Comments

  1. Arturo Beeche says

    Whether we agree or disagree with someone’s mistaken perceptions, and even ignorance, overreacting is not the route to take.

    As an educator I have always used these incidents to start dialogue among the students…providing a safe haven where ideas and point of views can be exchanged in a safe, secure and non-judgmental manner.

    An opportunity was lost, I’m afraid…while also giving the forces of intolerance yet more ammunition to continue their heartless and hateful campaign against us.

  2. Sarah says

    Well, with a name like Dakota he himself is destined to become one of those awful, sinful homosexuals. With that gay-face he’s sporting and that vacant, I’m hiding something look, I’d say he’s well on his way! The Toni home perm doesn’t help either!

  3. Yeek says

    Freedom of speech means freedom of offensive speech, or it means nothing at all. That’s the price we have to pay for living in a free society. We can be objectionable to others, and others can be objectionable to us. The law sometimes must allow what honor forbids.

  4. Goober Peas says

    Without more evidence I can’t form an opinion on this story. You quote the accused, Fox News and the Liberty Counsel, none of which are reliable witnesses in this instance. The fact that the suspension was “reduced to 1 day” suggests that there is more to this story than Fox chooses to selectively report. Right Wingers are notorious for slanted reporting that highlights their personal biases and I’m surprised TowleRoad would present this story as is without seeking out the voices of the teacher or the school or the other students.

    No one should be suspended for voicing a personal opinion in school but how do we know that’s what happened here?

  5. Hue-Man says

    Unfettered freedom of speech in class for everybody! Yeah. “I hate Math so let’s talk about what me and my girl did last night in my bedroom while my parents were out. I think all teachers are really stupid. What do they know about anything. Look, they’re up there talking about all this gay Math stuff. Let’s go beat up some gays and foreigners after school. Oh, you don’t want me to talk out of turn or when you’re lecturing? Well, I have freedom of speech so SHUT UP.” I don’t see how anything could go wrong…

  6. says

    Except, he wasn’t suspended. He was given 2 days detention, which the Liberty Counsel lawyer got reduced to one day. All the other news reports say Ary was given detention. Big deal. Only FOX says he was suspended, and they couch it in, “Ary says he was suspended.” Not the school. And in the video they call it “in-school suspension.’ Which is actually detention.
    Whether or not the punishment fit the crime, everyone’s the loser here, most of all Dakota Ary, who has now learned that you can do anything and get a lawyer to make it better, that you can lie, and that in the country, celebrity is much better than being honorable, honest, or right.

  7. alexInBoston says

    mmmm Let’s see, learning German, hates Homos, blonde tussles, he is either off to some supremacist Kamp in Idaho or to Bel Ami studios in Prague once he is 18!!

  8. candideinnc says

    Bigots are always entitled to their bigotry. White kids should be permitted to say blacks are lazy. And Blacks should be able to say Hispanics smell. And gay kids should be permitted to say fundamentalists are stupid and superstitious. And let’s let the hate roll!

    Where do adults stop it? An intervention would have likely been better than a suspension, but right wingers don’t want to stop it. They love the hate they engender.

  9. Bravo says

    Sounds like they were having an open and educational experience when the xtian kid had to bring on the judgement.

    Also, since xtians like to play the victim, perhaps we should just start feeding them to lions again, to remind them when it feels like to actually be one… maybe then they’ll shut up.

  10. AJSuffolk says

    Interesting that this happened in Texas, and that the Liberty Counsel was so “Conveniently” present along with Fox News! I just do not see a Texas HS Principal effecting this without some underlying support or direction… as someone posted earlier “I wouldn’t rule out a Right Wing attempt at a First Amendment Battle of Christianist views vs protected anti gay speech….” Thoughts anyone?

  11. gomez says

    could be more to this story but it’s probably an overzealous liberal teacher squashing free speech. it happens.

    and

    @sarah. you’re not helping with your juvenile caca-throwing. goes for the rest of the ‘mos who trot out the tired “you’re a latent homo” bit. (suspicions about marcus bachmann excluded)

  12. Oliver says

    The kids gets detention and the parents bring in an attorney? What ever happened with the parents meeting with the teacher, a guidance counselor and the Principal? And Fox News is conveniently all over this? Something stinks!

  13. Yeek says

    Of course there is a standard of classroom behavior. If a student is delivering unsolicited opinions on subjects unrelated to the class in question, or going out of his way to rebuke students who want no interaction with him, then of course he should be reprimanded.

    From the information that has been presented (which may or may not be accurate), it was a class discussion on homosexuality, and someone asked his opinion on the subject. If these were in fact the conditions of the event, then punishment for answering is not appropriate.

    The inevitable hyperbolic comparisons to making random antigay comments during math class are willfully tangential at best. The aggressively polarizing fundamentalist mindset is not just a blight that strikes christians.

  14. says

    You’re wrong, Penn. The FAUX NEWS “reort” is pure propganda. Clearly soemthing more went on in that classroom than a casual remark. Clearly Dakota caused a genuine upset in class. But far be it from FAUX to tell the whole story.

  15. Sam says

    He probably got in trouble for talking in class to the kid behind him and they are using this as some crutch to get him out of trouble. You certainly have the right to free speech in a public school, but there is plenty of case law that allows schools to restrict it (Bong Hitz 4 Jesus!). Though I do think, if he wasn’t disruptive about it, he has the right to say it.

  16. Mike says

    There is no freedom of speech in a classroom. The teacher is there to provide a safe learning environment for all students, free from harassment. Imagine if a student were to say “I think marriages between people of different races are wrong” and Johnny – an interracial student – was sitting somewhere in the class. I’d expect the same result as happened in this case. If I were a Gay or Lesbian student i that class, it would add to the bullying I’m probably already experencing.

    We have to decide, as a Community, whether we really want to end bullying or not. If we do, it applies to all situations. We don’t need anymore young Gay or Lesbian students committing suicide over what happens in our public school system.

  17. Chris Vogel says

    How is this different from insisting that slavery is a good thing? That blacks, and all races other than white, are essentially animals? There is lots more Biblical support for that than for hating homosexuals. Oh, I forgot, it’s because he is a “Christian” and they consider they can do and say whatever they want and not be criticised for it. Better than the old days though; modern secular governments do not permit them their traditional response to difference: torture and mass murder.

  18. Mike says

    @CANDIDEINNC – Excellent point. Was thinking the same thing. If this kid was talking about how his religion believes that Black people should be slaves and that their skin color is because of the curse and mark of Cain – is that acceptable? Don’t laugh, some people actually believe that. Is it hear frequently? These wingnut group won’t defend that “religious speech” because it is universally socially unacceptable to say such a thing. But it is open season for hate speech against gay people. If the school would have suspended him for saying hateful ridiculous things against black people, they should suspend him for saying ridiculous hateful things against gays. We need to start calling these people out on their behavior and stop allowing them to use the cloak of religious freedom. Freedom of religion isn’t carte blanche to hurt other people anymore than it would allow one to rob a bank. This is ridiculous!

  19. Sam says

    Also, it’s a local Fox affiliate. It isn’t FAUX NEWS. The local Fox affiliate here where I live is full of nothing but gays.

    There is a difference.

    It isn’t like they made up the story. Clearly this fat mother brought in an attorney.

  20. justinw says

    Replace ‘homosexuality’ with ‘being black’ or ‘being Jewish’ or … and see how it plays. Suppressing the opinion was overreaction and I think the kid’s lawyers are going to walk all over the school. However, his opinion was open to *challenge*.

  21. Spike says

    I would question the story. I find it hard to believe that he just turned and said something so innocent as that to get suspended. Never the less, of course it should be a teachable moment and not a punishment.

  22. romeo says

    If the situation was as stated in the article, then the suspension was wrong. The teacher should not have made a production and should have moved on reminding everyone that the discussion was about the German language and not social issues. As it was handled, the right wing just got more fodder with which to attack us.

  23. Den says

    The fact that the teacher felt sufficiently agrieved to report him to the head suggests to me that something more was said than just a general statement about his Christian beliefs, it would be beneficial if the teacher and school simply issued a statement reiterating exactly what was said and in what context, for example was it said mockingly and targeted to another classmate by the student. Even if they don’t want to actually discuss the case some clarification is required.

  24. romeo says

    As for studying German in Texas – half of Texas is of German extraction. Check out some of the street names for the main drags in Texas cities. A lot of the original cowboys were Germans, which should tell you something.

  25. SearchCz says

    Yeah, I think the REAL problem here isn’t WHAT the kid said, but WHERE and WHEN he said it. I think most kids learn by grade 3 that (most) teachers don’t welcome spontaneous outbursts of any sort in the middle of a lesson.

    Had he spontaneously said “I like cake” or any other innocuous thing he would likely still warrant detention for disrupting the class, no?

  26. PSGuy92262 in PS says

    David quote above – which I agre, “Of course he doesn’t deserve to be suspended. Suspension is ridiculous and does nothing to address his skewed worldview. This was a teaching opportunity missed.”

  27. Robert in NYC says

    Wrong decision, just what the right wing religious scumbags want to hear. There are worse things than saying being gay is wrong. I think there’s a lot about heterosexuality that is wrong and I’ll say it, please or offend.

  28. Check the facts first says

    The idiot reporter at this Fox affiliate tells us the kid was suspended for a single comment then ends the story by telling us that officials are still trying to determine exactly what happened. All she knows is what the kid told her. Other news reports suggest that the kid’s comments were more extensive and disruptive. But don’t expect to see that on Fox.

  29. S D says

    What struck me most about this post is when Penn writes “I’d be more sympathetic if conservatives showed any interest…”

    Well, if we’re not able to show sympathy for the suppression of free speech, how can we expect any sympathy when we voice our own opinions?

    These things aren’t supposed to be conditional. Ary’s first amendment rights were quashed by the teacher and the school – it’s a clear violation. We should be standing up for him even if we disagree with his statement. Ensuring Ary can say what he wants ensures that a girl in Alabama can wear a t-shirt that says “Gay? Fine By Me.”

  30. Bart says

    If it were as simple as the story states it is obvious the teacher and school overreacted. That being said, I don’t believe what’s been stated is the truth. The pieces of the story don’t add up and why would the mother be worried about future reprecussions if the school is so clearly in the wrong. The school would be the entity worried about future reprecussions.

    If I were a betting man, the word “homosexual” was never uttered. It was more derogatory. And this kid says in one breathe it wasn’t aimed at anybody and the next he says he said to his friend behind him, who then got upset. Hmmmm…

    Simply put I think the kid is lying and his mother needs to protect his record so he gets into the college they want him to.

  31. John B. says

    This is going to be painted as some kind of “homofascism” but I’m willing to bet that both the teacher who punished him and the principal who suspended him for his comment–both of whom I think acted very foolishly–are heterosexual. (Moreover, I predict the ACLU will come to his defense, but will continue to be portrayed by the right as leftist and anti-Christian.)

  32. parkavman says

    Suspension is stupid. This should have been used to start a discussion. Maybe it would have changed his mind, maybe not. His first amendment rights were violated.

  33. Jexer says

    We’re not hearing the other side of this story… I’m certain his ‘innocent opinion’ was phrased far more disruptively, offensively, threateningly, and he probably deserves to be punished for it.

  34. AdamK says

    I’d like to hear from the teacher & principal before forming an opinion. This story could not possibly be more one-sided. This might be the end result of the kid being constantly disruptive in class, for all we know, and have nothing at all to do with the content of his speech.

  35. Francis says

    What this comes down to is, he disturbed class and is rightfully punished for it. As for his beliefs, what’s sad is that he’s only 14. He never had a chance. 14, living in Texas, bigoted parents. That’s what the real problem is. People like this kid and potentially others in the class have been mentally destroyed by the households and cultures they live in.

    I agree, this was the perfect time to talk sense into the kid. Now he feels like/has become a marytr, and the conservatives are going to make sure of that.

  36. Caliban says

    Suspending him was the wrong thing to do. It’s just a fact of life that self-proclaimed Christians have (are taught) homophobic ideas and suspending him only creates a martyr and gives support to the idea that THEY’RE the real victims here. Maybe it was a “teachable moment” but what it comes down to is he has the right to believe whatever he wants, however wrong he may be.

  37. Danny says

    if the story is true as reported here (BIG “if”) then the school’s action against the kid is really, really messed up. And I don’t like all the projections about the kid in this discussion thread either. Yeh; maybe doth protest too much. But every one of us has to be cut some slack at that age–and most of us for many more years after that. So lay off him. How would YOU like to be held responsible as an adult for everything you said and thought in high school? Criminy.

  38. Francis says

    Also, I 100% agree that the full story is almost assuredly not being printed by these right-wing shrills. Yes, he’s entitled to his opinion, but openly proclaming homophobia in class isn’t a noble cause to defend, and certainly, the rules within a class when talking about free speech are much different than in every day society. Ultimately it seems like the conserva-bigots creating a story to suit their agenda.

  39. greg warnick says

    The kid should be able to express his view since he was not inciting or doing anything other than stating his own understanding about homosexuality, albeit an idiotically based and stupid and arrogant Biblical perspective.

  40. ratbastard says

    mmmm Let’s see, learning German, hates Homos, blonde tussles, he is either off to some supremacist Kamp in Idaho or to Bel Ami studios in Prague once he is 18!!

    Posted by: alexInBoston | Sep 24, 2011 12:20:11 PM

    ====================

    Alex,

    Are you one of those people who hate, are distrustful of anyone who isn’t ‘ethnic’ looking? Why do you have a chip on your shoulder regrading blond [gasp!] hair? If his hair was black, brown, more ‘ethnic’ looking, would that be OK? Well, at least his eyes don’t appear to be blue … that would probably really send you over the edge.

    As far as the German angle: Germany is it a great place for homosexuals. Germany is a very tolerant, advanced, country. Other northern European countries where there are many pale skin, light haired, light eye color people are also very tolerant [probably the most tolerant in the world] countries.

    Alex, if you made similar comments about people who were ‘darker’ [for lack of a better word], more ‘ethnic’ looking, you’d have tons of posts screaming at you you, calling you racist, etc.

  41. ratbastard says

    Why do so many gays see a guy who is ‘cute’ looking, handsome, and feel the need to immediately crack gay jokes? Oh, he must be gay….oh, look at his face…oh, they’d love him in prison, etc.

    This kid is, literally, a kid…14 years old. Bear that in mind.

    Did the teacher and school officials over-react? Sounds like it. Even 2 days detention is un-called for, as was the teacher having a hissy fit. This is all assuming it had to do solely with him saying something to a fellow student the teacher didn’t like.

  42. says

    the fact that his parents immediately hired a lawyer and started rambling at the First Amendment rather than talk to their son about the potential hurt his words would have cause his classmates, a few of whom are undoubtedly gay, speaks volumes.

    your kid gets in trouble for saying something perceived as anti-gay. for the first time in decades the non-gay community is finally talking about gay-bullying and LGBT youth suicides, and the parents of this kid don’t sit him down to talk about how maybe he shouldn’t have said what he said.

    no. they hired a lawyer instead.

    seriously. think about it for a moment.

  43. ratbastard says

    @Little Kiwi,

    He is entitled to express his opinion. He apparently said he though homosexuality was wrong, based on his religious beliefs. If this was the real reason why the teacher had a hissy fit, then the teacher was way out of line.And the school does indeed have a possible lawsuit on their hands.

    We still have extensive freedom of speech [and thought] in the U.S., unlike many comparable nations.

  44. ratbastard says

    @David Ehrenstein,

    Are you saying 14 year olds should be treated like adults? Aren’t you ‘progressive’? Don’t people like you always whine when a kid who commits a terrible crime gets a harsh sentence?

    I’m saying he’s 14….a kid. He’s an honor roll student. He has no history that we know of bad behavior, hurting others, etc. You know perfectly well what I mean David, you’re just being a smart-a**.

    What I do see here [as the story is presented] a teacher and school authorities who acted like the very bullies they allegedly are trying to counter-act.

  45. John says

    We really don’t know if the boy in question deserved the detention that he got or not. It seems as if he was talking in the classroom (even if it was by whispering) and when you are in the classroom it is your obligation as a student to pay attention and keep your mouth shut so it seems as if may have deserved a detention (depends upon the amount of times he has done this before I’d guess).

    That said, to the extent that he was punished for expressing his beliefs about the topic it is unconstitutional. He has a right to believe what he believes and to express his opinion in a respectful manner when the classroom is opened up for the purposes of a debate.

    Teachers should not yell at students for taking any position on homosexuality (for or against) when the floor is opened for a debate, nor should they single out students (as the teacher did here by going after this student but not the one who asked for the German translation for “lesbian”) for engaging in inappropriate behavior (talking while the teacher is talking). Doing so only stifles the debate which they can all (pro and con) benefit from.

  46. says

    I don’t understand the US. You guys always seem to be so busy defending your “right” to do something that it appears you never take the time to ask yourselves if it’s even THE RIGHT thing to do, or worth doing, or if your “right” to do it will come at the expense of someone else being hurt or made to feel unsafe.

    it’s galling.

    like i said, his parents hired a lawyer. they didn’t sit their son down to say “you know, there’s a lot about anti-gay bulling and teen suicides in the news these days, why did you say this? i know you have the right do, but what GOOD did you think would come from doing this?”

    it’s like you people with gun rights. you care more about your “right” to own and carry a loaded gun than about working to create a culture in which fewer people will feel a *need* to ACT ON that right.

  47. says

    “Are you saying 14 year olds should be treated like adults?”

    When “lying in wait” is established the crime automatically converts to adult status.

    ” Aren’t you ‘progressive’? Don’t people like you always whine when a kid who commits a terrible crime gets a harsh sentence?”

    No. What caricature do you have me confused with, KAPO?

    “I’m saying he’s 14….a kid. He’s an honor roll student. He has no history that we know of bad behavior, hurting others, etc. You know perfectly well what I mean David, you’re just being a smart-a**.”

    Yes. I know perfectly well what you mean.

  48. says

    Funny..what I’m seeing is a story about parents who care more about their son’s “right” to say bigoted things that will indeed make his LGBT classmates uncomfortable, rather than saying to him “just because you have the right to speak your mind doesn’t mean that you needed to say what you said. gay teens are committing suicide at an alarming rate. maybe you shouldn’t contribute to that problem”

    but, no. no no no. we have people saying “he has a right to say this

    yeah. and that’s why the US is decades behind other countries in terms of LGBT Equality. Y’all are so busy defending your right to do this that you’ve never stopped to ask if your right to do it comes at someone else’s expense.

  49. J. Leo says

    No, he does not need a suspension. What he needs is a lesson concerning the difference between opinion and fact. He may have been taught by his homophobic parents that it is a sin but “wrong” is a relative and highly subjective term and has no bearing on anyone’s innate sexuality or sexual orientation.

  50. anon says

    It’s possible that he’s been repeatedly disruptive in class and this was the last straw.

    Germans settled large parts of Texas and that where the majority of German WWII POWs were kept. For some reason, many chose to stay in TX after the war ended. Go figure. There are sections of Texas where it’s not unusual to hear German spoken natively and it’s frequently taught in school.

    The first amendment exists largely to prevent our political system from outwitting itself. Think of Prohibition as the cause celeb of bad laws done for supposedly the right reasons. Censorship laws are equally bad. They are a trap.

  51. The Iron Orchard says

    Ifthis is completley accurate of the situation the teacher totally blew it! This was a 14 year old child sitting in a classroom where a discussion on religion and culture were taking place. The teacher showed a real misunderstanding of the opportunity that was before him/her, to have a real open discussion about cultural differeces, the historical context of Germany and intolerence towards religion, as well as the most important point to actually teach these kids to be TOLERANT and respectful of other peoples cultures, beliefs, etc. This teacher, IMO, knows nothing about teaching. You have a kid who has some real issues with tolerence for people who believe differently then he does, and you shout him done and suspend him? What did he/she just teach that kid? To continue his intolerence.

  52. kyle Michel Sullivan says

    I don’t believe in shutting anybody up. Better to know what people are thinking so we have the information needed to counter their skewed ideas than to make them hide like cockroaches and only come out in the dark.

  53. eds says

    Some of you people are insane this CHILD as smart as all accounts say he may be is still a CHILD who has been very active in his church all his life and very probably believes (because it’s what he has been taught) what he said. He didn’t say it to be mean he didn’t say it out of the blue he didn’t even say it to the whole class. He said it privately to a classmate during a class discussion about homosexuality initiated by the teacher. the teacher over heard it and instead of trying to teach him why saying something like that in a classroom setting is hurtful he blew up on the kid threw him out of class and got him suspended for 4 days 2 in house 2 full, reduced to one day I’m going by earlier stories this one skipped over a lot it was a total over reaction by everyone at the school and a lost opportunity to teach an entire room full of students how to deal with that kind of a situation without it turning into us versus them

  54. ratbastard says

    Some people on here keep on harping about the Germans, Nazis, intolerance, etc. Should everyone feel the same way towards the Spanish and Portuguese, considering what they did with their empires in so-called Latin America? The negative effects are felt in ‘Latin’ America right down to this very day. Or the Chinese and the way they treat their neighbors in Nepal and elsewhere? The Japanese? How about the Aztecs who were in constant, brutal conflict [including engaging in genocide and slavery] or their fellow ‘Indian’ tribes?

    What about the people responsible for Marxism and communism, without a shadow of a doubt responsible for the deaths of probably in excess of 100 million people in wars, persecutions, famines, forced labor camps, etc.? What about those behind the Eugenics movement [Planned Parenthood is the modern day incarnation; they had to change the name after WW2 because of the Holocaust]?

    Like I’ve said before, hardcore ‘progressives’ HATE white males, especially northern European, ‘blond’, etc. males. They are to ‘progressives’ what the Jews were to the Nazis. And there are various ‘ethnic’ organizations in the U.S. [La Raza for example] that likewise, hate ‘whites’ and align themselves with radical ‘progressives’ [99% because ‘progressives’ support illegal immigration and unchecked social welfare programs].

    It is what it is.

  55. ratbastard says

    @David Ehrenstein,

    YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND; the kid was and is entitled to his opinion. By the account given, he didn’t say it in a disrespectful [what’s the agreed upon definition of disrespectful?] manner. He attends a H.S. in modern day, early 21st century America, not a ‘re-education’ camp in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, Mao’s China, or some Latin America Communist dictatorship banana republic..

  56. eds says

    I read more than just this one very short piece looked up some local news from his area did a little looking in to it before I made a kneejerk decision about what may have happened

  57. says

    is there a “respectful” way to be an anti-gay bigot? i don’t think so.

    just because anita bryant smiled while she said it didn’t mean she wasn’t a bigot.

    once again, you’re all too concerned about his “right” to say something rather than the fact that nobody in his life appears to have sat him down to inform him that words can hurt, words can harm, and just because you have “a right” to say or do something doesn’t meant that it doesn’t come at the expense of someone else’s well-being or sense of safety.

  58. Chris says

    Ary has every right to express his opinion that homosexuality is wrong, and that it is against the teachings of his Church.

    So, NO, he should NOT have been suspended.

    Ary’s opinion should have NO bearing on others, however. If he made explicit threats against a gay student, then he should be disciplined. If he said something like “all fags will burn in hell”, then the teacher should have made that a focal point for discussion in order to illustrate that there are better ways to express your feelings.

    Simply expressing an opinion that you feel homosexuality is wrong is akin to expressing an opinion that underage drinking or drug use is wrong. You may hold that opinion, but it does not mean others (even most) don’t feel differently.

    As long as we respect each other’s right to an opinion, I see no problem.

  59. ratbastard says

    @Little Kiwi,

    Yes, it’s his and everyone’s right to dislike, discriminate [look up the definition of discriminate please], even hate ideas, things, places, even people. YOU do not have a right to force him to respect or like you or other homosexuals. In fact, you really can’t force people to like or respect others. Doesn’t work. You can pass laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, etc. based on sexual orientation, that’s cool….but forcing people to think a certain way is not cool, and like I said doesn’t work anyways. Looks good on paper, makes some people look like they’re doing something about the ‘hate’, etc.

  60. eds says

    Look around there are other articles besides this one that go into greater detail they even have quotes from the boy himself school officials mom the lawyer lots of other stuff out there all you have to do is look for it a little bit

  61. Gigi says

    What if he’d been taught by his parents that Jewish people are evil because they killed Jesus? Would it be okay for him to express that opinion? Or what if he was Mormon and had been taught that black people were cursed by God. Still okay? Unless we know for certain what went on in this classroom we can only speculate. Depending on what occurred the teacher may/may not have over-reacted.

  62. says

    Though I think everyone is this country is entitled to an opinion on such an emotional issue, I feel it is important that we listen with a non-reactionary ear to what is being said. We would all be much better off if we debated without anger on such issues. With that being said, anything said in such a debate that can cause harm, hurt or even promote bullying should be sanctioned. However, I am not sure that the crime fits the punishment in this case. Perhaps a redirection of the comment, and debate about it would have been the best course of action.

  63. says

    Links to the same one-side report over and over.

    The “Dallas Voice” notes “It’s unfortunate that neither the district nor the teacher can comment, which means we’re only getting one side of the story. Krause’s comments, while intended to defend Dakota’s behavior, would seem to indicate that there’s more to this than he’s letting on.”

    Precisely.

  64. Mort says

    It’s disheartening to read so much bickering over something so lacking in hard information. Suspension? Detention? Is there a single indisputable fact here?

    It’s like being shown a blank piece of paper and arguing about how badly some polar bears behave in snowstorms.

  65. eds says

    your only allowed to have the same opinion and an opinion and calling someone a faggot are two different things just t o be clear this child expressed an opinion or belief based of his religion he didn’t bash anyone

  66. Rin says

    OMG.

    I’ve read:

    “There is no free speech in a classroom”

    –umm, what about when kids wanted to wear pro-gay tshirts?–

    “He should be suspended” (for saying he felt it was a sin)

    –what if he felt premarital sex was a sin, too? would it feel less targeted?–

    As a former Latin teacher of kids 14-18 I will say that every fall this happens. Those kids in a German language class weren’t studying history, or German culture. They were studying the Nom, Acc, Dat, and Gen cases of “apoteker” or “apfel”.

    They asked about it, asked about how to say “lesbian” because ten minutes after they left the classroom they were going to call some poor girl a lesbian “auf Deutsch”.

    I got the same thing in Latin class. “Were all the ancient Romans gay? How do you say “gay” in Latin”

    I was not fooled because I know how immature 14 year olds are, and said: Cut the crap, who do you want to call “gay”?

    They all looked, giggled, then told me who they wanted to call gay.

    I used that moment to explain that Roman sexuality was about penetrating and being penetrated (oooohhhh, they were uncomfortable with that little lesson). Then I explained how “Jimmys” girlfriend ran his life (cupit via amat) and that he would have been considered “womanly” or…the equivalent of gay.

    When everyone laughed at that we had a nice discussion, actually about history, cultural references, the Bible, Hebrew interpretations, Koine interpreted, etc.

    The result was we asked the principle if we could have a debate, he agreed after haggling over terms and the end result was that no one was kicked out of school or suspended, everyone got “wiser” and the kid who would have been called “gay” ended up being left alone.

    The German teacher could have handled the whole thing differently by allowing all expression and allowing a structured debate.

    Punishment has yet to make anyone wiser, just more bitter (or, as this will probably become the case for the Texas kid…more popular, too).

  67. eds says

    You know David I’m more than willing to argue and even admit if I’m wrong or off base but I just went back and the only contribution you’ve made to any comment is how do you know were you there or your wrong you have not once given a point to support your argument if there is one so I’m done with your non- argument have a nice day

  68. raw says

    I don’t believe for a second he calmly turned to his friend and said to me homosexuality is wrong. And the teacher overheard and started yelling. And as a result he was suspended. The article is trying to play us for a fools.

  69. says

    Don’t go away mad, Troll — just go away.

    Quite an interesting tale, Rin. It would be nice to know the whole story of what went down with Dakota Ary and that class. Perhaps the teacher might have been able to defuse the situaion and turn it into a genuine (wait for it) “learning experience” as you did. Perhaps not. But until we have all the fact we’ll have to wait.

    “EDS” doesn’t have to wat. He’s like Ronald Rean who so famously quipped “Facts are stupid things”

  70. MO says

    Question: If he had said lying was wrong, would he have been punished? If he had said that cheating was wrong or murder would he have been punished??? Just wondering!

  71. KEM says

    I admit that the reporting in this case might be biased; but I am surprised at how many of you are out of touch with what goes on in schools these days as far as discipline and punishment. My nephew was actually suspended for stopping a fight before it happened because one kid unintentionally hit him by mistake and my nephew told the kid to “knock it off”. The school has a 100% zero tolerance policy for anyone and everyone involved in a fight, apparently even those who try to stop it. Oh and for the record 20 other students and the kid who threw the punch corroborated his story.

    So yes something like this kid being given detention for voicing his opinion can surely happen. Just because it’s a school doesn’t make it a bastion of liberty, nor learning for that matter.

    You have to wonder why the teacher allows open discussions on homosexuality in the classroom; but punishes any student voicing descent. Sounds like the teacher has a hidden agenda.

    As far as what the student thinks, well that’s how many Christians think, nothing new there. I myself could care less if someone is a homosexual, and even less if they are a Christian.

    When I went to school we were encouraged to speak freely. The teachers loved it when we raised our hands to answer a question or voice an opinion. It’s a sad day if those days of freedom to be one’s self and hold one’s own ideals have been crushed under the jack boot of a thought police school system.

  72. Chitown kev says

    Simply expressing his opinion that homosexuality is wrong.

    I don’t have a problem with that.

    OTOH, if he said that homosexuals should be stoned to death, THAT I would have a problem with.

  73. KEM says

    David, I have to laugh. No, I didn’t have the slightest clue this is a gay website. Really, it was just a story that showed up on-line and I responded to it.

    Beyond stating “I do not care if someone is a homosexual” which I now see as coming across as cold on this website; I do not believe I stated anything offensive. Hopefully you feel the same.

  74. Abel says

    Somebody keep tabs on Dakota. My gaydar says he’s gonna be a real queen in a very few years. Confused 14 year old, learning to hide, learning to condemn what he fears in himself. Been there, seen that. Good luck, you little idiot.

  75. TruthSeeker_Too says

    If you blow up the video, you see on the form that the teacher had written Dakota’s statement to his friend was “No gays allowed in Christianity” which the teacher pointed out was wrong.
    Dakota and the reporters aren’t being straight about this.

  76. Polyboy says

    Without hearing from the teacher, school, or other classmates, I’m not inclined to take the Liberty Counsel’s version of anything at face value without a super tanker sized salt grain.

  77. Hayden says

    I’m gay and am pretty militant about gay rights though am also a former fundamentalist Christian. While I don’t at all like this boy’s statement, I don’t agree with him being punished for going with his religious convictions when it’s a simple statement. Though I also don’t know the whole story, but still, while I am anti-bullying, perhaps in contradiction, I am anti limiting voice of opinion when it’s not directed at a specific person or is harassing a group of people.

  78. Shawn says

    I am a man. I was a born again Christian. Now an Atheist. Was straight now Bi-sexual. I think i might have good perspective of both sides. Christians and the LGBT look for any excuse to say “look me I am right” “and your the bigot” “no you are”. Actually most likely you both are. Most Christian do not hate us I am sure that this young man does not either. Christians have a beliefs that they get from a bible they also believe that cheating, lying are wrong that stealing is wrong getting drunk is wrong over eating wrong. Do they hate the guy that gets drunk no they try to help him with programs to get them dry. Same as for the people in prison, most halfway houses ran by religious orgs. These are people are worried about our “souls” they honestly believe and want to help us or any one who does not believe not just LGBT. Let look at what in it for them. Do they believe they won’t go to heaven if the don’t share there belief . No most everybody even not so religious people believe they are going to heaven or a better place. they honestly do it out of love not wanting us to go to “hell” In fact good chance they will be laughed at labeled as dumb or bigots. Every religion thinks it has the answers Muslims ,Jew’s, Buddhist Hindu’s you name. In my humble oppion every religion is a lie. But us calling everyone that does not believe the way we do that they are bigots and calling them it just shows how much we hate them. They have beliefs from there religion. Yes everyone of us could point to some hypocrite christian look at that guy.But before you do take a good look at yourself do you always do what you say? you believe are you tolerant of others all the time who do not believe what you believe. You think your right. right? So do they lets stop the name calling . One more quick thought we always say look how advance they are in Europe. In a country like France that just tried a man for racial slurs against Jews when he was drunk( as un-tasteful as it was the things he said) but at the same time they are fining Muslim women for wearing Burke’s how tolerant do we did to become?

  79. Harry says

    I believe this is a first amendment rights issue. While I don’t agree with him, he has a right to express his opinion within reason. He should not have been put in detention.

  80. says

    “No gays allowed in Christianity” is a hell of a lot stronger than the relatively simple “Homosexuality is wrong”

    “Christians and the LGBT look for any excuse to say “look me I am right” “and your the bigot” “no you are”. Actually most likely you both are.”

    Actually not at all. There is no “zero sum game” to this. Christianity is organized religion. The LGBT community isn’t anywhere near so organized (though the Freed unit at MGM came close.

    “They have beliefs from there religion.”

    They’re welcome to them. Just so long as they stay out of our way. And that they’e loathe to do.

    ” Yes everyone of us could point to some hypocrite christian look at that guy.But before you do take a good look at yourself do you always do what you say?”

    Yes.

    ” you believe are you tolerant of others all the time who do not believe what you believe.”

    Haven’t killed anyone yet.

    ” You think your right. right? So do they lets stop the name calling .”

    Let’stop the false equivalency.

  81. bruce says

    Anything associated with Fox News should be treated with a grain of salt. Fox News, which is owned by the sleaze from Australia called Rupert Murdoch, is known to manufacture news. Rupert Murdoch’s media organization is currently being sued by victims of the phone hacking scandal.

    In a nutshell, Rupert Murdoch is not to be trusted.

  82. Paul says

    If he were to say being black, Jewish, etc was wrong would he be suspended? Yes. I think he should have been suspended and the people who made that choice were very brave to do so, because currently I think the mind set is that if someone doesn’t like homosexual we should respectfully listen to their non sense. I agree in freedom of speech and you can hate gay people black people or Jews, but you shouldn’t be able to in school.

  83. ratbastard says

    ‘No gays allowed in Christianity’ …. whatever…it’s an OPINION. The kid has a right to his OPINION,even if certain ‘radical’ Marxist, ‘progressives’ and everyday insecure control freaks on this site don’t like it.

    Again, commenting on this 14 YEAR OLD BOYS looks in a sarcastic manner doesn’t help your cause.

  84. Ambrose says

    LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S., a group formed a year ago to help protect K-12 students and educators in Tarrant County against anti-LGBTQ harassment, met yesterday with Mr. Franks to get his side of the story. His account, which we found entirely credible and which several students in his class have now substantiated, contradicts that of this student on many essential points. He says this boy is one of four in that class that have repeatedly harassed him this year for being gay (he is out, but has had no cause to reveal his orientation to students in this or other classes). The photo of two men kissing was from one of many news articles on different subjects relevant to the sociolgy class he teaches, though it had been ripped from the wall during this specific class. At other times, he found demeaning, anti-gay name calling specifically addressed to him and left in class for him to find. During the lesson on the day in question, the subject of Christianity in Germany had been broached but, insists Franks, the topic of homosexuality not at all at the time when the boy looked him square in the face and declared loudly, “Gays can’t be Christians; homosexuality is wrong.” This was the last in a series of such comments, most made without Mr. Franks having brought up the topic. Mr. Franks expressed devotion to the principles of free speech and a readiness to entertain comments by those with whom he disagrees. But, he asserts the context makes it clear that the comments were made ad hominem, aimed directly at him. We believe this is plausible. FWISD has just recently extended anti-bullying policies specifically to cover anti-LGBT harassment, much to the dismay of right-wing Christianist opponents. Anyone who thinks this is not directly related to the Liberty Institute’s involvement and their lawyer’s successful use of the media to whip up public outcry against Mr. Franks and apply pressure on the school district, is beyond naive.

  85. ratbastard says

    @Ambrose,

    What you say sounds perfectly plausible. If it’s entirely accurate, the kid is a punk. Part of being a teacher, especially at that age [I think jr. high is even worse than h.s.] is knowing how to deal with the inevitable smart-a**es.

    And is this Liberty group sleazy? Of course.

    The school bureaucracy, however, almost always make situations like this worse. And many school authorities across America have instituted bizarre policies that punish everyone for the attitudes and actions of a few, in addition to severely limiting real, free expression. The teacher’s unions who have so much influence in America [partly because of their pension funds] are at this stage of development in 2011, nefarious and corrupt.

  86. Goober Peas says

    Ratbastard, there are no junior high schools; they’ve been called middle schools for about 25 years now. And those “corrupt” teachers’ unions
    you hate on? Powerless in Texas and the other 3 dozen or so Right to Work states.

    What meager pensions we have in most states are given year after year in lieu of a decent salary and no chance of a raise. If you paid any attention to the news over the last 5 or so years you’d know that public employee unions are seriously underfunded and likely to go broke having heavily invested in Wall Street scams for years. Hate teachers all you want but at least tell the truth and learn a little something about the facts before you spout off.

  87. eds says

    just came back to check to see where this was and imagine my surprise to see your STILL here David and funny how the only person to support your argument you don’t ask to prove it well I checked their site and there isn’t anything about it on there I’m not saying it’s wrong but it’s still hearsay but I wouldn’t expect you to do any real research

  88. Rin says

    @ambrose

    So the entire story is wrong?

    This was NOT a German language class?

    This was a sociology class?

    Why would he know the German word for “lesbian”?

    Is he saying it is the same kid that scribbled on the gay men kissing pic that he put on the wall?

    I’m totally confused now.

    I want to hear this story from someone not the kid or the teacher because the two stories are so extreme in their differences.

    Actually, I don’t. It almost makes me want to go back to teaching just so I can make a difference by handling things differently.

  89. Rin says

    @Ambrose,

    http://schools.fwisd.org/westernhills/Pages/WorldLanguage.aspx

    He’s a foreign language teacher, not a sociology teacher. That’s the schools website right there and it lists him under modern languages-German.

    So, back to my original question

    Why was a foreign language teacher speaking about:

    1) Religion in Germany
    2) Sociology
    3) What’s the German word for Lesbian?

    I know as foreign language teachers that from time to time we digress into “history” when teaching a subject, but at 14 he was in “Beginner German”, ergo, they should be learning stuff like:

    Ich liebe apfelkuchen

    oder

    Ich heisse Rintintin.

    Hitler, Kafka…that comes when you are German proficient enough to read German with only the help of a dictionary.

    IF you are diverging from language arts to allow this sort of dialog in your class, then my advice is:

    Go hard or go home.

  90. Rin says

    Did more research. Not only does school list him as a German teacher, but the teacher has website where he is called “Herr Franks”.

    So

    1) Original story about this being German class is correct.
    2) GLBQT story where he is sociology teacher is wrong.
    3)If teacher is gay, ie Ambrose’s story then he probably got excited that the kids were interested in gay rights and Germany and went off lesson topic (kids want to talk about everything but foreign language grammar)
    5) Student whispering in class was huge buzzkill, plus whispering
    6) Kid is honors student

    My theory is that the class wanted to find out German curse words or homophobic slurs and tricked a nice teacher into going along with it–sorry kids DO this– the teacher was excited to discuss it, then goody two shoes Valedictorian in the running shares his opinion loud enough for teacher to hear. Story goes downhill from there.

    ISS means having a 0 in every class for every day you are in it, meaning his GPA is blown for the year–well, us nerds know that you wont be valedictorian or in top 5 if you get Bs even one semester.

    Mom gets lawyer when school doesn’t comply so that he is still in running for top 5.

    That’s Sherlock Rinnie’s theory.

    Did I mention the big dog terrorizing the town yet?

  91. eds says

    i take it back it wasnt their website i cant find any proof the group even exists at all and the only “proof” of the story i can find at all are posts in the comments on gay websites by the same person so try again

  92. Bembo says

    Voice an anti-jewish or anti-black statement in class, get reprimanded and suspended, then summon your mummy and an attorney on your side to defend your bigotry and demand an apology from your teacher and school …. Mummy taught little bigot to think he is King and his “opinions” should have no consequences ….

  93. Yuki says

    I don’t think he should have been suspended/given detention just for thinking it’s wrong, no matter how ludicrous I think it is. Considering some Christians aren’t against homosexuality, I think it’s a bit weird he seemed to say that /because/ he’s one, he’s against it, but whatever.

    That being said… someone asked for the translation of a word and /that/ was his response? I could understand if they were discussing homosexuality, but simply asking for the word and his responding that sounds rather offensive.

  94. says

    I will point out that when someone comments that they ‘believe homosexuality is wrong’ in the classroom, there’s probably a gay kid who hears it and is that much less likely to come out and that much more likely to become depressed.

    As for his story — assuming we believe his rendition of the events — no, he probably shouldn’t have been suspended. A simple, “in this classroom, we accept others for their differences” would suffice.

  95. Mike says

    The kid has the right to say what he wants, so long as what he says does not (among other qualifications) promote violence (“gays should be killed”), defamation “most, if not all gays are child molesters”), or constitute ‘fighting words,” i.e. words specifically meant to incite hatred or violence.

    His (undisputed) words:”I’m a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong,” are well within the bounds of the First Amendment.

    The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech. It does not guarantee freedom FROM speech which you, I or even James Dobson feels to be offensive unless it meets the above (severely abridged… I’m not a constitutional scholar) guidelines.

  96. Mike says

    Yuki: He’s repeating what he’s learned at home. His beliefs may change or they may not as he gains maturity and is exposed to a wider slice of humanity. Desegregation in the US at large was preceded by desegregation in the military (odd that it’s happening in reverse with gay marriage and gays in the military, but that’s another thread).

    As to his response to the translation of the world ‘lesbian’ and his response? I know quite a few adults who would respond the same way–i.e. just hearing the word gay, homosexual or lesbian uttered in a non-judgemental way brings forth the compensatory judgement that ‘it’s wrong.’

    Ryan: I agree with you also, but people (and by people I mean everyone) will always have their preferences and prejudices, valid or not. They will or will not like gay people. Or Asians. Gingers. African Americans. Geeks. Jews. Hispanics… etc. Unless you’re Gandhi (and even if you are, since Mo was apparently not entirely without prejudice himself) you’ve got some prejudices.

    I fail to see what punishing this kid for peacefully stating his beliefs accomplishes. He’s not throwing bombs or beating anyone senseless. Not tying him to a fence and leaving him to die. He’s not shooting someone in cold blood. He’s stating his current beliefs without malice, incitefulness or spite.

    As such, his speech is (or should be) protected and he should not have been punished.

  97. EM says

    I don’t see the problem, technically. He said ‘to me, homosexuality is wrong’. That I totally disagree with but he did say ‘TO ME’ he didn’t say ‘it is per se’. That’s his opinion. I disagree with it. I also think he has dead eyes and looks bored and vacant but that’s my opinion too.

  98. Khola says

    So if this is just about a student’s right to freedom of speech in the classroom – I wonder if it would be ok for him to express, in his opinion, that it was ok for husbands to hit their wives or for priests to molest children?
    But I agree, he shouldn’t have been suspended – he & his parents should be forced to go into counselling instead, to overcome their antisocial homophobic impulses.

  99. ratbastard says

    @Goober Peas,

    I’m aware they’re called technically ‘middle schools’…smart-a**. I have a habit of referring to them as as ‘Jr’ H.S. That the best you can do, smart-a**? Lecture me about the difference between ‘middle’ school and ‘Jr’ H.S.? B*tch.

    The rest of your comment is mostly pure B.S. and highly dependent on region, state, school district, public vs private, etc.,

  100. ratbastard says

    Decent, even excellent, reporting of the true, basic facts of a news story is unfortunately rare, even in ‘reputable’ media outlets. It would be nice to hear the simple, true, accurate facts of this story. ALL news media are full of inaccuracies, often quite blatant, that a decent reporter and/or editor should have picked up on.

    And I can’t help but feel bureaucracies use that ‘we can’t talk about this’ line, not only because they want to avoid liability, but because they don’t want to publicly admit failure or that they effed up.

  101. ratbastard says

    @: Khola,

    Yeah Khola, we should have ‘re-education’ camps for those who refuse to follow the party line. Maybe we here in America can set up extra-judicial ‘human rights’ tribunals like they have in Canada. Great idea.

  102. Fred says

    RATBASTARD – Do you feel the Fox story fairly represented this story and presented full and complete facts? Or do you believe significant facts were omitted or not investigated and there may be a rush to judgment?

    I think the latter – I suspect there is more to this story, a side we know nothing about.

    Teachable moment lost!

  103. Rin says

    @David E.

    Bullying should always be punished in my book.

    However, engaging in debate is highly educational and fruitful. Both sides MUST be represented in debate. When I was the debate coach I sometimes forced students to take the opposite position of their own–they learned far more that way. Anyone afraid of debate, anyone who thinks there should be no debate, or that debate is harmful has issues they need to address within themselves.

    It is nothing to me to go back and forth with @Rick, though I find much of what he says offensive, because part of being human is learning to accept that not everyone will be your biggest fan or even nice to you. The ancient Romans believed that your enemies, not your friends, made you who you were. They were not wrong in this.

    No child comes out of the box with fully formed ideas. Wisdom is a byproduct of intellect and experience. He’s 14 years old, and the teacher silencing him instead of engaging him was the wrong thing to do as an EDUCATOR.

    And I will say this again, a foreign language teacher is paid to teach students the basic fundamentals of a language. The fact that a German teacher (see my earlier link) was even talking about sociology, religion, and homosexuality was irresponsible.

    IF he allowed the students to redirect coursework to that extent, then he should have gone the full monty and had a debate.

    IF he redirected them to a discussion about religion, sexuality, etc in Germany as though they are space aliens and not like everyone else then he needs the principal to shake a few things into his head.

    First year students of any language learn basics. German students in first year don’t read “Die Verfandlung” they don’t read “Mein Kampf”. They learn to say:

    Abby geht nach Hause.

    Abby liebt apfeln.

    Ich heisse Rinnie.

    They do not learn the word for “lesbian”.

    He is either fundamentally ignorant of the 14 year old immature brain or…I have no idea really how a language class disintegrated into this topic.

    But it did, and he should have allowed an organic, educated conclusion.

  104. David Jarrett says

    I strongly believe that he as the right to state his opinion on homosexuality. The teacher was clearly incorrect in her decision. Strategically, it gave the christian right something to holler about. I am gay and fully believe in free speech. I am baffled that this ever happened, particularly in TX. I question whether this story is true.

  105. TJ says

    RIN – I took German in HS, 30 years ago. The instructor included lessons on the culture. It made the class interesting. Same thing happened in college, when I took Spanish. It helped explain why certain words are used. Culture provided context and facilitated learning.

    Quite the debate going on here. I keep thinking, “there’s your version, there’s my version, and then there’s the truth.” The kid could be an angel, merely and politely expressing a point of view, or he might be a total a**hole (and yes, 14 year-olds are very capable of acting as a**holes, even if we don’t always hold them culpable) who deliberately baited the instructor. I wish that the reports were reliable, and contained all of the facts. One way or another, it’s a story with great potential for exploitation.

  106. Jerry6 says

    The boy was expressing his opinion based upon what he was taught at home. He was not making a statement of “Fact”. He was only expressing what his ignorant parents taught him.

  107. Rin says

    @David Ehrenstein

    I don’t think that one article @ambrose posted is factually correct because they called it sociology class and it was clearly German language class based on the school’s website. I looked it up. He is only a language arts teacher.

    Go to the school website, plus Mr. Franks has had a website (it looks blank now).

    Also I tried to find that article @Ambrose posted and could find it no where but here.

    IF they attacked the teacher with gay slurs then he should have nailed them for that and not what was said (Gays can’t be Christians) in the report. They wouldn’t even be back in school and shouldn’t be. Losing authority in the classroom sets a hideous example and schools usually don’t tolerate it.

    I’ve had aggressive students –when you’re a female they try to sexualize you — and I just wrote their snotty little asses up and they were out of school, not in ISS.

    I would love to see a news report that quotes the school or the teacher. I am with you in that I think there is more to it, but after reading that he was clearly a German language teacher I can’t stand behind Ambrose’s story that he posted since a) I see it no where else, and b) they called it sociology class.

  108. Randy says

    We aren’t getting the whole story.

    Who brought up homosexuality in the German class before? Was it the teacher? A gay student? Himself, or another anti-gay student?

    How many students overheard the comment? Who reported it?

    We should recall that high school is not a free speech zone, and reasonable limits are placed on student speech, dress, and a number of expressions that would be OK outside the school context. This speech isn’t about himself, but about people he doesn’t like.

    Particularly with so many LGBT kids feeling isolated in school, it’s important that hostile speech about LGBT people be banned.

    Last, if this kid was speaking to a classmate during the discussion, then it seems he was speaking out of turn and disrupting the class, regardless of the content of his speech.

  109. Rin says

    @TJ

    As did I with Latin class, but there is a huge difference in what you speak to first year students about with their vocabulary and what you talk to Seniors about. I took German, too, and we learned about Bavaria, Bonn, etc. and then the grammar included it.

    Ich lebe auf Bayern.

    I highly doubt first year textbooks talk about religion, sexuality, etc. IF they talk about religion at all it is to learn the word: kirche, not learn about how German Christians feel about gay rights.

    And…let’s get real about kids. They asked so they could learn dirty words. They did it when I went to high school, and they did it when I taught high school.

    The kids in my Latin class were no better, I just used the moment to talk to them about their attitudes and encouraged a real debate.

    and @David Ehrenstein

    Why would you think that I don’t care about the teacher????

    I have been in his shoes. I said that if there was a gang of students that were harassing him then he had every right to have them removed permanently from school, IE expelled. Students are usually expelled for harassing teachers–as well they should be. They must learn that you school is about education, not socializing, and the only way to do that is to assert the teacher’s authority.

    You cannot be their little friends or give them free passes or they will walk all over you. You can, support them, bring in their parents for conferences, work with them, etc., but you have to establish boundaries.

    I had a few horrible little cretins hit on me and then ended up in the office whereas the Spanish teacher just giggled over it. UGH!

    So, yes, I do care. Even if the original story was true and if Mr. Franks was gay (we don’t even know if he is) then it would have totally hurt his feelings.

    I’m not applauding the young man, I’m stating that this is how we lose the opportunity to address bullying. You don’t make martyrs of them, you confront their weak arguments and teachers are well able to do that.

    The kid in my Latin class was VERY grateful that we had that debate because the “bullies” were unable to support their arguments and I made them look silly in front of their friends.

  110. TJ says

    RIN – why would, or should, words in different languages for “lesbian,” “gay,” “intercourse,” etc. qualify as “dirty” or swear words? I can see how the motives for asking might skew negative, but not necessarily the fact that the words, or what they represent, exist.

  111. moises rodriguez says

    the bible speak about homosexuality,is a sin
    against god.however this country is far away
    from god, wich is going to take the full
    punishment from god in all his anger.

  112. says

    i never said it wasn’t his “right” to dislike or be a bigot. I’m saying it speaks volumes that his family hired a lawyer rather than talk to their son about abusing a right and expressing something that will come at the expense of the well-being and security of his classmates.

    I never said anyone should be “forced to respect things”, either. Gotta love ya, ratbastard. you make a beautiful habit of arguing against things that nobody has ever said.

  113. says

    well, we all know now that he was suspended. he got DETENTION.

    and his statements do not match those of school officials.

    this reminds of the story a year or so ago wherein a “Young Christian Girl was discriminated against by her bus-driver who yelled at her for being a Christian and tried to silence the girl’s right to her Christian beliefs” – a story that floated around FOX news, and other right-leaning sites.

    the reality of the story? a bus driver called out the girl and told her to stop saying that gays and muslims go to hell.

    yeah. you gotta love the right-wing spin.

  114. thom says

    Okay…this has been given WAY too much importance….He is just a brain-washed kid who is parroting his parents and church beliefs (And THAT in itself is unsettling, I believe)…if my kid was Jewish and there was a “discussion” about what the bible says is wrong, would the fact that eating shrimp and pork is “wrong’ in God’s eyes woul he or she get”Detention”.hmmmmmm…discuss…..anything folks?…clock in please…Thanks for playing!

  115. Billyhr2 says

    Thanks for your article showing a level headedness. Most of the Liberal pro-Homosexual blogdom have shown the hypocrisy by many Liberals who only believe in Freedom of Speech if they agree with your position (and you are not a White Christian Heterosexual Male).

  116. Ambrose says

    Met with the teacher Friday night. His story, which he is not yet allowed to share with the media, is quite different, and lays a solid basis for believing that Ary’s comments were directed ad hominem, and a continuation of a history of harassing comments made toward this teacher on the basis of Ary and 3 other students’ perception that the teacher is gay. It would be a good turn if folks would contact the district and respectfully urge the district to give a full, balanced and caring hearing to the teacher’s side of the story, unprejudiced by the onslaught of public pressure released from the highly slanted media coverage, which has only represented Ary and the Liberty Counsel’s claims. Sample script:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing/calling with regard to the case involving Western Hills High School teacher, Kristopher Franks, and student, Dakota Ary. I am concerned by the one-sided nature of the media reporting concerning this case, in which only the perspective of the student and his Liberty Institute lawyer have been represented. I urge you to insure that a full, fair, and caring hearing be given Mr. Franks, one which is in full concord with district policies prohibiting students and employees from harassing others on the basis of perceived sexual orientation.

    Sincerely,
    [Your name,
    Your official positions or titles, including residency in the school district ]

    Walter Dansby
    Interim Superintendent
    Fort Worth ISD
    Email: walter.dansby@fwisd.org
    Phone: 817.871.2000

    James Wellman
    Principal
    Western Hills High School
    Fort Worth ISD
    Email: james.wellman@fwisd.org
    Phone: 817.815.6000

    Ray Dickerson
    President
    Board of Education
    Fort Worth ISD
    Email: ray.Dickerson@fwisd.org

    Carlos Vasquez
    Board Member, District 1
    Board of Education
    Fort Worth ISD
    Email: carlos.vasquez@fwisd.org

    Norman Robbins
    Board Member, District 7
    Board of Education
    Fort Worth ISD
    Email: norman.robbins@fwisd.org

  117. Skooter McGoo says

    Keep in mind that this happened in Ft Worth, TX. The same city that had the Rainbow Lounge raid, where the police & TABC carried out a “let’s go screw with some gay people for fun” kind of harrassment which lead to 19 violations by both. This guy is from AZ, but it could certainly be a Texas church just as easy. http://youtu.be/_im7wh2Hz7U

  118. Francis says

    Thank you, Ambrose, and that answers the question of there being more to the story. The teacher probably just had it being harassed by this homophobic kid. The sick thing is that his parents, right-wingers, some of the students, don’t think he did anything wrong. Clearly a case of a kid disrupting class by being openly homophobic. Punishment was fully deserved.

    And looking back at my first post, yeah, he may be a martyr now, but he’s also publicly known for being homophobic. Let’s see how far that’ll get him in the real world. Well……..he does live in Fort Worth.

  119. says

    The First Amendment is a CROCK! — as the recent demonstrations in New York against Corporate control have illustrated so graphically. Those demonstrators were perfectly within their “first amendment rights” to peacefully protest —

    and they were clubbed,MACED and arrested for doing so.

    Thanks for the information Ambrose. I’ve e-mialed several of the people you indicated.

  120. eds says

    the crock is calling this an update to the story everything from my breakfast cereal to the car i drive the gay youth hot line i volunteer for to the hate group in my area has a web site but this LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S. doesn’t if this is an official group as this person says they are formed with a purpose as this person says they are like other group of this type that have websites where is there official statement after all if what they say is true then it should most defiantly be told and the school dept. should be held up for the cowards they are until then I think its irresponsible for TOWLEROAD to take the word of an anonymous commenter with an unsubstantiated story and call it an UPDATE I’m sorry I’m not ready to demonize a 14 year old boy on that now I’m not saying it isn’t true but I’m not ready to call it an update

  121. says

    EDS dear, knowing the Liberty Counsel, I’d believe a crack addict off the street before I’d take their word for anything, even if they DO have a website. In fact, I’d just reverse anything they say and assume that’s the truth, because in every single case I’ve seen them represent, they’ve been the lying party.

  122. Derrick from Philly says

    “And Blacks should be able to say Hispanics smell.”

    I think they smell wonderful, CANDIDIENNC. I’d like to get close enough to one again. But I guess I’ll have to get on up to New York…no luck here in Philly.

  123. greg says

    No! Use this as a chance to have one of those moderated conversations in class that hears both positions which will never be forgotten. Unfortunately, all that may be remembered by these students is how to entrench in one’s place. Making matters worse, the kids will think that it isn’t ok to voice a minority position. What this nation is sorely lacking is argumentation and critical thinking skills. This didn’t help that situation at all.

  124. eds says

    actually never heard of them before this whole thing look I didn’t say the article was wrong I didn’t say the commenter was wrong and I certainly didn’t attack anyone personally I just said I don’t think it’s a good thing to attack and demonize a 14 year old child when you have said yourself David we don not have all the facts and posting it on your site doesn’t make it fact David and pointing to it in the comment section doesn’t make it fact when this group that he says contacted the teacher and 3 other students to back the story makes a statement with some quotes maybe some taped phone calls anything but an anonymous commenter then i might start to put some credence behind it

  125. Michaelandfred says

    Instead of detention, the teacher could have used it as a teaching opportunity on tolerance, diversity, bullying, respect for others students in and out of the classroom…. Maybe even a little bit of scientific facts over biblical interpretation on homosexuality….or since it was German class, how about how many hundreds of thousands of gays were interned during the war and experimented upon, forced into slave labor or put to death because the “bible said.”

  126. Christopher says

    This was not the first time that the student has been caught saying something negative towards homosexuals. Not that what he said was negative, but he has been told several times, for saying things much worse,by other faculty members to stop. So this was not his first offence from what I have learned. Secondly having recently graduated from a public high school (almost four years ago) as a student you do loose your first amendment right on school property. For instance if a white male went around school or going from the bus to school saying whites were superior to that of there African American counterparts, he would ultimately end up suspended. All the kid got was in school suspension. It not that bad, I never got it and Colleges do not look at that. You can get in school suspension for dress code violations skirt to short, pants sagging, or for a t-shirt saying any kind of profanity, which would be an infraction of your First Amendment rights. Public schools are suppose to be a safe environment for students and staff, the kids comments were obviously offensive to someone. With the suicide epidemic found in LGBT youth (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) I am glad to see that a teacher stuck up for the “under dog” and showed that hatred towards peers is not tolerated. This is not a new epidemic either it has been in our society for years, just times are changing and FINALLY people are paying attention.

  127. Anonymous says

    I have a question for the narcissistic teacher: Why are you teaching your students homosexuality instead of teaching them German, like your suppose to?

    I think more students should have told their parents about what was going. I mean, the sodomite had a picture of 2 men kissing on his wall, I’d be pretty offended too.

  128. Tom Lewis says

    The student should not have been suspended at all for expressing his opinion, and the parents should accompany him to school and ensure that he is allowed to attend. A student has the First Amendment Right to express his opinion against homosexuality, as well as express his opinion for homosexuality.

  129. says

    Did you just decide to hop into the conversation without even reading the last four posts, Tom?

    There’s a *clear* link right up there that is giving evidence that this was *not* a first offense and that what he had done could possibly be seen as harassment and disruption!

  130. says

    It does seem weird that a school in Texas would punish a student for this kind of remark, considering what I have heard about the state’s culture. However, if there are no missing details, I think that an opportunity was lost to try and open the young man’s eyes…now he’ll just get bitter and even more anti-gay.

  131. Raye says

    BULLYING REVERSAL: When did it become wrong not to support homosexuality? Sort of like the pot calling the kettle black here. Homosexuals are being defensive for feeling like they are bullied because they are homosexuals, then they turn around and bully someone who prefers straight and who disagrees with homosexuality with what was nothing more than his opinion. The entire world will not accept homosexuality as normal, no matter what is done. Someone will always disagree. Even if all states pass Equality rights, someone will not approve. Stop pushing it down the throats of those who do not support it. It helps no-one.

  132. ... says

    As much as I disagree with him and think he has been indoctrinated by a corrupt establishment. He can’t be suspended for expressing an opinion. That could threaten our democracy which is the very thing allowing for gay rights to progress.

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