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. Meanwhile you give Fundie propagandists total credence -- no questiosn asked!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 26, 2011 4:59:27 PM

  2. 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."

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Sep 26, 2011 9:52:57 PM

  3. Are you thinking Napoleon Dynamite? I'm thinking Napoleon Dynamite!

    Posted by: Didaskalso | Sep 27, 2011 1:05:46 AM

  4. Pedro is gay.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 27, 2011 11:54:55 AM

  5. Here is a follow up. Towleroad, if you would bump this followup to the top of your blog, I think it's worth point out.

    It turns out there was no discussion of homosexuality and this Christian student had a history of harrassing the gay teacher. This has been corroborated by other students.

    Posted by: SteveS | Sep 28, 2011 2:00:55 PM

  6. 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.

    Posted by: Christopher | Nov 2, 2011 2:30:30 AM

  7. Homosexuals are a bunch of cry babies

    Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 22, 2012 12:27:06 PM

  8. 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.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 22, 2012 12:41:17 PM

  9. 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.

    Posted by: Tom Lewis | Apr 7, 2013 2:50:03 AM

  10. 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!

    Posted by: Cody | Apr 7, 2013 3:40:24 AM

  11. 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 he'll just get bitter and even more anti-gay.

    Posted by: | Apr 7, 2013 6:23:02 PM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: Raye | Apr 9, 2013 7:27:57 PM

  13. Stop the world, I want to get off.

    Posted by: Valid | Apr 9, 2013 11:13:12 PM

  14. 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.

    Posted by: ... | Dec 27, 2013 9:02:10 PM

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