Discrimination | Education | News | Texas

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

DakotaAry

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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Comments

  1. I can not even understand how gullible some people were to jump into the “free speech” wagon without knowing the two sides of the story, even more coming from a stern homophobe.
    Bullies bully even after causing death to people. So how you pretend a bully to shut his fxcking mouth up while in class and talking about other themes? He will feel entitled to disguise his bigotry under free speech and religious thought, while affirming his “right” to harass and persecute others. Yeah, poor, poor censured devil, lol. Poster boy? Will see him in the news when he does misstep. Because we all know where hatred leads.

    Posted by: Lexxvs | Sep 28, 2011 3:53:57 PM


  2. young and ugly is such a tragic combination

    Posted by: Nick | Sep 28, 2011 3:54:59 PM


  3. "One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests." -Thomas Paine

    Posted by: ernie | Sep 28, 2011 3:54:59 PM


  4. I said this when this story first ran and I'll say it again. The face that the parents brought in attorneys immediately, rather than having a meeting with the teacher and principal, speaks volumes as to the fact that there is some m.o. here and the opinions expressed by this boy are those of his vile parents.

    Posted by: Oliver | Sep 28, 2011 4:04:29 PM


  5. ^the fact that the parents...

    (towleroad needs an edit comment feature)

    Posted by: Oliver | Sep 28, 2011 4:05:25 PM


  6. Awww. Our Future

    Posted by: cheekiey | Sep 28, 2011 4:19:23 PM


  7. The snot nosed kid gets support from a reich wing legal team of the ill-named "Liberty Council".

    Where's the legal support from the gay community . . . I'm talking to you HRC . . . all I've heard so far from them is crickets.

    Maybe, the HRC elite gays could skip one of their fabulous a-list cocktail parties, and throw some money and legal support towards this teacher . . . .

    Posted by: Continuum | Sep 28, 2011 4:32:38 PM


  8. am I the only one that noticed in the teacher's statement it appears that this boy and his buddies were harrassing the teacher?? It reads to me that what they said on several occassions was directed at this teachers sexuality. Frankly this is a big balled teacher to not have kicked them out of class earlier. Shows no respect for him, the classroom, or authority. And this brat knew that he had this educator in a sticky place so he kept the comments flowing.

    Posted by: stevenelliot | Sep 28, 2011 4:47:54 PM


  9. gay is the new black/african american, jew for intolerant bigoted/racist ultra conservative right wing/bordering on neo-nazi to attack and blame for ALL social/economic/political problems in our country..as Hitler too sadly new...to motivate people the easiest and quickest way to incite hatred/anger and support for your vitriolic verbose inane comments and policies/views is to find a scapegoat that a large number of your public have the same prejudices..the world hasnt changed much since the 1940s sadly

    Posted by: Brian | Sep 28, 2011 4:56:01 PM


  10. All you had to do was speak out of turn to get thrown out of class when I was in High School.

    Posted by: Kenzbeard | Sep 28, 2011 4:58:03 PM


  11. Many of the other commentators have got it right. This has nothing to do with freedom of speech and there is a very thick, visible from a mile away line between it and harassment. When some try to disguise the latter as the former, what do they hope to accomplish? To teach this kid and others that you can harass anyone you want, bully them, psychologically torture them if they call it freedom of speech?
    Maybe it will take an extreme example like one kid taking a shot gun and blowing out another kids head, then getting off completely free before some of the apologist s on here see that thick line.

    Posted by: Mk_Ultra_Again | Sep 28, 2011 5:01:08 PM


  12. Dakota Ary is just a test run. Watch for these creeps to pull out this phony "Free Speech" fraud again and again and again. Maggie "Gallagher" has a whole new organziation to promote it.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 28, 2011 5:22:23 PM


  13. It's nice that at least the right wingers hate gays and muslims... makes me hopeful that when they round us up there will be too many to handle. I have an aunt that is into the whole second amendment-buy lots of guns libertarian but not quite live in a compound and start a militia. I might have to be hitting her up for a gun or two, because when the crackdown comes, I'm going down swinging.

    Posted by: MaddM@ | Sep 28, 2011 5:48:56 PM


  14. There is more hate in the comments here there there was in this kids statement. He is entitled to his opinion. From the statement in the story there appears that there was no hate intended, or stated outright in his comment. As a gay man, I believe the school was wrong to suspend him. That is MY opinion.

    Posted by: uplate38 | Sep 28, 2011 5:58:05 PM


  15. A verbal attack on a teacher is not an "opinion" troll.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 28, 2011 6:40:12 PM


  16. Wanna bet Ary will be turning tricks at truckstops in ten years? Or in jail for a hate crime and getting banged every night.

    Posted by: Abel | Sep 28, 2011 6:51:02 PM


  17. a good example of the hitler youth of today right down to the blonde hair. this kid was taught hate somewhere probably picked it up at home.

    Posted by: walter | Sep 28, 2011 6:56:35 PM


  18. yes this is what I was waiting for I read it on THE ADVOCATE website and the Dallas voice not anonymously in the comment section of a blog and I never said anything about anyone's free speech although I believe he had every right to say whatever he likes within reason as free speech allows I do not however believe that should protect him from the consequences of those words the school was cowardly for buckling they way they did and I hope the teacher as gotten himself a lawyer because Texas doesn't have any protections for LGBT workers although Ft.Worth does but it wouldn’t surprise me if they decide to try and get rid of him

    Posted by: eds | Sep 28, 2011 7:34:03 PM


  19. I'm as liberal as they come but those that further the oppression of others should themselves be the subject of oppression. END OF STORY.

    If you replaced what this kid said with a racial minority or women, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    “Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand.”

    Posted by: Bryan B. | Sep 28, 2011 8:00:09 PM


  20. When this first was blogged about, my comment went something along the lines of this: free speech should of course be allowed and if all there was to this story is what this kid is saying, but I doubt that's all that really happened here. Not to sound like a no-it-all, but it's looking like I was right.

    Why did I suspect this? Religious intolerance against Christians in this country simply does not exist, no matter how many times Bill O goes on his Fox News show to suggest otherwise. In the few cases of examples these right wingers give, if you dig deep, you figure out that the evidence is faulty or that things were taken out of context. That's what the right wing does in its attempts to make it look like it's constantly being persecuted, which is utterly absurd, because they're the ones usually doing any of the persecuting, against most minorities in this country.

    When it comes to any story in which someone seeks national attention to talk about some wrong done to them, have a healthy dose of skepticism. But when it comes to any cases of persecution against Christians in this country -- when the right wing controls so much of it -- have a massive dose of skepticism.

    Our laws and politicians of all political stripes are exceedingly careful not to piss off pretty much any Christian faith. It's almost impossible for their to be real and legitimate persecution of Christians in this country. Muslims? You betcha. Evangelical Christians? Hell no.

    Posted by: Ryan | Sep 28, 2011 8:15:24 PM


  21. First Amendment mix with god on your side.. sounds like just others, he using the god card to his defense stating that he's a good little christian and by the beliefs means he can say anything with conviction just because he thinks god is on his side so he hides behind this and try to get away looking white as snow as the teacher is looking like mud. i think that ignorant people young or old and homophobic views shouldn't hide behind the great almighty to prove his or her view. i think that's getting old now by trying to win the situation to an argument or opinion. change is coming.

    Posted by: albertam | Sep 28, 2011 8:18:41 PM


  22. @Abel: why do you think it will take 10 years? he'll have his drivers' license in only 2 or 3.

    Posted by: Danny | Sep 28, 2011 8:35:08 PM


  23. I agree with the observation posted here earlier that the child's affect is shut down. Such an affective presentation typifies persons who are victims of abuse--physical, psychological, sexual. In addition, an outspoken hostility to homosexuality is often an indicator of sexual abuse by a same-sex family member or other person trusted by the family. A family that presents as conservative "christians" is another indicator that fits the profile.

    Posted by: Danny | Sep 28, 2011 9:06:17 PM


  24. Step One: Have no faith in Christians - evidence is required.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Sep 28, 2011 9:07:16 PM


  25. Dude look like a lady.

    Posted by: kodiak | Sep 29, 2011 12:21:00 AM


  26. « | 1 2 3 »

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