Student Suspended for Saying Homosexuality is Wrong: VIDEO

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A Texas student has been suspended for telling a friend during a class discussion of homosexuality, "I'm a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong."

Fourteen-year-old Dakota Ary, an honor student and football player, has become an instant cause celebre among conservatives. Liberty Counsel, a right-wing defense firm, helped him clear his permanent record and get the suspension reduced to a day:

Ary's lawyer, Matthew Krause, said the suspension was unjustified and that Ary is entitled to express his opinion on homosexuality in school.

"Just because you walk through the schoolhouse doors does not mean you shed your 1st Amendment rights," Krause said in a statement. "Dakota wasn't disrupting class. He wasn't bullying or harassing anybody. He was just stating his personal opinion on a topic somebody brought up and in a civil and respectful manner." (...)

It all began in Ary's German class, where the teacher was leading the students in a discussion about religion in Germany.

According to a statement from Liberty Counsel, one student asked what Germans thought about homosexuality in relation to religion. Another student asked to hear the German translation of "lesbian."

That's when Ary turned to a friend and said, "I'm a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong," the teenager said in a television interview on Fox News earlier this week.  

"It wasn't directed to anyone except my friend who was sitting behind me," he said. "I guess [the teacher] heard me and started to yell about it."

I'd be more inclined to symphatize if the conservatives showed any interest whatever in the endemic homophobia of the American school system and the gay children committing suicide because of bullying.

Nonetheless, I think Ary acted within his First Amendment rights by making a private remark to a nearby classmate in response to an open question about religion and homosexuality. And the teacher could have handled it the right way by addressing the remark calmly, and using it to start up a civil discussion. Merely suppressing an opinion does no one any good - it certainly doesn't change minds.

Did he deserve a suspension at all? Or am I all wrong?


Student Suspended for Saying Gay Is Wrong:

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  1. @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.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 24, 2011 4:30:17 PM

  2. I do.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 4:30:33 PM

  3. "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."

    Got any links for that?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 4:31:42 PM

  4. 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

    Posted by: eds | Sep 24, 2011 4:34:16 PM

  5. "but forcing people to think a certain way is not cool"

    We've known you're not cool for quite some time, dear.

    One wonders why you post about "homosexuals" on this site.

    Troll much?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 4:35:14 PM

  6. Oh really EDS?

    I'll bet there aren't any articles at all.

    Provide links and prove me wrong.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 4:37:16 PM

  7. 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.

    Posted by: Gigi | Sep 24, 2011 4:37:17 PM

  8. I'd do him.

    Posted by: Jester | Sep 24, 2011 4:38:33 PM

  9. 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.

    Posted by: Jacob Z Flores | Sep 24, 2011 4:49:47 PM


    Posted by: eds | Sep 24, 2011 4:50:51 PM

  11. 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."


    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 4:56:04 PM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: Mort | Sep 24, 2011 4:56:42 PM

  13. 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

    Posted by: eds | Sep 24, 2011 4:58:45 PM

  14. How do you know "EDS"? Were you there?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 5:06:53 PM

  15. 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).

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 24, 2011 5:11:58 PM

  16. 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

    Posted by: eds | Sep 24, 2011 5:23:39 PM

  17. well said Rin

    Posted by: eds | Sep 24, 2011 5:27:30 PM

  18. 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.

    Posted by: raw | Sep 24, 2011 5:28:35 PM

  19. 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"

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 5:32:30 PM

  20. just a question who here has proof thats not pretty much what happend in that class room?

    Posted by: eds | Sep 24, 2011 5:37:38 PM

  21. 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!

    Posted by: MO | Sep 24, 2011 5:39:48 PM

  22. and if its me your calling troll i havent been here since 12:30 telling people how stupid and wrong they are

    Posted by: eds | Sep 24, 2011 5:42:27 PM

  23. It's a hard job but somebody's got to do it.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 5:45:31 PM

  24. Given the surface of the story, a suspension is a severe overreach.

    Posted by: Chitown kev | Sep 24, 2011 5:46:32 PM

  25. 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.

    Posted by: KEM | Sep 24, 2011 5:47:33 PM

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