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New Details Call 'Homosexuality Is Wrong' Student's Story Into Question


Texas teen Dakota Ary became a conservative super star when it was revealed last week that he had been suspended from school for telling his class, "I'm a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong."

With the help of right wing defense team at Liberty Counsel, 14-year old Ary was able to get his three-day suspension reduce to one single day, and cleared his permanent record of the incident. He also helped ignite a national conversation about whether the student should have been reprimanded or if he was simply exercising his Freedom of Speech.

Even though he was spouting intolerance, many people, right and left alike, agreed Ary had been wronged. As new details emerge, however, it's starting to look as if Ary's remarks were less about the First Amendment and more about challenging his teacher.

Marvin Vann, head of a local anti-bullying group called LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S., recently spoke with Ary's teacher, Kristopher Franks, to get his side of the story, a side that calls Ary's telling into question. According to Franks, Ary and his pals have a history of homophobic remarks and actions. Vann's take, via the Dallas Voice:

These students subsequently took every opportunity to denounce homosexuality in class, frequently without context; that is, with the topic having otherwise been broached.

On the particular day in which this incident occurred, Mr. Franks was opening class when the topic of Christianity in Germany was broached by one student, who asked what churches were there, another whether they read the Bible in English, etc. Franks asserts that the topic of homosexuality was not broached in any way, and that Ary‘s assertions to the contrary are entirely false. At this point, Ary declared, with a class audience, “Gays can’t be Christians; homosexuality is wrong,” looking directly at Mr. Franks.

Franks says he understands and affirms students’ right to free speech, and that he is perfectly prepared to lead a respectful discussion on topics such as gay rights that allows for the assertion of opinions with which he disagrees. He has led such discussion in the past in his sociology classes. But in this case, hr feels the context makes it clear that this remark was made ad hominem, aimed specifically at him to devalue him and any information he might share on the topic of religion, on the basis of his perceived sexual orientation.

If Franks' telling is true, Ary's comments cross from free speech to verbal intimidation, which is a whole new ball game.
The Dallas Voice will have more details on this story in their Friday edition.

Until then, the rest of us are left to wonder what actually went on in that classroom...

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  1. in a couple of years young Mr. Ary will be back in the news charged with a hate crime.

    Posted by: Dan Mc | Sep 28, 2011 1:35:28 PM

  2. It was incredibly obvious from the beginning with how the right-wingers set up this situation and storyline, that this Ary kid was being made into a martyr and that was their goal here. Their ONLY goal here is to make the LGBT community look bad. So he/they more or less fabricated a story to make Ary look like the saint, the good Christian kid, whose being victimized.

    This boy is sick, his parents are sick, and so are all those who propagated this false story for political/social benefit. Luckily the truth is now being exposed, so this story will be extinguished shortly.

    Posted by: Francis | Sep 28, 2011 1:35:53 PM

  3. Why did it take so long for the truth to get out in front of the lies? I'm not accusing anyone, I'm seriously asking. Because that's a huge problem.

    When anything happens where hate is present we must always assume their side is lying because that is the one and only thing their side does and our media must act accordingly and quickly.

    And I never supported this little sociopath's "free speech" rights. He's in a classroom and he needs to behave himself, no matter how much he hates anyone. If he wants to spout his insanity, he's got all of his non-classroom time to do it.

    Posted by: justme | Sep 28, 2011 1:41:37 PM

  4. This is what i was waiting for

    Posted by: eds | Sep 28, 2011 1:44:40 PM

  5. This story was conveniently located at the corner of homophobia and
    free speech, so the conservatives jumped all over it. Whether it's true or not is immaterial to their cause. Their followers believe the story and add it to their fictitious belief in the "homosexual agenda."

    This story now has a life of its own. Who cares if it's true? They don't.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Sep 28, 2011 1:46:00 PM

  6. sad for the kid....he looks like his just emotionally dead.....how do parents get away with doing this to their kids and not be charged with abuse?

    Posted by: Chris | Sep 28, 2011 1:50:55 PM

  7. Little Ary is just what Hitler had in mind.

    Posted by: Ninong | Sep 28, 2011 1:55:52 PM

  8. want the truth? ask the gay & gay friendly students.

    Posted by: truthiness | Sep 28, 2011 1:58:08 PM

  9. The problem is that since this is an ongoing investigation, the teacher and school are unable to comment on and present their side. Nothing stopped this kid and Liberty Counsel from running to the press right away with their side of the story. Placed in context, it sounds as if this kid and his friends are in fact disciplinary problems and deserved the punishment.

    Posted by: Brian | Sep 28, 2011 1:59:55 PM

  10. can they stand up and say being jewish is wrong in class, can they stand up and say blacks cant be christian, can they stand up and say being a woman is a sin? hate speech is not free speech, this is an open and closed case. people need to wake up and realize free speech is not the same as carte blanche to be a public bigot.

    Posted by: mld | Sep 28, 2011 1:59:56 PM

  11. "Christianity in Germany...another whether they read the Bible in English,"

    Bless Mr. Franks. He has his work cut out for him.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Sep 28, 2011 2:07:07 PM

  12. It sounds to me a bit like the teacher simply lost control of his classroom. It should have been nipped in the bud the first time it came up. Free speech and first amendment yes, but hijacking discussions to air your irrelevant personal religious views is inappropriate and unacceptable in a taxpayer-funded public school setting. It seems like he let it happen again and again, and when he finally did something about it it was too late; because he'd gotten away with it before, the student felt entitled to flap his lips about anything and everything under the guise of the First Amendment.

    Posted by: Andy | Sep 28, 2011 2:14:20 PM

  13. Even the kids now are bullying people and crying victim immediately. And these are the christians of our times.

    Posted by: Reggie | Sep 28, 2011 2:19:43 PM

  14. The minute someone prefaces a statement with "as a christian" or "being a christian" you know the rest of the statement will be a boldfaced lie.

    Posted by: Jersey | Sep 28, 2011 2:30:23 PM

  15. So where are all the self loathing gays who were quick to jump on these guys side? You know like you've done with Weiner etc


    Posted by: Rowan | Sep 28, 2011 2:33:40 PM

  16. one day.. this kid will run for office, and win.. and then subsequently be caught tapping his foot in a mall washroom stall.. with a male escort in his hotel room.. or with child porn on his laptop.. or all three

    Posted by: NorthoftheBorder | Sep 28, 2011 2:43:33 PM

  17. @Andy: Are you a teacher? I have been, and I can tell you that it's often very difficult to observe the line between freedom of speech and disruptive/intimidating speech. Speakers don't say, "I'm about to say something because I want to intimidate and disrupt..." Also, you might recall, "flapping their lips" is what a lot of people, not only teenagers, do. Are you gonna turn everyone out of the classroom who says something challenging and thoughtful?

    Now, don't get me wrong; I'm not defending Ary (maybe his parents thought adding "-an" to their family name was a bit too obvious) -- to my eyes, he looks every bit the sulky, suppressed teen who projects his anger on the world around him while sir-ing and ma'am-ing his way around the adults he despises. We should recall that under all of that, there's a child.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Sep 28, 2011 2:48:54 PM

  18. I figured the kid might be a troublemaker with a history. I don't think this case should be tried in the press anymore. There aren't enough facts available to make a decision. The various insinuations made by the student could have been dealt with better by having a parent teacher conference, since it may indicate underlying behavioral problems or a personality conflict.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 28, 2011 2:49:49 PM

  19. Christianists and conservatives sure do like playing the victim as they work overtime to take away others' rights.

    Posted by: tranquilo | Sep 28, 2011 2:53:49 PM

  20. You know a family's bigoted priorities are messed up when they focus on defending their son's "Right" to say something rather than sitting him down to say if it was the right thing to say.

    a culture of people who defend their right to speak without thinking about what they're going to say is worth saying, or if it could come at the expense of someone else's well-being or security.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Sep 28, 2011 2:58:13 PM

  21. Shouldn't the first sentence in the quoted story read:

    "These students subsequently took every opportunity to denounce homosexuality in class, frequently without context; that is, withOUT the topic having otherwise been broached."?

    As to the broader topic of this story, further proof that xtianity is a cancer. If only these people knew the slightest thing about the man, whether he is real or not, that they claim to follow and exalt.

    I'm guessing the kid has been raped repeatedly by his father, pastor, older brothers, german shepherd since he was 3, but again, that's just my guess. It would certainly explain the hatred in his heart for people whose only crime seems to be that we exist.

    Whatever the kid's mental damage is, he deserves no more than what he is willing to give out.

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Sep 28, 2011 2:58:57 PM

  22. Wow...it's incredibly clear to me that people are still of the "herd" mentality we had as a species from the cave man days...anything seen as not conforming to the majority is thought to need irradicating with prejudice. And religious zealots who goose step to the radical right use God and his name/book to justify thier prejudice/hatred and ideals of how to "deal" with the "nonconformist" infidels...african americans/jews and many other minorities should be well aware of this type of reaction and opinions of right wing bigots....most with less than college level educations...look at the crusades...it matters not whom does the evil of bigotry...wrong is wrong...in this case its more about intolerance than it is in regards to homosexuality itself...i dont like you cause you are different...and i have a book that says your differance from me is wrong...so you shouldn't have the same rights as me...and so on, ad nauseum...it comes from adults not the kids...his parents are probably very close to the Family Research Council, or Westboro or some other ultra conservative, sanctimonous bunch of self-rightious hate mongers who try to turn the tables by calling gay people bigots...what a load of crap!

    Posted by: Brian | Sep 28, 2011 3:12:13 PM

  23. 'do they read the Bible in English'?

    Either a really dumb question? or the beginning of an independent min ?

    ie... I was told the Bible is the Word of God, but in Germany the Words arent the same......

    Dumb because the Latin Bible was translated into German before it was translated into English...

    Posted by: Michael | Sep 28, 2011 3:21:26 PM

  24. Sounds to me like Ary's at war--with himself.

    Posted by: Danny | Sep 28, 2011 3:29:32 PM

  25. This is what you were waiting for "EDS"? Wasn't it screamingly obvious that this was the truth all along?

    It amazes me how anytime a phobe attacks we get sanctimonious posts about "Freedom of Speech" in here.

    How about Freedom From Harm?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 28, 2011 3:34:45 PM

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