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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.”

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  1. I'm from Joplin, even had Mr. Whitney as a teacher years ago.. had no problem with him at the time.

    Having said that, I don't buy the hacking excuse for a second. (To be fair he did mention hacking the very next morning on his wall from what I understand)

    He has a natural sarcastic side to him and I think this was likely a joke done in extremely poor taste. I can also confirm that he was talking about baseball within 10 to 15 minutes of these comments and he's a huge baseball fan.

    Basically with Joplin being the way Joplin is.... and with it "only" being gay kids he was joking about, I doubt it was even really investigated seriously at all.

    Sad but true.... likely swept under the rug.

    Posted by: Tiffany | Oct 28, 2011 1:42:38 PM

  2. What is wrong with you people? Facebook accounts are hacked all the time: if you don't use a secure login or leave your account open at a public computer. Blaming the victim of a hacking is exactly that- blaming the victim.

    Check out this post:

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Oct 28, 2011 1:42:40 PM

  3. Another press report (I'll have to track it down) mentioned that at the same time this interchange was happening, the teacher was also conversing on Facebook with his other Facebook friends. So the hacker was simultaneously impersonating him to his friends?

    Posted by: Kevin_BGFH | Oct 28, 2011 2:01:06 PM

  4. He couldn't be innocent. I don't believe anything that doesn't fit in with my preconceived notions of how reality works, so I refuse to believe that people involved in this situation know what they're talking about and have taken the appropriate course of action.

    It's not at all possible that this teacher left his account logged in on a school computer, allowing a student to post malicious things to his account. Students would never do something like that because they are all innocent children.

    This must be some vast conspiracy of the school board covering up for one of their fellow homophobes at their monthly homophobe meetings.

    As a homosexual I deserve solid proof that a teacher not in a school district anywhere near where I live did not say things that I disapprove of.


    Posted by: RandySF | Oct 28, 2011 2:03:38 PM

  5. Joplin voted for Missouri's so-called Defense of Marriage amendment by a vote of 81%-19%. When you have anti-gay sentiment that prevalent, it is easy to see how a teacher would feel that he could post anything about gays and suffer no consequences.

    If someone had hacked his account, he would have said so in the very first sentence of his initial statement. He also would feel like his privacy had been violated and his identity stolen, so all of that would be prominent in his initial statement. But none of that is anywhere to be found. He certainly wouldn't be apologizing for a statement that he never made.

    This is a transparent lie.

    Posted by: David | Oct 28, 2011 4:10:54 PM

  6. ODDBET, I disagree with people who immediately presume guilt and start bashing someone without knowing all the facts. Comes from personal experience. If this guy turns out to be guilty, then I hope Karma plays out. Until then don't prosecute him in the social media. It will end up like the case of mistaken identity when the waitress in Seattle ID'd the wrong guy for writing nasty comments to her on his receipt. A man in Texas paid the price for a witch hunt started with comments like the ones posted here.

    Posted by: David | Oct 28, 2011 4:38:24 PM

  7. "My account was hacked". Is that the new "the dog ate my homework"?

    I have a friend whose fb account was hacked so I know that it does happen. But if it happened to this teacher, what was he apologizing for and why didn't he just say so from the start?

    Posted by: Laura | Oct 28, 2011 5:28:20 PM

  8. b-u-l-l-s-h-i-t!!!!!! this is another one of those i got caught i am sorry apologies.

    Posted by: walter | Oct 28, 2011 8:40:52 PM

  9. If you believe your account was hacked, that's the FIRST thing you say, not I regret these comments were made, and don't reflect my beliefs...or some such BS.

    Posted by: cuffy123 | Oct 29, 2011 12:56:57 AM

  10. Anyone over 30 who has a Facebook profile appears childish. Get a grip. And a life.

    Posted by: CarlottaVonFunkenhowzer | Oct 29, 2011 3:18:58 AM

  11. Does this teacher have any kids?

    Posted by: Jiff363 | Oct 29, 2011 7:12:23 AM

  12. Sorry so the ONLY thing the hacker did was make a homophobic comment and the teacher didn't say anything about being hacked the first moment it was brought to his attention???

    Posted by: Michael | Oct 29, 2011 4:50:08 PM

  13. I doubt his account was hacked. No chance. However, I would readily believe that he left his in-classroom computer logged into Facebook while away from the keyboard and a student used that computer to post the messages. THAT happens all the time.

    For whatever irritating reason nobody knows what "hacked" actually means and it's used absurdly to mean "used my computer or my account to do something bad."

    I remember one of the ag teachers at the high school where I taught left his computer logged in, someone used it to post FAG FAAAAAAAAG all over the place. (Their messages were less eloquent than those above, but eloquent homophobic high-schoolers exist too.)

    A couple kids noticed the posts that evening, and an overnight shitstorm happened. There wasn't any statement to the press (too rural, no local newspaper), but there were furious parents and lots of carefully worded apologies for what had happened.

    I will hope, for the sake of the gay kids at this teacher's school, that the same thing turns out to be true, that the teacher is not the author of these posts, and that the teacher uses this as an opportunity to express some support and sympathy to gay students.

    Posted by: Salient | Oct 29, 2011 4:53:02 PM

  14. https://www.facebook.com/jimwhitneyjoplin

    Posted by: James | Oct 30, 2011 5:44:34 AM

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