Jesus character was Real anyways….he’d be a RAGING LIBERAL…and well, these people would be the 1st to RE-CRUCIFY him, then off to GITMO for Advanced Interogation Techniques…cause, well after-all he’d be middle-eastern…and well….they’re all terrorists,right?

  2. rovex says

    Hmm well im an Atheist who doesnt think Jesus was an actual single person, just a collective of myths put in to one person.

    However if he did exist im pretty sure he would want to bitchslap this idiot for saying that.

  3. J. Alan says

    Mr. Buell, then truly act like Jesus and don’t mention “gay” anything when you refer to being sick. Since Jesus never spoke about homosexuality, maybe you should just keep that big trap shut.

  4. Barrett says

    He said it himself: “Get your schedule changed.” If enough families and students take action and say they refuse to associate with a man with such bigoted views than the school system will have to take a harder stance, maybe even fire him.

  5. Michaelandfred says

    I’m confused Jerry. You mean wear a dress, hang out with a group of men throwing dinner parties and visit prostitutes? I’m not sure if that’s appropriate for the classroom. (Although it’s very Republican)

  6. Jack says

    I agree this guy and those like him should be ferreted out and expelled. In only one way is he a role model: he both believes something and is willing to fight for it. All of us can take a lesson from that.

  7. Derrick from Philly says

    Many of us argued about the issue of “Freedom of Speech” concerning this issue. Well, now it’s an issue of “Separation of Church and State” in a public instution: the public school system.

    His views may be fine for his particular school district, but what he is espousing in the classroom is AGAINST the law. He should be fired.

  8. Jack says

    @Derrick:

    I agree. It certainly was a Freedom of Speech issue before, but now he’s gone and violated the Establishment Clause.

    Can’t say I’m sad that they have a legitimate reason to can his ass…

  9. dancobbb says

    Jerry, you believe in Christianity because:
    1) you were brainwashed into a Christian religion as a child;
    2) you have an overly-zealous personality;and
    3) you are creduluous –you easily believe things that should not be easily believed because there is no evidence to support such a belief!
    In short, you are a religious zealot which is to say you are too stupid to understand the provenance of your own religious belief. Had you been stolen from your Christian family and Christian community at the age of 2 years, and had you then been whisked away to Algeria to be raised by a devoutly moslem family, you would likely be reciting Koranic verses and calling for jihad there in Algeria. Your religion is a fog that prevents you from seeing the world objectively. The fact that you’re a Christian zealot is just an accident of you’re having been born to Christians in a Christian community. You would be a crazed moslem, hindu or jew, were you to be raised in those traditions!

  10. says

    Wait a minute, I’m confused. It’s gay people who shouldn’t be allowed to teach our children right? Because heaven knows gays can’t be trusted around children, and we sure as hell don’t want them pushing their “agenda”.

    Yet parents don’t have any problem with this dillusional, religious zealot filling their children’s heads with…

    Sorry, still confused.

    P.S. And lets hope he doesn’t teach grammar. “Cause I ain’t changing.” Really?

  11. ohplease says

    Shane, Andy even made sure to point out that this is a new issue. The ACLU supported him in his free speech issue. His lawbreaking here has nothing to do with that.

    I still believe that a public school teacher spouting hate speech in public is the equivalent of someone shouting “Fire” in a crowded theatre — i.e. not protected speech — but I understand why others would disagree. This, however, isn’t ambiguous in the least.

    The only question is what kind of morons are in that school district that he could have gotten away with this for so long?

  12. says

    From the ACLU legal perspective the “man of God” stuff is a separate issue (though I disagree with the ACLU on the FB issue), but in terms of Jerry’s character it’s all of a piece. No surprise that a man who can’t deal maturely with his homophobic venom on a public forum (by keeping it to himself) would also not be able to deal with the separation of church and state in the classroom. He’s not only going to bring God into it, he wants to be Jesus.

    So, while he may have got off on the FB offense (though I agree with Oh Please about that) in a legal sense, it was clearly indicative of professional shortcomings, more of which are being revealed now. Ultimately, while he may regret none of the vile things he said on FB, they will continue to call attention to his professional ethics, the kind of attention that could–in a sane world–get his as$ fired.

  13. bobbyjoe says

    The place where this bozo runs into serious trouble is that he put “If you believe you may have a problem with that, get your schedule changed” on his syllabus.

    He couldn’t make it clearer in that statement that he’s aggressively putting himself ahead of his students and interfering even with their ability to take the kinds of classes they want or need to take. It’s not the students’ responsibility to work around a teacher’s personal agenda. It’s the teachers to teach all his/her students as objectively as possible.

    I’ve worked in various educational environments, and I can’t imagine any of them where putting a “deal with my personal issues or change your schedule” style statement wouldn’t get you suspended or fired, no matter side of an issue somebody was professing (politics, religion– or atheism–, social activism, etc.). The problem for this dope is that he didn’t confine it to Facebook; he directly took a combative tone to his actual course material.

    I doubt even the ACLU will want to defend this guy on this part of the issue.

  14. Jonathan Lund says

    Sorry for the novel but…here I go!

    In regards to the unique damage that this kind of anti-gay behavior is, what it encourages and how it damages yet another generation of gay youth…

    I believe that homophobia might be even more dangerous than sexism and racism for two reasons…one, usually members of an attacked racial group look out for each other; gay men, in particular, stop at nothing to distance themselves from other gay people and keep walking past the attack while another gay person is getting hurt. Also, racism is about one group feeling superior towards another; as if the ‘lower’ group is a social burden to taxpayers.

    Because gay women and men are often portrayed as affluent, post-doctorate educated, enjoying the best of materials and conveniences, vacationing at the best places and wearing only the most expensive clothes…we are ENVIED – this hate and closet envy is not about religion or what we do sexually, these people aren’t smart enough to form an argument based on scripture or sexual health – let’s just say it – straight people are pissed that they have to work a lot harder to support a family they often resent, that doesn’t appreciate them; they’re stuck in a sexless marriage that’s going nowhere, and they’re trapped in that life forever, while mountains of debt and uncertain job status piles up. They think gays are forever 17 – we don’t have to worry about kids or relationships, so we get to go wherever we want, whenever we want, with whoever we want. And it eats their guts out. That’s what this is about. We are being scapegoated just like Jewish people were.

    As gay people, we are parly at fault for promoting a false illusion: we are all rich, overeducated and insisting on the most expensive, when the REAL truth is many of us dropped out of high school and never went back, we couldn’t afford the big, progressive city so we never met anyone, we can’t find a job, and the rest of the gay ‘community’ only cares about you if you’re a success story or can do something for them. So not only do we not have a safe space in straight society, but gay society doesn’t care what happens to each other. It’s not ‘getting better’ – don’t kid yourselves. Get out of NYC or San Fran and see what it’s like for everyone else.

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