Teacher Suspended For Comparing Gay-Straight Alliance To Drug-Users Club

David_foggin_psa

David Foggin, a teacher at Parkersburg South High School in West Virginia, has been suspended for four days by the Wood County School District for posting an image on Facebook comparing his school’s gay-straight alliance with a club for drugs, drunks and deer poaching.

FogginHis post had an image advertising the GSA’s next meeting and the following text written by him:

“Club meeting at PSHS!! Rally around them and show ur support. We are also considering a drunks-t totaller club, drugged/sober club, smokeless tobacco vs smokes club, street racing, and deer poaching clubs. Please donate and support us. Thank u!!! I think I hear the drag already zinging.”

The county school board is investigating the matter and considering whether or not Mr. Foggin’s will be paid during his suspension.

Comments

  1. Alex says

    wait – THAT’s IT? a 4-day suspension? AND they are considering whether or not to PAY him? So, basically they’re deciding whether or not to give him a 4-day paid vacation?

    Doesn’t this type of behavior deserve a firing? If he made a posting that included racist, misogynistic, sexist, or what, ageist comments, wouldn’t he get a true slap on the wrist, not a possible paid vacation?

    Ridiculous.

  2. reality says

    “Teaching moments” for these types of actions are over. If you’re an educator and you still treat students in your school this way, you need to be fired. And this is coming from an educator myself.

  3. Continuum says

    I am always totally amazed when people like teachers or cops are suspended with pay. How is that anything other than a paid vacation. How does that kind of paid suspension qualify as any kind of punishment.

  4. ATLJason says

    Wow, this one hits close to home. I grew up on the west coast but my parents and grandparents are from here and both my sisters live there now. My partner and I were there for Thanksgiving and I was surprised to find they actually have a couple of gay bars although we never got a chance to visit them. People are nice but it is definitely small town, rural America.

  5. Hey Darlin' says

    Students are leading the teachers when it comes to acceptance. The next generation already gets it, unprofessional teachers like this never will. Some people don’t deserve to shape children’s futures.

  6. TAL says

    This was my high school before I graduated in 2001. Please consider writing to Principal Tom Eschbacher and Superintendent Dr. Pat Law (jplaw@access.k12.wv.us, teschbac@access.k12.wv.us) about this. I wrote that the punishment was not strict enough, and how damaging this will be on his professional relationships (teacher-student).

  7. HankNYC says

    Dressed as he is in that pic, he looks like a Deer poacher – so many this is his way of coming out… as an alcoholic drug addict deer poaching, smoking street racer.

  8. Someone says

    Boy, he sure looks and sounds like an educated individual. If West Virginia wants to be taken seriously, people like him (teachers, wow) need a makeover inside and out.

  9. PrettyRazors says

    It’s about time!! I’ve found a handful of people who agree with me. The comments I’ve been seeing are supporting him. I’ve seen a million comments using the freedom of speech bit and a million more using the religion bit. He turned a PRIVATE thought into a PUBLIC matter. He knew what he was posting and he knew he would get a slap on the wrist. He’s supposed to be a role model for all kids in that school. He has an obligation as their mentor. He chose to take that obligation when he obtained his teaching degree. He should be held accountable for what he did. His free speech should be limited to what’s appropriate and inappropriate just as the rest of us! But no, he’s given back his position to continue teaching kids that it’s OK to be bullies! He’s supposed to support, guide and protect those kids, not belittle, ridicule and put them in danger.

  10. Sam says

    The man is entitled to his opinion. His views do not inhibit him from being a good teacher. Stop politicizing this man’s job. Keep him out of your culture war that Liberals insist upon preemptively enforcing.

  11. AG says

    The man is entitled to his opinion. His views do not inhibit him from being a good teacher. Stop politicizing this man’s job. Keep him out of your culture war that Liberals insist upon preemptively enforcing.

  12. Jennifer says

    I’m from this town, it’s splitting the town in half it seems! And now Team Foggin is attacking the teacher who “blew the whistle”. I’ve written to the other teacher who heads the Gay-Straight Alliance and given him my thanks!! Personally, my life would have been different if I had a teacher like him, and I know some lives who might have been saved if there was a safe place from the bullying!

  13. says

    Of course he’s entitled to his opinion (duh) but Facebook is a public forum, and whatever a teacher posts to it–especially if it’s about students–reflects on his professional capacities and ethics.

    In this case, by ridiculing the GSA he was also ridiculing the school’s LGBT students and their straight allies, creating a hostile environment for them in his classroom. It all makes him look unprofessional, juvenile, and ignorant–students deserve better.

  14. LAB says

    I’m a gay man from this town. I had Mr. Foggin for high school physics in 2000-01 (and I never felt comfortable around him), and my younger brother currently has him for physics. It terrifies and saddens me to think about all of the out and not-so-out kids at PSHS who will now feel even less safe because of this incident and the students’ responses.

  15. Phantom4j says

    Did I suddenly take a trip into stereotype land? This … uhm…person? is a teacher? PLEASE! He should be fired, immediately. NO question, no delay. Fired.

    And made to apologize publicly to the citizens of West Virginia who actually DO live somewhere near the 21st century.

  16. Justin McKown says

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    I’m the faculty advisor to the GSA club in question. I also teach English at Parkersburg South. I’m so very saddened by the hardships and chaos the students have endured this past week. I’m proud of the way the members of the GSA responded. They realized the difference between standing up for their rights and starting a fight. They’ve experienced many negative comments and are exhausted and ready for Spring break. Some encouraging words would be great for them right now. https://www.facebook.com/parke

    This is not a McKown vs. Foggin thing or a GSA vs. Foggin thing inspite of the Ad Hominem attacks on me. https://www.facebook.com/photo

    The man in the picture is not me. It was a funny photo that I posted from an awkward Christmas photo site. The idea that Mrs. Foggin would post an attack on me is ludicrous. It’s also deeply saddening as she is further perpetuating a sense of bullying and homophobia by assuming the man in the picture is a homosexual or a crossdresser. Apparently for some, a silly pose and an ugly sweater = gay. This is further proof that a GSA needs to exist in this area. Perhaps you can talk some sense into her. Please keep it classy as I do not wish to speak ill of anyone. I only want people to see that prejudice can be overcome in a positive, loving way.

    The local paper did run a story about the positivity of the group in the community and that the club is continuing what they’ve always done: education, prevention of isolation, and the creation of safe school environments. Here’s the link for the article:http://newsandsentinel.com/pag

  17. Michael D. Burns says

    I happen to be grossly offended by this man’s actions. Growing up as a homosexual in this back woods state was not easy. I was physically abused and bullied while I was in high school and felt I couldn’t go to anyone over these issues. That was 10 years ago! It is sad to say that an EDUCATOR is allowed to get away with this sort of ignorance. The purpose of teaching is to EDUCATE your students not teach them intolerance and ignorance. I feel this man should not be able to be a teacher in this state or any other and his license should be pulled. I would not feel comfortable allowing my child in a room with this man. He is a disgrace and sickening. It hurts me to imagine the extent of his ignorance and the amount of damage already done to the student he has already had in his classroom of hatred and ignorance.

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