It has been done before – videos to show that Hitler could form Nazi groups in high schools and a reverse video of heterosexuals being in the minority and homosexuals bullying them!
Parents quickly became upset that Leahy showed the video, during which a bullied teen kills herself. “There are people who don’t want their children in my classroom … I thought that I’d take a little time off and then come back, and people would cool their heels and everything would be better. That didn’t happen,” Leahy explained in an interview with The Wichita Eagle.
The school reportedly asked Leahy to resign, which he says he initially intended to do. But he changed his mind after receiving a flood of support from LGBT organizations.
The Tyler Clementi Foundation, named after a gay teenager who jumped off the George Washington Bridge following cyber-bullying by roommates, launched a petition on Leahy’s behalf. The foundation’s petition to save his job has gained 249 signatures, while a local petition in support of the teacher has gained almost 3,000. The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network has also stood up for Leahy, with its co-founder Liz Hamor saying to The Wichita Eagle, “What kind of message does calling for Mr. Leahy’s resignation send to other educators who are tKansas Homophobiarying to ensure their schools are safe for LGBT students and teach respect for all?”
According to The Wichita Eagle, Leahy
returned to his classroom on Monday, April returned to his class room on Monday, April 04, 2016, after a 10-day leave of absence.
It isn’t unusual for teachers to pay a professional price for teaching acceptance of LGBT students. In June, a North Carolina elementary teacher dealt with an outcry from parents after reading a book about two kings who fell in love, called “King & King.” Parents sued a school in 2006 after a teacher read the same book. The teacher, Omar Currie, who is gay, resigned after he felt unsupported by the administration. He said he chose to read the book after he witnessed repeated incidents of students being bullied with homophobic remarks. LGBT teachers themselves, whether or not they are out to school staff and parents, are often wary of how they deal with anti-LGBT bullying out of fear they will provoke similar controversies.
The new homophobic laws passed in North Carolina and Mississippi can only provide ammunition for homophobic bullies in classrooms, homes and places of worship.