On Tuesday, high school freshman Dakota Ary was given in-school suspension for stating in class that he believes homosexuality is wrong because of his Christian faith. Now, Ary is fighting back, with a little help from his friends at the Liberty Counsel.
Liberty Counsel is representing Ary, demanding full vindication and a full retraction of the suspension. If the school board does not comply, a lawsuit will be filed for violation of Ary’s First Amendment rights.
Here’s the backstory: Ary was in a German language class at Western Hills High School in Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday when the topic of homosexuality arose. During the discussion, one student asked what Germans thought about homosexuality in relation to religion. Another student then asked to hear some translated terms such as "lesbian." These questions provoked the conversation about Christianity and Ary's expression of his opinion to one classmate.
"I'm a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong," Ary said to one of his classmates during a class on religious beliefs in Germany.
When the teacher overheard Ary’s comment, he was written up and sent to the principal’s office. The discipline referral form says the comment was out of context, even though the lesson for the day was on religious beliefs. The teacher charged Ary with "possible bullying" and said, "It is wrong to make such a statement in public school."
"Just because you walk through the schoolhouse doors doesn't mean you shed your First Amendment rights,” says Matthew Krause, litigation counsel for Liberty Counsel, who along with Dakota's mom, Holly Pope, met with school administrators Wednesday morning. “Dakota wasn't disrupting class. He wasn't bullying or harassing anybody. He was just stating his personal opinion on a topic somebody else brought up and in a civil and respectful manner."
Noteworthy is the fact this same teacher last week displayed a picture of two men kissing on a "World Wall" and told the students that homosexuality is becoming more prevalent in the world and that they should just accept it. Many of the students were offended by the teacher's actions and his continually bringing up the topic of homosexuality in a German language class.
Liberty Counsel recently defended Florida Teacher of the Year Jerry Buell, after he was suspended for a comment he made outside of class on his personal Facebook page, expressing his disapproval of legalized homosexual marriage in New York. After a weeklong "investigation," the Lake County School Board fully exonerated and reinstated Buell.
"The double standard advocated by homosexual activists is mind boggling. Jerry Buell was suspended for opposing same-sex ‘marriage’ outside of class,” says Harry Mihet, senior litigation counsel for Liberty Counsel. “This teacher in Texas is actually bullying his students into accepting the homosexual lifestyle inside the class, and yet it is his student, not him, that gets suspended. We will vigorously defend and restore Dakota's constitutional rights."
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