Friday, October 28, 2011

Joplin School District Refuses To Take Action Against Homophobe Teacher

A concerned Joplinite passed me this link today and I couldn't help but pass it along to you guys.

One Joplin area teacher is breathing a sigh of relief today after his scandalous Facebook comments in which he callously remarked that gay suicides are the fault of the victim's, responding to a former student's post about 15-year old Jamie Hubley's bullying-related suicide by saying "Moral of the story: don't be gay."

Even more shockingly, when the question was rhetorically asked "How many more kids have to kill themselves before everyone realizes that this is an actual issue?" Whitney responded, "11-13 ought to do it. Somewhere in that vicinity."

Why is he relieved?  Because, of course, the Joplin School District is refusing to take action against him, insisting that his Facebook was hacked.

Superintendent C.J. Huff said that Jim Whitney’s Facebook account was compromised and that there were no findings that would indicate wrongdoing by Whitney. 
The board of education discussed the matter and was given a report following an investigation into the incident during a closed session at Tuesday night’s meeting
During my week-long visit in Joplin this summer, I discovered a Midwestern town filled with friendly, loving people.  Though Joplin has its quirks and problems, I found the majority of the city to be welcoming and tolerant.  When I stopped to buy my then-fiance a flower at a florist and corrected the clerk on the gender of my intended, she apologized politely and then congratulated me on my engagement.

Not only is the local populace warm and caring, a community which has come together in the aftermath of May's devastating tornado, but the LGBT community is a thriving reality in Joplin.  From the local gay bar (two-for-one drinks on Monday and Tuesday!!  Even shots!) to the small music scene, queer representation is both visible and appreciated.  The school district's decision to not pursue this matter both with transparency and sensitivity is a grave disservice to this fantastic city.

When Anthony Weiner Tweeted photos of his manparts to a ladyfriend, he claimed that his Twitter was hacked, then admitted to having been the perpetrator of the sex scandal.  How is it that this schoolteacher, who appears gleeful at the idea of gay youth killing themselves, can keep his job by pleading "hacked!" in a closed meeting with administrators?


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  2. hey I don't take sides on the matter because it says in the bible I should judge or condemn. but I am studying towards being a politician and no matter how wrong and distasteful what he posted was it is a matter of his views and opinions which goes under freedom of speech. there are limits to what you can say like don't scream free beer at a football game but what he said was wrong and that's his views and because its his personal account I don't believe he should be punished for what he said just accept who he is, a crazy mental close minded person who somehow got a teaching license

  3. @ unknown - so i can't yell "free beer" at a football game, but an employee of THE STATE has the right to advocate for all gays to commit suicide in a public digital forum? people seem to forget that freedom of speech doesn't include libel or slander and i'm pretty sure this falls into libel. and even if its not he's still condoning violence towards, not just a student, but an entire community of people. and oakland is a recent reminder that there is no such thing as free speech. you must pay for everything that you say in some form or another, be it a tear gas canister the head, or losing your job. this case isn't all that dissimilar from the lawyer that harassed the student body president.

  4. why fight over it one of my best friends is lesbian and another ones gay they say you should just be proud of who you are and turn a deaf ear to comment such as these what do you stand to gain from suicide

  5. It's not the same when it's a teacher. Having worked in a school, I have to say the general professional standard is that ANY interaction with a student, should be kept professional. Even if you don't want to look at this as something they should get actually fired over, it is a severe lapse of the district to not take it seriously and investigate. The responsibility of any teacher is to educate, and in the K-12 setting, to attempt to ensure their students safety whenever they are having contact with them. If he doesn't want the responsibility of trying to keep his students safe based on their facebook comments, don't friend them.