Joplin, MO Teacher’s Bullying Solution: ‘Don’t Be Gay'; Suggests 13 More Kids Need to Die for Issue to Warrant Attention

Joplin

Yet another teacher is under fire for anti-gay remarks made on Facebook.

JoplinhsJim Whitney, a teacher at Joplin High School in Missouri responded to former student Josh Gonzalez, who posted a Facebook link to a news article 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, who committed suicide after being bullied.

Said Whitney: "Moral of the story: Don't be gay."

When another commenter asked, "How many more kids have to kill themselves before everyone realizes that this is an actual issue?," Whitney responded, "11-13 ought to do it. Somewhere in that vicinity."

The comments were posted by Missourians for Marriage Equality on the group's Facebook page, where they encouraged people to contact the Joplin school board.

The Joplin Globe reports:

Whitney did not respond to requests for an interview but released a statement via email on Monday afternoon saying he was sorry the incident occurred.

“I do not condone bullying or harassment of any kind and I am very aware and saddened by the negative impact this type of behavior creates. I regret that the posts appeared on Facebook. They do not reflect my personal views and I apologize for any and all offenses caused by the comment.”

Whitney, however, did not respond to follow-up emails and telephone calls to explain how comments that do not reflect his views came from his Facebook account, nor has he been available for additional questions.

Board President Ashley Micklethwaite said the school board would likely discuss the remarks at a meeting yesterday.

Comments

  1. Mark says

    I scoff at this man.

    They do not reflect my personal views and I apologize for any and all offenses caused by the comment.”

    Haha, is he a moron as well?

    Last time I checked, things you say personally usually constitute your ‘personal feelings’ on an issue.

  2. luminum says

    At first I thought his comments might have been glib cynicism disgusted at the lack of response to these kids’ needs, but reading that back and forth (and the “liberal” comment), it’s clear that he was serious and descended into callous humor afterward. This goes beyond his personal feelings like that teacher who was willing to shoot her mouth off on Facebook but now has nothing to say.

    It’s clear he cannot handle a serious situation in which his students may be in crisis.

    He should definitely be fired or at least suspended.

  3. Jack M says

    Outrageous! He should be fired immediately on the basis of the posts alone. Suicide and death of young people are obviously a joke to him and he should never be allowed to teach children again. Total scum!

  4. says

    Just don’t be gay. Like that’s an option. Oh wait. These wingnuts actually think that it IS an option. My bad.

    About 11-13 ought to do it. Are you kidding me? And the school boards response is they would likely discuss it at the next meeting? How about deffinitely discuss it at the next meeting AND take appropriate disciplinary action while your at it. There’s free speech, and then there’s crossing a line. You be the judge.

    What kind of apology includes the phrase, “My posts on facebook do not reflect my views.” WTF?

  5. Gregoire says

    I’m less shocked by his opinions than I am his blatant stupidity in engaging with a student in this manner on Facebook. Don’t these teachers receive training about how to conduct themselves on social media? He should be fired for utter incompetance, his dangerous and narrow-minded views being icing on the cake.

  6. Kevin says

    According to the linked article, the teacher is claiming his account was hacked (ala Anthony Weiner). My question is this: how often do Facebook or Twitter accounts actually get hacked? It just seems like a convienient excuse.

  7. says

    Obviously, he is stupid as well as hateful. He made statements on a public forum that (allegedly) don’t reflect his views and he didn’t intend for them to be there? What, did they write themselves and magically link up with his name on Facebook?

    Moral of the story, Mr. Whitney: Don’t use social media. Don’t teach. Don’t say things publicly unless you’re man enough to own them.

  8. David says

    Of course part of providing a quality education to young people is encouraging them to kill themselves in droves. WTF?! How has our society gotten so callous and cruel?

  9. Bob R says

    People wonder why we have the problems in the nation we have today, who we allow to teach our young and what they are taught are two reasons.

    I went to high school in the early sixties and I don’t remember any teachers like those we have been exposed to lately. Not all my teachers were concerned and caring, but most were. None of them I remember were as evil as this creep and Ms. Viki and several others who have exposed themselves publicly these past few weeks.

    What has gone wrong in our schools? We have not just incompetent teachers, but grossly ignorant teachers shaping the minds that will create our country’s future.

    I think we have ignored our schools and school boards much too long. I think it’s time that more sane people get interested in what’s going on in the classrooms and start running for school boards and monitoring what is being passed off as teaching in today’s classrooms. We need to start showing up at school board meetings.

    This guy is not an educator, he is a cancer that needs to be excised from contact with children. His corrosive influence should be removed from the public school system, now. We allow these sorts of opinions to be excused or pardoned at our own peril.

  10. JayKingOfGay says

    I have friends who are teachers. They post things on facebook like anyone else.
    However, I don’t believe any of them is stupid enough to (1) friend their students (2) make comments they KNOW wouldn’t be acceptable for their students to see (3) Make those comments without being very careful to filter viewers so that only people who would “get it” would be able to see it.

  11. Bart says

    I agree with Gregoire. I live in Missouri. I’m not surprised by the point of view this idiot has – it’s not uncommon for the ill-educated and What-Would-Jesus-Hate? crowd and there are plenty of them here, but what I am surprised that he’d engage in this written (and thus permanent) dialogue with a former student and think it wouldn’t be pushed out quickly into the blogesphere.

    My guess, Jim Whitney was drunk and thought he was being clever. But I suspect good old Jim is going to have a bunch of bad days ahead of him. Joplin has been through enough, they don’t need a reputation as a place for hate and that’s what happens. There are a lot of wonderful people in this little city that’s seen its share of devastation this year. But sadly, people like Jim Whitney give it an even worse name. I would suspect that Jim will end up working at the Wal-Mart.

  12. Caliban says

    Just… Wow.

    So the BEST case scenario here is he’s an internet Troll as well as being a teacher. That he views teen suicide (for any reason) as just another source for creating mayhem and outrage still suggests a callousness toward students that ought to disqualify him from teaching.

    And nothing about those posts indicates those aren’t his actual views.

  13. Francis says

    What we’re digging up with these numerous incidents of teachers/students/faculty expressing such flagrantly homophobic sentiment, is essentially what about 80% of LGBT teens have had to deal with on an every day basis in school. Nothing is going on now than highlighting what has long been a very real problem—-under the surface.

    And people wonder how kids could become so hateful. Look at their parents/teachers/role-models. They’re hateful scum like this. It also shows people the crux of this fight for equality isn’t about legal rights, but our right to live as equals. Really, bigots like this shoot themselves in the foot with these words. We need to set the example that it’s NOT OK to be flagrantly anti-gay and teach in the classrooms. This man needs to be immediately fired.

  14. says

    Readers: you can send a free fax (faxzero.com) to the Superintendent, Dr. CJ Huff at 417 625-5273 and express your anger and annoyance over Jim Whitney’s anti-gay remarks. Let’s utilize the web to voice our opinion no matter where we live. Individuals like Mr. Whitney should NOT be teaching young minds.

  15. jomicur says

    What kind of functional halfwit goes around posting comments that don’t reflect his views? This man is unfit to teach based on his sheer, blatant stupidity. His bigotry only makes the matter worse. But under our whimsical system of “local, parental control” of education, this is the kind of brainless creep teaching students in a large portion of the Land of the Free.

  16. Paul says

    Oh, Jimbo. And now, thanks to your meager web presence and the power of Google, whenever someone looks you up for the rest of sorry life, they’ll get to see that you’re a hateful, evil bigot. Ain’t technology fun?

  17. Scott says

    Thanx @OS2GUY- now we need to get phone numbers and email addresses of the Joplin school board and principal. This is more serious than Vicki-whatever- in New Jersey. This
    vile man actually said gay children NEED to die.

    He said “Kids need to die”- and they’re letting this man teach? The Fitst Amendment allows you the right to speak whatever you wish- as long as it doesn’t incite violence- but it doesn’t guarantee you a job. Well he incited violence. Time for him to go- like the d-bag in Kentucky a year ago.

  18. says

    this aint “freedom of speech” – this is the reality that his specific views and opinions are now making for an unsafe learning environment for his students – gay or straight, conservative or liberal.

    yes. he compromised his job. yes. he should be fired.

  19. Steve says

    The Joplin Globe today (26th) doesn’t have a follow up article from one on the 25th stating there would be a school board meeting on the morning of the 25th. Sounds like things are still ‘being investigated’. Sound familiar folks?
    However to be fair, the ex-student with whom the conversation took place, states the comments do not ring true with the teacher’s usual comments and that they have person he’s conversed with and that they’ve both ‘debated’ things in the past. Unfortunately it would probably take a court order to have Facebook release the IP address of the offending computer. THAT would provide proof of the claim of hacking. (BTW it’s a good thing to require a court order to get that information.)

  20. bobbyjoe says

    The likelihood that someone hacked this guy’s account so that they could engage in an online conversation like this one with somebody else is about a zillion to one. First, if somebody went to the trouble to hack this guy’s account to get this teacher in hot water, unless they’re the most subtle supervillain ever, they sure as heck would have gone a lot farther than the comments listed above.

    Like most anti-gay religious nuts, I’m betting this dude’s a great big dishonest lying liar who lies.

  21. walter says

    wtf is with these people? how can this be your reaction to kids killing themselves over who they are and still be a teacher. people like this need to be unemployed and not working with children. any school district that puts up with this needs the administrators replaced.

  22. Hollywood, CA says

    You better say you were hacked, you big pussy. What a pathetic piece of $hit. Have the balls to own your words. Have the balls to spread hate and back it up when confronted, not some weasel making up reasons why you didn’t.

    I wish I had a kid in his class, he would get the lecture of LIFE from me…

  23. Gregoire says

    Remember the example of Clint McCance in Arkansas. He was a piece of trash school board member who said similar things on Facebook. After public pressure, the guy was canned.

  24. Jo says

    Yeah, right, his “comments” don’t reflect his views? Really! Bull F*cking Sh*t! He knew what the hell he was saying and he didn’t gave a rats @$$. He is just like all of the other bigots in the world…they want to keep the world just as it was back in the stone age and they all think that everybody should think like they do, no new ideas or things that are different! I guess they all want the world to be boring as hell! I hope they can his trashy a$$ and he is banned from working with the public!

  25. andy says

    the worst part is the cowardice. the remarks “appeared” on his fb? No asswipe, remarks don’t just “appear” either you or someone with acces to your account WROTE them. Have the balls to use action verbs for things you’ve done.

  26. DC says

    I’m from a suburb of Joplin, I went to a high school that is less than 10 miles from Joplin’s. I have absolutely no doubts that nothing serious will be done about this teacher; his sentiments are shared by the majority in that area. It would take massive pressure for the school board to take action, and all the while it will be a show to placate the media. He’ll be lauded not only by the school district (in secret), local Christian churches will go on and on about what a good soldier for Christ he is and that it’s a sick sign of the times for him to be hounded like this by liberal perverts. Should he lose his job, there will be churches collecting donations to help him through this unfortunate time.

    Not long ago, Joplin had a cruising spot called McLelland Park. The park is still there, but it has thankfully been cleaned up. Joplin is the type of place that sends undercover officers out to bait men engaged in cruising. Should you be busted, they print your photo and personal information about you in the paper. This happened to a young man from my graduating class, he was 20 years old at the time. I don’t know what became of him after that, but I’m sure his life was ruined and he was forced to move away just like all of the others.

    Another fellow student at my school, a brilliant but nerdy and eccentric young man, was forced to leave during his sophomore year due to bullying and then condemnation from the faculty. He was a theatre nerd, and loved to wear late 19th century young men’s attire. The faculty actually told him that if he continued to be different they would do nothing to protect him – he was asking to be beaten bloody and deserved whatever happened. He fled to live with family on the W. Coast, thank goodness he had that chance.

    I will never forget the veiled threats in school, not just from students but by teachers and faculty too. A math teacher discussed gays one day, another student asked if he thought there were any at our school. He said most likely, as about 10% of humans are gay. He shot me a menacing glance while saying that any gay students would be wise to stay invisible if they refuse to repent. I lived like a ghost in my town, even after graduation.

    I will never attend my H.S. reunions. The Joplin area may put on a nice face after the F5 tornado, and pride themselves that they are such a tight community – but it’s only so for good ‘ol folks and church-goers. It’s always been very clear that if you’re not either of those you deserve a horrible life, even death. This teacher will be a hero and a martyr for speaking God’s truth.

  27. Tiffany says

    Case was dropped per a local radio station, I’m not surprised as I live in Joplin and it’s the very definition of “good ole boy” Country in a lot of ways.

    I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for this place as I’ve lived here my whole life.. especially a soft spot post tornado, but then things like this make me realize why I can’t wait to get out early next year.

    Portland Oregon here I come.

  28. Caliban says

    C’mon. Where’s the PROOF this a-hole’s FB account was “hacked”? But the school board bought the claim apparently, or is pretending to.

    From Today: JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin High School math teacher who came under criticism after anti-gay posts allegedly originated from his Facebook account has been cleared by the school district.

    Superintendent C.J. Huff said that Jim Whitney’s Facebook account was compromised and that there were no findings that would indicate wrongdoing by Whitney.

    The board of education discussed the matter and was given a report following an investigation into the incident during a closed session at Tuesday night’s meeting.

    No action is being taken against Whitney.

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