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?

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Student Suspended for Saying Gay Is Wrong: MyFoxDFW.com

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Comments

  1. Being BLACK is a blessing!! It is a gift from GOD. Homosexuality is a perverted and sinful choice.

    Posted by: MO | Sep 24, 2011 5:47:54 PM


  2. uh oh someone left the door open

    Posted by: eds | Sep 24, 2011 5:50:37 PM


  3. 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.

    Posted by: Chitown kev | Sep 24, 2011 5:55:01 PM


  4. "KEM" you're aware of the fact that this is a gay website, aren't you?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 6:02:19 PM


  5. It's not an "opinion" Chitown Kev -- it's an ideological imperative.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 6:05:18 PM


  6. 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.

    Posted by: KEM | Sep 24, 2011 6:14:08 PM


  7. 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.

    Posted by: Abel | Sep 24, 2011 6:15:32 PM


  8. 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.

    Posted by: TruthSeeker_Too | Sep 24, 2011 6:39:47 PM


  9. 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.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Sep 24, 2011 6:59:48 PM


  10. 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.

    Posted by: Hayden | Sep 24, 2011 7:06:56 PM


  11. 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?

    Posted by: Shawn | Sep 24, 2011 7:39:51 PM


  12. 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.

    Posted by: Harry | Sep 24, 2011 7:42:02 PM


  13. "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.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 7:53:11 PM


  14. I wouldn't be surprised if the kid is a closet case.

    Posted by: bruce | Sep 24, 2011 7:59:12 PM


  15. 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.

    Posted by: bruce | Sep 24, 2011 8:01:55 PM


  16. 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.

    Posted by: Paul | Sep 24, 2011 8:15:08 PM


  17. '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.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 24, 2011 8:36:00 PM


  18. And I have the right to MY OPINION.

    He's trash and so are you.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 8:43:35 PM


  19. 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.

    Posted by: Ambrose | Sep 24, 2011 9:02:59 PM


  20. He should not be suspended for expressing his views.

    Posted by: jaragon | Sep 24, 2011 9:15:14 PM


  21. @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.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 24, 2011 9:29:28 PM


  22. The Truth At Last!

    Thanks Amborse.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 9:53:19 PM


  23. 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.

    Posted by: Goober Peas | Sep 24, 2011 10:58:54 PM


  24. 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

    Posted by: eds | Sep 24, 2011 11:18:41 PM


  25. And I wouldn't expect you to e anything other than a KAPO.

    http://fablog.ehrensteinland.com/2011/09/24/fait-diver-christianity-is-wrong/

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 24, 2011 11:30:43 PM


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