Wednesday, 21 December 2011

School District Sued for Punishing Student's Opposition to "Gay" Lifestyle

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A conservative legal advocacy group has filed suit against a Michigan school district and teacher for their actions against a student who was removed from class and threatened with suspension for expressing his opposition to homosexuality during a classroom discussion. The Thomas More Law Center said that it filed the federal lawsuit against the Howell, Michigan, school district and one of its teachers, Johnson “Jay” McDowell, “for punishment and humiliation” they exhibited toward high school student Daniel Glowacki after he expressed his Christian beliefs regarding homosexuality in response to McDowell’s prompting.

According to the More Law Center, Glowacki, who was a junior at Howell High School (shown during graduation ceremony, at left) at the time of the incident, “was specifically asked by McDowell about his feelings on homosexuals. Daniel responded that as a Catholic he was offended by the gay and lesbian lifestyle. Because of his answer, Daniel was ordered to leave the classroom under threat of suspension.”

As reported by the Livingston, Michigan Daily News, the “lawsuit alleges that McDowell, who was wearing a purple ‘Tyler’s Army’ T-shirt in support of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University freshman who killed himself in 2010 after a roommate streamed an Internet video of Clementi in a ‘sexual encounter’ with a male student, devoted his classes to promoting the homosexual lifestyle.”

The suit alleges that during the class McDowell ordered a female student to remove a Confederate belt buckle that he considered offensive, which prompted Glowacki to ask McDowell “why the student had to remove the buckle McDowell found offensive when a rainbow flag representing gay pride was allowed even though it was offensive to some people,” reported the Daily News. “That question prompted McDowell to ask Daniel Glowacki if he supported gays. When Daniel Glowacki said his Catholic religion does not accept homosexuality and he could not condone the behavior, McDowell was ‘angered’ and told Daniel Glowacki that his religion was ‘wrong,’ according to the lawsuit. McDowell then ordered Daniel Glowacki to leave the classroom.”

According to the Daily News, a “second student also was ordered out of the classroom when that student raised his hand to McDowell’s question about whether anyone else did not accept homosexuality.”

Ultimately, McDowell received a letter of  reprimand for overreacting to the situation in his classroom, disregarding Glowacki’s and the other student’s right to express themselves, and for displaying a “serious lack” of professionalism by his conduct.

In the lawsuit, the Thomas More Law Center pointed out that the incident occurred on October 20, 2010, designated “Spirit Day,” during which the school district cooperated with the National Education Association (NEA) and its state and local affiliates to further the agenda of the homosexual activist group Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) by facilitating the sale of the lavender “Tyler’s Army” t-shirts and allowing students and faculty to show their support for the homosexual lifestyle by wearing the shirts.

Commenting on the suit, Thomas More’s president Richard Thompson said that with the full knowledge of the school district, McDowell “used his position of authority to promote his homosexual agenda at taxpayer’s expense.” Thompson added that the case demonstrates “the outrageous way in which homosexual activists have turned our public schools into indoctrination centers, and are seeking to eradicate all religious and moral opposition to their agenda.”

Following the classroom incident, recalled a Thomas More press release, news of the case made national headlines. Lesbian talk show host Ellen DeGeneres even got into the act when a homosexual student who had spoken up for McDowell at a school board meeting was invited to her show to talk about the case. For his appearance the homosexual student was given a $10,000 academic scholarship by a digital media company.

Homosexual activists across the country hailed McDowell for his “heroism” while branding the young Glowacki a bigot and his religiously motivated objections to homosexuality “hate” speech. Glowacki’s actions even prompted his high school to schedule a school assembly to talk about the dangers of “bullying.”

The lawsuit filed by the Thomas More Law Center claims that Daniel Glowacki’s constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech and equal protection were violated by the policies of the district and the actions of McDowell. In addition to nominal damages, the suit seeks a verdict that the school policies and actions violated the Constitution, along with an injunction that will prohibit similar actions in the future.

Thomas More Senior Trial Counsel Robert Muise, who is handling the case, noted that “homosexual activists, with the willing and complicit support of public school districts and teachers’ unions throughout the country, are using our public schools to foist their destructive agenda on our children, thereby creating a hostile learning environment for those students who oppose this agenda on religious and moral grounds. This case is just one example of the pernicious effect these activists are having on our students and in our community. We intend to stop it.”

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