Student’s Homosexuality Comment Leads To Suspension

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A Fort Worth high school student says he was suspended from school for expressing his Christian beliefs in class. His teacher, however, saw it differently, labeling the student’s comments about homosexuality as bullying.

“It really took me by surprise because Dakota doesn’t get in trouble,” said the student’s mother, Holly Pope.

The disciplinary referral given to Dakota Ary called his comments a “possible instance of bullying.” It wasn’t anything the freshman honor student physically did in his second period class, but what he said.

The comment came during a German class, where conversation turned to vocabulary for Christianity and the Bible. Dakota said one student asked about translations for homosexual terms.

“I said, ‘I’m a Christian, and I don’t think being gay is right,’” he said. “If the same situation comes up, just different scenario, I think I’d do the same thing.”

His decision to speak out earned him a full day of in-school suspension, and he was banned from campus for two more days. His mother was floored, she said.

“I kind of rethought our conversation and realized, no, he shouldn’t be punished at all,” Pope said.

Dakota was back at school Wednesday, after his mother got a constitutional attorney involved.

“I was blown away that this led to a suspension,” said Matthew Krause with Libery Counsel, a nonprofit law firm. “Once we got into it and found out that’s the only thing he said to a classmate, we knew pretty quick there had been a violation of his constitutional right to free speech.”

Fort Worth ISD would not comment, other than a statement saying, “Suffice it to say, we are following policy in our review of the circumstances and any resolution will be in accordance with district policy.” Krause said the teacher opened the door to the topic and the student’s statement.

After initially reducing the suspension to just one day, administrators dropped it completely on Wednesday.

“I just think this was an opinion of this teacher and they backed him up and I don’t think they should have,” Pope said.

  • thinkingone

    But it IS ok to say you do believe in something or you DON’T believe in God? Hmmmm. Careful what you wish for.

    • emily

      Good point. I remember a teacher once opened the topic of zoos and, apropos of animals and cages, I said I don’t believe being male is right. Same thing: suspension. Crazy.

  • john jackso

    freedom FROM religion should be a right!

    • Freedomloverpip

      You have that right…nobody can force religion on you. But you do not have the right to silence differing opinions, regardless of the attempts by universities (and now high schools) to do just that.

      • Biba

        Go check the KKK history of trying to defend their “differing opinions”.

  • friscoGuy

    Just because you have an opinion, does not mean everybody wants to hear it. You can have free speech, but you have to be prepared for the consequences of that speech.

    • Afreetexan

      The school district should also be prepared for the consequences of the suppression of that free speech.

  • Stephen

    Before getting worked up about this we should hear what the kid actually said since the article doesn’t show that.

    • Mary

      Yes, it clearly states what he said in response to a question he was being asked. You can’t make everybody like each other.

      Since the instructor felt that his statement could be interpreted in a more hostile manner, he/she could have simply pointed out, that she appreciated his opinion but that there were are always more than one opinion even among Christians.

      I happen to disagree with his statement, but I see no reason for a suspension because of it.

    • Afreetexan

      It appears you need to work on your reading comprehension skills.

      The bigger question in all this, is why were they discussing “vocabulary terms for Christianity and the Bible” in a public school German class? Did they also cover translations of Islamic terms, Buddhist terms, Jewish terms, etc…? How about Creationism? The school and the teacher are on a very slippery slope here.

  • noemail

    I might also point out that its illegal to (falsely) yell fire in a crowded theater. Anybody want to bring in an constitutional attorney on that one?

    • Kim

      Different situation altogether due the the public safety issue that entails. Panic could erupt and injury to patrons because of someones idea of a sick prank. Do you really think there is a comparison here? You don’t want to start limiting free speech just because someone is expressing a viewpoint others may disagree with. No bodily harm in that.

  • Anthony

    How would he react to someone saying religion is a useless waste of time? To be honest I think we have become too politically correct of a society. We all have our opinions and not all will be well received. There is a time and place for everything a German class is not a great place for a religious discussion. Just my opinion.

  • nat

    I can honestly say that he had a right to say what he believes in just like everybody else says what they believe. Now if he was using slurs and picking on this other child then action needs to take place. Anyhow how you live your life is between God and you. So I can not tell anybody that they are wrong in life no judgement here..In the final hour, im not the person you have to convince for the reason of why you chose to live the way you did. I know Im a sinner i admit that have fallen and ask for forgiveness. I own up to my sins and I dont use other events in the bible to justify my sin

  • Ken

    Having an opinion and bullying are totally different things. You have the right to say what you believe whether some one else thinks it is right or not. However, badgering another person (or bullying) would be wrong but that does not appear to be the problem here. I hear Republicans opinions too

  • RussP

    The teacher opened the door for the student’s discussion of his beliefs by bringing christianity and the bible into a German class but then objected to what was said. Sounds like the teacher may need to rethink the lesson plans and stay on subject.

    • Bill Haley

      I’m thinking the instructor has a hidden agenda.

  • The Lord

    I agree, how about not talking about religion at all.

  • cheyenne

    the topic was opened by the mere mention of Christianity, and by the asking of translations. the boy simply stated that he didn’t believe it was right… you can’t expect that every person needs to walk on egg shells about these topics…

  • christopher

    opinions are like a–holes-everyone has them.discretion should be the rule.for both sides of this opinion.thats how i would handle it.and in German class-of all things.look up a historical figure from Germany-Magnus Hirshfeld-his work on the beginnings of the then emerging gay rights movement.he was prominent before Alfred Kinsey-Kinsey scale-of Indiana University.

  • NiteNurse

    I’m pretty sure it was the way Dakota said what he said that earned him a day of suspension. Communication isn’t all about the words. (BTW THERE ARE ENOUGH CROSSES IN THAT HOUSE TO KEEP A 100 VAMPIRES AWAY)

    • Bill M

      I’m pretty sure you have no idea since you weren’t there. So you have a problem with crosses?

  • Mark

    The thought police and speech Nazis strike again…thr gay agenda in this country is insidious, reaching far inside our public schools and ensnaring those too ignorant or too stupid to think for themselves…and pity those who don’t agree with it, or in this case, have the audacity to voice a different opinion..

  • Know No God

    As an atheist, I still think he has the right to say whatever he wants, as long as it’s the kind of speech protected under the First Amendment, which it is.

  • Kaysa Lacy

    Toughen up, grow a pair, and learn how to deal with people who share a different opinion then your own. This includes “teachers”. Hell, even gay people wouldnt really care what this kid said. They would just rebuttal and that is that.

    Teacher asked for an opinion, and got one.

  • Really Tired

    If they didn’t want to know how people (and they are people) felt, the subject should have never been brought up.

  • Smash Crasher

    Why was Christianity being discussed in a German class? I would fire the cowardly Democratic uber-liberal Nazi fascist teacher for even bringing up religion in a state institution.

  • FeedMe

    A German class does have business bringing up translation of religious or any terms, yet that should cover all religions and not just one. Living on the border outside of the classroom I did learn all the Spanish terms that where insults so you would know when someone was throwing an insult your way.
    From what was said in this articles this was an unfounded suspension since stating ones belief nicely is in no way bullying anyone, nor wrong if the topic is brought up. It was not said to the whole class, yet even if it had been it would not be wrong unless they ranted and put it in a way that would be disrespectful or incite violence. You can bully with words, yet stating a nice fact is not being a bully.
    I don’t care if someone is gay or religious, but I do care when either steps on the other ones toes or does wrongs to others.
    Fact has it some people are born with both genders, so loop holes exit for religious believers. Guess they are gay no matter what kind of life they live. For years corrective surgery was done immediately, yet sometimes doctors made the wrong choice long before hormone levels where known of.

  • Bill M

    The teacher is a bully, a PC bully.

  • Biba

    The little bigot got what he deserved. If he expressed anti-semitic or racist opinions he’d get the same punishment. We hope he learns to keep his bigoted opinions to himself…

  • Andrew Myers

    Since when is it illegal to voice an opposing opinion? If it is wrong for him to have an opinion, then it should be wrong for the teacher to voice his. We have an educational system to teach us how to think for ourselves and form our own opinions. Somewhere along the way we have let our education system go to Marxists who punish those who disagree with them. We have forgotten that we are a diverse society and the reason that works is because we have thoughtful debate with people who disagree. If the gays wish acceptance, they should earn it the same way every other group has had to earn it. Prove yourself worthy. When you accuse people of bashing and bullying by bashing and bullying those people yourselves, you have already lost me attention and respect.

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