Florida High School removes teacher for criticizing gay ‘marriage’ on Facebook
MOUNT DORA, FL, August 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Mount Dora High School has removed a veteran social-studies teacher Gerald (Jerry) Buell from his classroom for Facebook comments critical of homosexual ‘marriage’. Christopher Patton, Communications Officer for Lake County Schools told LifeSiteNews that Buell was moved to administrative duties pending the results of an investigation into a suspected code of ethics violation.
On his personal Facebook account, outside of school time, Buell posted a reaction to New York’s passage of homosexual ‘marriage’ saying he “almost threw up.” He also referred to homosexual unions as sinful and referred to it as part of a “cesspool” of behaviors in remarks quoted by the Sentinel.
While LifeSiteNews was unable to reach Buell at his home, his staff page on the school’s website – which has been deleted at the time of this publication – revealed him to be a devout Christian. “First and foremost, I am a man of God,” he wrote. “I try to teach and lead my students as if Lake Co. Schools had hired Jesus Christ himself. That doesn’t mean I give a sermon and serve communion each day…what it means is I try my very best to teach and serve and minister to my students as a teacher led by and connected to the Creator of the Universe.”
In answer to castigations of being hateful, Buell told the Orlando Sentinel, “I’ve had kids that I’ve known that have been homosexuals. They know that I don’t hate them. I love them.”
“It wasn’t out of hatred,” he added. “It was about the way I interpret things.”
Patton told LSN that a complaint email was received Tuesday with quotes given to the Sentinel. Buell, he said, has thus been removed from his classroom and reassigned to the district office to undertake other non-teaching duties while the board investigates if his actions constitute a breach of the code of ethics.
A very similar case to that of Buell’s is the Canadian case of teacher Chris Kempling who in 1995 was suspended from teaching for writing letters to a local newspaper explaining Christian belief on homosexuality. Kempling fought the charges all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court, where his appeal was denied - leaving him with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Buell’s is not new to the United States. Last summer a Catholic professor was fired from the University of Illinois for sending an email to students in a course on Catholic doctrine, explaining how homosexual activity is contrary to the natural moral law.
More recently Canadian television sportscaster Damian Goddard was fired for Tweeting his support of Burlington hockey agent Todd Reynolds, who created a stir when he criticized New York Rangers hockey star Sean Avery for shooting a TV ad backing gay “marriage.” “I completely and wholeheartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage,” Goddard tweeted.
Principal Pam Chateauneuf
Debbie Stivender, Lake County School Board