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Indiana Teacher Suspended Over Anti-Gay Remarks

Thursday Feb 21, 2013

An Indiana school district reeling from the uproar over a teacher's comments that she believes gays have no purpose in life suspended the woman Wednesday.

Superintendent Mark Baker of the Northeast School Corp. in western Indiana's Sullivan County issued a statement saying the teacher has been placed on administrative leave out of concern "for the safety and security of everyone in our buildings." He added that "as a precaution" the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department and Indiana State Police "have deemed it necessary to station an officer" at North Central Junior-Senior High School in Farmersburg, about 75 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

He said the "administration and one school employee in particular" at the school have received "aggressive email messages."

"We are turning over to law enforcement all such communications," Baker said.

The superintendent did not identify the teacher, but special education teacher Diana Medley's comments have circulated widely on social networking sites amid news coverage in nearby Sullivan of a non-school sanctioned prom that would ban gay students. Sullivan, a city of about 4,200, is near the Illinois border.

"I just ... I don't understand it," Medley said when asked whether homosexuals have a purpose in life. She was speaking to WTWO-TV of Terre Haute at a planning meeting earlier this month for the anti-gay dance.

Medley, who has no published telephone number, couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday. She didn't immediately respond to a message that The Associated Press sent to her school email account.

"As many of you know and appreciate, our school corporation is continuing to manage as responsibly and respectfully as possible the fallout from comments made by an employee as she attended a meeting outside of school or a school activity," Baker said. "We have conveyed our disappointment and our disagreement with these statements and have emphasized her comments do not reflect our schools' views or opinions."

As of Wednesday, a petition on calling for Medley's dismissal had generated more than 19,500 signatures from as far away as the United Kingdom, and a Facebook page supporting a prom that includes all students had more than 28,000 likes. Meanwhile, some gay rights groups are trying to bolster the confidence of gay teens with a Facebook page that will collect supportive videos.

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  • , 2013-02-21 11:33:24

    The school responded the right way by publicly disagreeing with her views.

  • WayGay, 2013-02-21 12:39:15

    Next will be her obligatory "my first amendment rights are being violated" Which is BS; she can say whatever she wants but that doesn’t mean there aren’t repercussions for what she said.

  • Oh Jed said:, 2013-02-21 22:19:45

    She’s got such a cute and friendly face too. I hope nobody beats the shit out of her for being an ignorant, hurtful twat.

  • Bob K, 2013-02-22 03:33:05

    Thanks for bringing the issue to the public attention, you twat! (even though you did not get the reaction you expected)

  • , 2013-02-22 17:59:25

    im a lesbian and my purpose in life is to raise my 2 beautiful children with morals ....not like the ignorant ass holes in the world... if you feel the need to discuss this matter more feel free to comment

  • , 2013-02-22 19:51:07

    Good we really don’t need teachers like that teaching our kids if she wants to be small minded then get a job where u r not around children

  • Wayne M., 2013-02-22 19:55:12

    If Ms. Medley dares to claim she is being denied her freedom of speech, she will only prove her lack of qualification to be a teacher. The fact is that teachers know that they do not have the freedom to say or do what they want in the classroom. I am a retired teacher and can remember many times when staff was told that the classroom was not the place to express personal opinions on political or social matters. HOWEVER, we were told quite plainly that we had a responsibility to prevent the development of circumstances that can cause bullying or problems between students. Clearly, Ms. Medley’s statements are the kind of statements used by homophobic bullies to justify their behaviour.

  • , 2013-02-22 21:12:25

    She may not accept that we have a purpose here on this planet but she is mistaken. I believe that hate-mongers also have a purpose here: They draw focus to evil in a way that the rest of the world suddenly realizes just how ridiculous and nonproductive their spoutings are. Shower these people with pity--they will never know true love. What a waste!

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