Teacher put on leave after suspending student for criticizing homosexuality
FORT WORTH, Texas, September 29, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The teacher responsible for suspending a student after he expressed opposition to homosexuality has been placed on administrative leave with pay.
Last week, Western Hills High School teacher Kristopher Franks retaliated against high school freshman and honors student Dakota Ary after he was overheard telling one other student that he believes homosexuality is wrong because of his Christian faith. The conversation, held during a class discussion on religious beliefs in Germany, arose when one student asked what Germans thought about homosexuality in relation to religion.
Ary says the instructor “started yelling” upon hearing the boy’s statement, and charged him with “possible bullying” before sending him to the principal’s office for discipline, where he received a two-day in-class suspension. The sentence was reduced to one day after Ary’s mother confronted the principal.
In a press release Wednesday, Liberty Counsel attorneys representing Dakota note that the same instructor had displayed a picture of two men kissing and encouraged his students to accept homosexuality. Many of the students were offended by Franks’ actions and his continually bringing up the topic of homosexuality in a German language class, the lawyers allege.
After attorneys sent a demand letter to the school and then met with school officials, the school district reversed the in-school suspension and placed Franks on administrative leave with pay.
Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said that his group was pleased with the school’s response thus far, although the teacher should “apologize publicly” to Ary.
“It is intolerable for the teacher to ridicule the religious beliefs of students in front of class,” said Staver. “This teacher should not force his views about homosexuality upon students.”