"Bad" Teacher

Teacher Lost His Job After Showing Anti-Bullying Video

Tom Leahy
Tom Leahy

A Conway Springs, Kansas teacher who tried to teach his students about intolerance is now out of a job.

Tom Leahy, a social studies teacher at Conway Springs Middle School, was inspired to show his class the anti-bullying short film Love Is All You Need?, after some students exhibited antigay behavior.

Leahy told The Wichita Eagle that when students separated into colonies as a part of a learning exercise, at least one colony wanted to exclude gays, which upset some of the other students in the class.

I was expecting fairly positive kinds of colonies: ‘Do things we think are right, and be nice.’ But it just kind of got twisted around, and it became a place where certain people weren’t allowed.

The film is a parable about a fictionalized world where heteros, not gays, are subject of sexual orientation-based discrimination, but Leahy admits that he didn’t get permission from parents or the principal to show the film.

After outraged parents contacted the school board and superintendent, Leahy found himself in hot water. Though he was set to retire at the end of the current school year, the school board is expected to accept his resignation when they meet next week. Leahy seems surprised by the outrage, but hopes that the community can find a way to move beyond the debacle:

Now I’m just really hoping this community can heal and maybe find some peace. These are people I’ve known my whole life, and I didn’t mean for this to happen.

It’s an unfortunate situation all around, but we’re sure that at least some of his students appreciated the message, and it’s good to know we have allies in the classroom where they’re needed the most.

Watch the short film he showed students below.

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19 Comments

  • Giancarlo85

    This is what republicans and right wingers would do to anyone who preaches acceptance and understanding. What do you expect from the fanatic right wing? This was in Kansas afterall. I feel bad for him. He was just trying to do the right thing.

  • Glücklich

    @Giancarlo85:
    Just so long as you don’t call Kansas fly-over country…

    Oh. That clown’s not even in here yet.

  • Garth Wong

    Only in America!!!!

  • Alistair Wiseman

    Is it really the government’s job to raise our kids?

    Karl [email protected] said that in order to establish a perfect [email protected] state, you have to destroy the family. It’s not just schools that thinks that your child’s rearing belongs to the state. The president, like so many on the left, believes that the state should form the hearts and minds of our youths so they think the way the government wants them to think.

    We live in America, parents should be the arbiter of what is appropriate for their own children, not the state (no matter how well intentioned).

  • Giancarlo85

    Teachers are meant to do their jobs and be role models. Insulting him and engaging in right wing psycho babble about the state wanting to brainwash youth is early signs of dementia and delusional paranoia. The weakest attack is on Obama. This insidious hateful little troll needs to take his fire breathing bullshit mouth somewhere else. Obviously this delusional troll thinks conservative parents are ideal. Explains why there are hundreds of thousands of kids in the adoption system.

    Fantastic fucking job with the family value shit.

  • Alistair Wiseman

    @Giancarlo85:

    I am so touched that my posts mean so much to you, that you follow me around like a little puppy dog having to respond to everything I write.

    However, you made a big proclamation here on Queerty and so far you have failed to keep your word. When are you going to practice what you have written and not respond to “trolls”?

    To refresh your memory, you stated:
    “I am no longer responding to certain trolls because they cannot handle criticism and flag posts if they are challenged. The trolls in question are not capable of a logical, reasoned discussion based on evidence and sources… so they resort to censorship. The trolls in question are a waste of time to engage as they are not willing to discuss anything.”

    Do you ever keep your word?

  • John Malin

    I’ll never understand why Dorothy and Toto went back to Kansas, total idiots!

  • Bob LaBlah

    @Johnmalin…….It’s simple. She couldn’t afford the cost of living in San Francisco. Didn’t you notice the similarities of the buildings, the way the people dressed and their mannerisms? While some of the inhabitants had wealthy husbands to buy them first class tickets that poor little girl and her dog were at the mercy of an old ragged house and a tornado for transportation. She saw what the cost of living was in that place and got smart, THATS why she went home to Kansas with Toto.

    In this part of the country it’s simply ungodly to marry an old man just for his money, first class tickets, the overpriced gym memberships and the Andrew Christian jockstraps he can shower upon you to wear during ungodly DUMP trysts with third PARTIES that he films and puts online. She had pride and stuck to her midwest upbringing.

    I tell you, you can take one or two of them out of East L.A. but you will never take the East L.A. out of them.

  • Giancarlo85

    And the troll refuses to address the points I made. What a surprise. Does it surprise anyone he using the same argument the christian right uses against gay people? He has showed his true colors. Time to ban the homophobe.

  • Bob LaBlah

    Tell all the gang down at the 7-11 day labor pickup lot we said hello.

  • alphacentauri

    I’m not surprised he was fired for doing this. Schools today are extremely overly protective and get mad at teachers showing any sort of video or media without giving parents warning with a permission slip or telling them what it’s about first.

  • MacAdvisor

    @Alistair Wiseman:
    “Is it really the government’s job to raise our kids?”
    No, to raise them, put the state has an interest in insuring kids are raised within a set of social norms acceptable to society as a whole. There isn’t anything unusual about this, nor does the quote from Marx invalidate it. Marx also supported women’s equality, but that hardly invalidates the idea the women should be treated equally before the law with men. School lasts about five hours a day and that is the time for the state to indoctrinate children in the norms of society. Frankly, I think the school day should be longer and children should be left to their parents’ devices for far less time.

  • Alistair Wiseman

    @MacAdvisor:

    You stated, “Frankly, I think the school day should be longer and children should be left to their parents’ devices for far less time.”

    As I stated, those on the Left believe the state should indoctrinate our youths so they think the way the government wants them to think.

    Thank you for making my point.

  • Bob LaBlah

    @MacAdvisor: ” Frankly, I think the school day should be longer and children should be left to their parents’ devices for far less time.”

    I couldn’t agree more. There is simply too much to cover in five and one half hours with a half hour to forty five minute lunch break included. That is too short for todays world. The argument was but on the table back in the 1980’s when some one FINALLY noticed that kids here in the U.S. of A. were more or less ignorant of the metric system (and they still are). Science is taught in METRICS, not feet and inches.

    The “points” brought up by one commenter are the same points brought up by the most vocal opponents of extending the school day, the teachers, who feel obligated to do nothing else but show up in class and pretend to teach. Indoctrination clearly isn’t working because communism is based on order, not chaos such as what we are seeing in todays republican party.

  • Giancarlo85

    The state has an obligation to make sure certain standards are met. Right wingers like Alistair fail at everything in life. It is the government’s obligation to make sure kids are raised properly. There are hundreds of thousands of kids left in the adoption system, and the little half wit has said nothing about them. Where are all those parents who brought these kids into the world just to abandon them?

    The government doesn’t just has an interest, but an imperative obligation to mitigate this crisis. Some states have hundreds of thousands of kids abandoned and left as orphans. So much for that “traditional family” BS.

  • MacAdvisor

    @Alistair Wiseman:
    Government in a democracy is a reflection of society. Society certainly has an interest in insuring kids don’t think eating other people is OK, even if that is the opinion of their parents. Society has an interest in kids learning accurate history, science, and other things, as they will be voters. Yes, the majority has the right to try and mold its members. Moreover, as the right is constantly trying to coerce students into hearing about Christianity, that side of the political spectrum seems more interested in getting ahold of young minds and filling them with nonsense.

  • natdj

    I am a parent and I have a gay teen son. Umm, I have the right to know what is being shown to my three kids. In our school district the parents are informed. Some of you want to complain about right wingers and Christains, but I am sure if a teacher showed an anti gay film some of you would be mad!

    Saying that, this teacher stepped out of their bounds and knew what they were doing. I understand that a film like this is needed but was this the proper way to do this? Nope! It would make me more comfortable in showing this at a school auditorium with parents and their children can show up and watch and then discuss this.

    I want other parents with gay children to know we are not alone and that we love our gay teen kids. But I also want those parents who do not have gay kids to meet me and my gay son and know that he is not any different then their straight children.

  • Alistair Wiseman

    @MacAdvisor:

    You stated, “Society certainly has an interest in insuring kids don’t think eating other people is OK, even if that is the opinion of their parents.”

    Talk about your straw men arguments! Who is advocating that?!? What a ridiculous point.

    You stated, “Moreover, as the right is constantly trying to coerce students into hearing about Christianity, that side of the political spectrum seems more interested in getting ahold of young minds and filling them with nonsense.”

    What are you talking about? What century do you live in? Kids are not even allowed to pray at school any longer (even over lunch!). Exactly, how is “the right constantly trying to coerce students into hearing about Christianity” in school?

    There is no comparison of the left/right visibility in the lives of Americas school children regardless of age or grade. Why do you think so many parents send their kids to private schools? Or parents homeschooling their kids?

    Below is an example (something you have not provided) in the disparity between liberal and conservative commencement speakers.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-morris/liberals-dominate-commencement-speakers-circuit-2015-outnumber-conservatives-6-1

    http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6499

  • Giancarlo85

    CNS News? Campusreform? Who posts this garbage? Two right wing sources. CNS is extremely right wing and has a history of anti-gay rhetoric. You can’t make this shit up, folks. His real intentions are known. Our resident gnat is not gay. He’s a straight religious bigot.

    The state has a moral obligation to kids being neglected by the thousands by bible thumping heterosexual parents. Why are there so many kids out in the adoption system? Some states (like Texas) have hundreds of thousands of abandoned kids? I thought these were supposed to be REPUBLICAN FAMILY VALUES STATES.

    And conservative commencement speakers… why would anyone want a conservative speaking at a graduation ceremony? Conservatives are fewer in number in an academic setting anyways. Most are high school drop-outs.

Comments are closed.