Bullying | Facebook | News

Joplin, MO Teacher Who Said More Gay Kids Need to Die is Cleared, Claims Account Was Hacked


Earlier in the week, I posted about Jim Whitney, a teacher at Joplin High School in Missouri, whose anti-gay remarks on Facebook were brought to light. Whitney was commenting on a former student's link to an article about gay teen bullying victim JAmie Hubley, who committed suicide earlier this month.

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 school now says Whitney has been cleared, and claims his Facebook was hacked:

"We've investigated and found no wrong-doing on the part of the teacher."

Joplin Superintendent Doctor CJ Huff tells News Talk KZRG complaints were made about things high school math teacher Jim Whitney allegedly posted on Facebook. But apparently Whitney's Facebook account was hacked.

"It's unfortunate when you're dealing with social media and dealing with technology and the potential for people to get on to other people's accounts and say things that shouldn't be said."

Huff says the Joplin School Board was made aware of the situation at Tuesday's board meeting and no action was taken.

Do you believe them?

If you thought your account was hacked, wouldn't you say so right from the start?

Whitney's original statement to the press didn't: "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.”

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Another student is quoted is stating that these remarks were out-of-character from this teacher. I'd be more inclined to believe it if there was a confirmation from FaceBook, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Let's see what happens from here on and if there are other incidents involving this teacher.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Oct 28, 2011 9:18:12 AM

  2. Situations like this are always hard to judge. He could be just covering his tracks, but then again, Facebook isn't exactly known for its security.

    Posted by: LiamB | Oct 28, 2011 9:29:10 AM

  3. Didn't Weiner say his account was hacked too?

    Posted by: Brian G | Oct 28, 2011 9:29:43 AM

  4. So somebody just happened to "hack" his Facebook account, happened to find one post about teen suicide, then "happened" to have a "reasonably adult" (if disgusting) back and forth with another poster...and then just left? So this will be the new defense. Someone hacked my Facebook account. Pathetic.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Oct 28, 2011 9:34:30 AM

  5. Hmm. I wonder if maybe his wife or kid said it and he was shielding them?

    Posted by: enough already | Oct 28, 2011 9:35:14 AM

  6. Sorry, doesn't pass the smell test. Let's see if there are any further developments. I'd like proof the account was hacked, a statement from Facebook or cyber-investigator.

    Posted by: Bob R | Oct 28, 2011 9:47:02 AM

  7. It doesn't really matter whether he's lying or not, does it? In either case, public homophobia has been shown to have consequences, and that's clearly a message this teacher has absorbed.

    Posted by: Keppler | Oct 28, 2011 10:03:08 AM

  8. I guess that will be the blanket excuse now, "my account was hacked"! If I was an intellenget teacher, I think that I could come up with something better. Although, a lot of teacher's don't have to think for themselves anymore, that have the state and federal government to tell them what to think, so originality is not in there job description. To bad in the 21st century, that we still have this backwoods mentality. So Sad!

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 28, 2011 10:03:25 AM

  9. @Randy:

    Not sure where your assault on teachers is coming from, but the amount of spelling and grammatical mistakes in your post tells me that your animosity toward them is not a recent thing.

    Posted by: Zell | Oct 28, 2011 10:12:35 AM

  10. Hacked, you say? So you received an email/text message from Facebook clearly stating "(name of machine)" logged in to your Facebook account at (time). If this was not authorized, check your email for instructions." right? Right?

    I didn't think so. The "hacked" defense doesn't apply here.

    Posted by: Shullbit | Oct 28, 2011 10:14:47 AM

  11. I'd trust the people who know him to say whether it passes the smell test. I'll say this though: I know people who inadvertantly leave themselves logged into facebook on shared work computers. My younger brother and friends of his often post things on each others' accounts (though they are invariably funny, not offensive). I could easily imagine a student who found a teachers he or she didn't like logged into their facebook account on a computer in school and doing this, especially given the headlines from teachers in Florida and NJ who did just this. If the people who know him say that this is completely out of character, I'd say that's a reasonable explanation for what happened.

    Posted by: Dan E | Oct 28, 2011 10:42:08 AM

  12. Typical liberals. Whitney doesn't receive his "innocent until proven guilty" rights? Nice double standard. How about you wait until the truth is known (if ever) before you pass your self-righteous judgement. You claim to promote equality for all, but deny it to him? Please explain that.

    Posted by: David | Oct 28, 2011 10:52:15 AM

  13. How about an independent investigation?

    Posted by: Kevin | Oct 28, 2011 11:05:24 AM

  14. He should close his Facebook account immediately. It is his account and he is ultimately responsible for what is posted whether he posts it or not. If his security is so lax that it is hacked then he needs to close the account.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Oct 28, 2011 11:12:51 AM

  15. Pathologicals and Prejudice

    In The Anatomy of Prejudices Elizabeth Young-Bruehl looks at such "primary prejudices" as sexism, racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. She argues that they fall into one or another combination of categories: obsessional, hysterical, or narcissistic.

    Obsessional (Malcontent) prejudice, by her definition, sees its objects as omnipresent conspirators or enemies set on one's destruction, who therefore must be eliminated.

    Hysterical (Histrionic) prejudice interprets the hated individuals as "other, as inferior, and as sexually threatening". Racism is the best example of hysterical prejudice.

    Narcissistic prejudice "cannot tolerate the idea that there exist people who are not like them". She argues that homophobia alone fits all these categories, and this might help account for its persistence and prevalence.
    --Vannessa Baird, The No-Nonsense Guide to Sexual Diversity, pg 72

    Posted by: I'm Layla Miller I Know Stuff | Oct 28, 2011 11:15:52 AM

  16. BS

    Posted by: say what | Oct 28, 2011 11:16:04 AM

  17. David, the liberal/conservative meme doesn't apply here, so perhaps you should drink a glass of water or something and sit down.

    Regardless of someone's political persuasion, this excuse doesn't pass the smell test.

    I call shenanigans.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Oct 28, 2011 11:51:53 AM

  18. Nice dodge Milkman, but the fact remains it is the liberal mentality; screaming that this guy is homophobic without any proof. And had he been making remarks about breeders the silence would be deafening.
    Keep your glass of water and I am sitting down, honey.

    Posted by: David | Oct 28, 2011 12:22:15 PM

  19. Davd: we have proof. His postings to his Facebook account. Depsite his claim that he was "hacked", Whitney is ultimately responsible for his owne Facebook page. He can make all the excuses he wants after the fact but the fact remains, his postings clearly expose him as a homophobic teacher. Again, if he wants to prevent this in the future he should close his Facebook account immediately. That would certainly but an end to any claims of "hacking" or "I didn't do it..."

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Oct 28, 2011 12:27:20 PM

  20. David, last time I checked, presumption of innocence was a legal principle, not a social one. It doesn't stop anyone from deciding the case for themselves, only prevents the law from punishing an individual until proven guilty. But, I suppose misusing a phrase in an attempt to attack a group with whom you disagree, and trying so desperately to look smart, is more important to you.

    Posted by: OddBet | Oct 28, 2011 12:50:15 PM

  21. If my Facebook account had been hacked and outrageously hostile comments casting doubt on my professional capabilities had been posted in my name I would have immediately expressed outrage that my account had been hacked--I wouldn't have posted an apology for remarks I didn't make. It is not some "liberal mentality" to "scream" that this guy is homophobic--the evidence--from postings in his name!--was that he was homophobic. Since the story is getting both more convoluted and illogical, Mr. Whitney needs to explain himself and what happened clearly. Given the postings, the burden is on him to clear his name, if he had nothing to do with this.

    And, when will teachers learn that 1) Facebook is public and reflects your professional life. 2) If you don't guard your privacy there, you may set yourself up for trouble. 3) If you get in trouble, either apologize clearly or explain clearly how you've been wronged.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 28, 2011 12:50:46 PM

  22. "OJ, did you kill your wife?"

    "No, my account was hacked."

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Oct 28, 2011 12:59:01 PM

  23. what a CROCK!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Oct 28, 2011 1:11:38 PM

  24. I hope Zuckerberg has Facebook investigate, and then take their findings (which will refute the "hacking" claim) to the school board. This is clearly an attempt to sweep this under the carpet and hope it goes away. Let's make certain it doesn't.

    Posted by: Keith | Oct 28, 2011 1:21:36 PM

  25. David, you're the one who's dodging. Right wingers constantly call us pedophiles and dangers to society. So clearly the tendency to come to conclusions based on the available evidence (even if it's limited or biased) prior to the completion of a legal proceeding is a human condition rather than a liberal or conservative one. That was my point.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Oct 28, 2011 1:25:57 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «Melissa McCarthy is Divine: PHOTO« «