student etiquette

The Kansas High School Paper That Lets Students Argue In Favor Of Executing Gays

At Wichita East High School in Kansas, an opinion piece in the student newspaper Messenger, titled “Homosexual teens alienated by current societal trends,” argues gayness and any discussion of it is “a social disruption in may cases and should be kept out of school to ensure our education mission with as little of a distraction as possible.” The student also quoted that Leviticus passage from the Bible, which claims homosexuality should be punished by death. Maybe the piece at least had a witty lede?

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  • Bob

    If the article had said that all blacks, or Jew or any other minority group should be put to death, would that have just been ‘freedom of speech’ or one person’s opinion’? No…it would never have gone to print!

  • Danny Feekes

    I actually went to this high school. I graduated in 2000 and was the openly gay-and-proud prom king. It saddens me that this could happen at my alma mater. I’ve always taken great pride in telling people how open and accepting the institution was 11 years ago, especially for Kansas. This is not congruent with the memories I have of East High.

  • Kev C

    You know the author is Level 10 Megatard when they use the word “societal” in the title.

  • Gigi

    I found the entire piece online at:
    Apparently the author’s name was removed by the editorial staff, the adviser and someone else at the school to protect him after a few understandably angry complaints, although his name is mentioned several times in the comments. Comments btw all pretty much condemn the guy not only for his obvious bigotry but also his inability to write a coherent article. My question is: who the he’ll approved it?

  • Kev C

    The societal problem of gays in society is that their public kissing in society is an action that causes distraction. A disturbance causing perturbance. Two men kissing is so distracting. So f-ing distacting. It’s just so very distracting how they kiss in societal situations.

  • Dawson

    Leviticus again!!!

    I wonder if anyone in his family is divorce.

    Letiticus 20-10

    “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death”. So how many in his family are divorced?

    Or also from Leviticus 20-9

    “All who cuse father or mother shall be put to death. Having cursed father or mother, their blood is upon them.” Now what high school kid has never had an argument with their parents.

    I guess he also missed Leviticus 19-34

    “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen amoung you; you shall love the alien as yourself.”

    You shall not hate in you heart anyone of your kin; you shall reporove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself

    you shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

    I wonder why this kid seem to not read or comment on all these chapters/verse since they all came before the one he cited. I wonder if the apple falls far from the tree?

    On the other hand this is Kansas. Do they still believe in evolution, I forget.

  • Tyler T.

    First Amendment rights don’t exist in student journalism. What the fuck was the sponsor doing?

  • the crustybastard


    Heh. Young Colin Johnson’s writing is no less an abomination.

    Not much of a reporter, but a real future as Kansas’ newest theocrat!

  • Chris E.

    @Kev C You seriously need to get over it. I’m really bothered by what you have to say because it seems as if you’re speaking for everyone who is heterosexual. How about a little PECK on the lips? How about on the cheek? Can they still hold hands? You’re a TOOL.

  • GregorVonK

    @Chris E.: Uh, I read that as sarcasm actually.

    I read the responses to the online version of the school paper. Some were from outside the community, but most were not. Believe me this kid’s gonna be a pariah. Scary.

    (Deservedly so, of course).

  • Shannon1981

    More than a little disturbing that a high school paper published something so clearly bigoted. And Bible verses? Definitely doesn’t belong in a school paper. The comments also show that people are upset enough to where this is going to cause real issues.

  • Francis

    The high school should not have allowed this to print, but I don’t necessarily think that they wouldn’t have done this same thing if it were another group. In their eyes, they probably think it’s “freedom of speech” to allow this piece to go public. And they wanted to create a situation, and create attention to themselves. Unfortunately for them it’s going to backfire since obviously pretty much everyone, students and parents, are outraged. And that’s just local, not even national. The individual who wrote the letter is one sick brainwashed kid who is going to rue the moment he wrote this letter.

    Ultimately it’s good that these bigots are exposed, and then shunned, as has been happening in many cases. That helps us, because we can see what hate truly is, and then avoid it and fight against it and grow because of it. Also the bigots will learn that no-one sane backs them up on their filth and quickly understand that their views are unacceptable. That’s one of the most effective ways to create change.

  • Andrew

    Yeah cause you know, calling for the death of your fellow students. Or at the VERY least endorsing it / presenting it as a valid opinion, is not in any way disruptive or slanderous.

  • merkin

    @Chris E.: wow, are you dense? He was being sarcastic and making fun of the editorial writer’s bad writing. Sheesh!

  • McMike

    And all kids who curse their parents should be put to death according to Leviticus.

    btw, WTF is going on when it’s the gay kids causing the disruption and not the homophobic kids?

    Sorry, but America sucks.

  • Andrew K

    First, I go to this school. I agree that he has all the right to say what he wants, but it shouldn’t be published in a school newspaper. A newspaper that is meant to bring the HUGE number of students together.
    The kid ISN’T a perfect Christian, but at the same time he wasn’t trying to advertise the bible. He was quoting the excuse many people at our school, and all over the world, use to hate gays.

    The distraction part, I would like you all to know, is ridiculous. Our school is filled with straight couples making out heavily and virtually DRY-HUMPING during all times – lunch, passing periods and even very well timed out trips to the “bathroom” during classes. It’s ridiculous for him to say that the small number of openly homosexual couples are distracting because, to be honest, there are less than 10 openly homosexual couples at East. There are probably many that are still afraid of coming out because of people like him.

    The whole thing is ridiculous. Yes he’s entitled to his opinion, but the school newspaper isn’t a forum for ideas such as that. Stick to “fashion” advice, and the ever popular movie review that we’ve got now. Leave the heavy debates for the kids who actually want to be a part of it.

  • Gabriel

    Well, it’s not that he wasn’t proposing the idea that gay’s should be killed… But it’s the fact that he would put them in there, with, what i see, as an underlying attempt to give people ‘reason’ to be homophobic? I go to this school and I was disgusted that they would print this article, while if it was regarding any other potential discrimination, it would fall under the Non-discrimination act. He makes it much harder to feel accepted in this school, and his single hate-opinioned article ruined the new issue of anything potentially interesting :/

  • ALEX

    I think the kid is completely misguided yet may be saved with some counseling and life experience. Get him away from his parents and the hateful church he must belong to – that would help, for starters. I hope, anyway.

    It is the faculty sponsor or whomever that allowed this to go to print who needs to be disciplined. If all articles have to be published, where is the one calling for pot smoking and coke snorting in the hallways? Or for Topless Thursdays? Or for an equally ridiculous ideas? Bottom line — this is not a free speech issue – this is a faculty adviser clearly NOT performing his/her job.

  • Dmac

    Ok, wow, you guys are so stupid. I know this guy, he’s a good friend of mine, and all of you bandwagoners need to actually read the article. In no way did he ever say he agrees with those Bible verses, he said that some people that debate over it use those as points, and he was just writing down how he wonders whether or not those count as ideas. As a stupid mob, you just go with whatever you hear, not with your own ideas, or further investigation to see if what people are saying they heard from a friend is true. And societal is a word, look it up. And by the way, I don’t agree with the last paragraph, and I think putting in Bible verses at all was a bit tasteless of him, but besides that, it was harmless. And I know, this whole time, you’ve been stereotyping eho I am, but guess what? I’m a liberal, so suck it! Legalize pot, and freedom of speech, and don’t be stupid just because you’re yoo lazy to read the thing yourself. And to whoever made the Kansas comment, WE’RE THE ONES THAT DON’T BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION, GET YOUR STEREOTYPES RIGHT! And it doesn’t matter, that’s a small percent of people who think that, along with anti-gay thoughts. Most of us are fine with gays. We realize that is new, and will take some adjusting to, just like integration half a century ago, but most of us tolerate it fine, even accept it. So stop being dim-witted, I’m 15 and figuring it out better than you.

  • Jeffree

    @AndrewK:; & @Gabriel: You guys provide very helpful insight about the school & great points about distractions & discrimination. Thanks for that.

    @DMC: You wrote: “It’s harmless,” which shows a lack of empathy and thinking skills. You wrote: “We realize that is new.” OK, what is new? People being gay? Maybe you should try to write about things that you’re informed about rather than defend someone just because he’s a friend.

  • the crustybastard

    @Dmac: “all of you bandwagoners need to actually read the article…don’t be stupid just because you’re yoo lazy to read the thing yourself.”

    I read the article straightaway and frankly, the author’s thinking was so disorganized and his writing so dreadful that it was impossible to accurately suss out his position, for or against.

    Even his editors agree with that point. To wit:

    “As editors, we would like to apologize for the clarity of the work. Many of the comments we have received have criticized the inconsistency of points made in this editorial, and we take responsibility for not ensuring that the editorial was concise and easy to understand.”

    While I’m certain that you imagine your self-accolades for being smarter than the rest of us are surpassingly well-deserved, perhaps you might also imagine that your personal knowledge of the author’s opinion gives you a certain advantage in knowing what that opinion actually is.

    The rest of us are forced to rely on his word-salad writing style.

  • Dmac

    Well, Crusty, if you all can’t understand it, don’t grow passion against his writings if it is too difficult for you to decript.

  • the crustybastard


    It’s always amusing to be condescended to by a young person who can neither spell nor write proper sentences or paragraphs.

    Thanks for the laugh, sport.

  • andre

    @Gigi: the school editors,
    the journalism director tries her best to let the students run the paper as if it were their own, i do not know that she has ever interfered with anything printed in the newspaper, it is all up to the students. when i asked her how i could complain she asked me if i was going to complain about the article that i should complain about. so she disagrees with the article, but is letting the students be responsible. i actually think she is a lesbian.

  • loe02j


    “Ok, wow, you guys are so stupid.”

    There is something you should know, even at the very inexperienced age of 15: calling other people stupid indicates that you have no valid argument to present.

    Additionally, it makes your intelligence and education open for criticism and discussion, and frankly, Dmac, your posts make a very bad impression. If you are not flunking English, your teacher is a fraud.

    “I know this guy, he’s a good friend of mine,”
    That really doesn’t reflect well on you, and you are invoking a fallacy – a form of incorrect reasoning.

    “and all of you bandwagoners”

    This is the fallacy of ad hominem, in the form of a non-existent word.

    “need to actually read the article.”
    The assumption that people have not read the article, because they disagree with you and its author, is fallacious. It is also egotistical – a trait common to inexperienced young people like yourself.

    “In no way did he ever say he agrees with those Bible verses,”

    You are defending against an accusation that was not made, and not only is that fallacious, it suggests that through your “amazing familiarity” (that’s a kind of fallacy), you know that the author does indeed agree with those verses, and his behavior needs to be concealed.

    “As a stupid mob,”
    Here again you rely on fallacy, ad hominem, in place of a rational argument. You are essentially demonstrating that there is no fact-based or reason-based defense of the article your “friend” wrote, and your only option is to belittle those who find fault with it.

    “you just go with whatever you hear, not with your own ideas,”
    This comes across as projection on your part. Projection is when someone attributes to others a behavior he/she is engaged in as if the aforementioned is doing it. You do not know enough about anyone here to substantiate your claim, so it must reflect how you are behaving, or would behave, if you were in our shoes.

    “And societal is a word, look it up.”
    But bandwagoners is not, and people questioned its usage, rather than whether it actually is a word or not. You either misunderstood people’s criticism, or are deliberately misconstruing it.

    The word societal is an academic term, rarely used in ordinary speech or writing, and in this particular context, it indicates that the author was “putting on airs” – playing at being more educated than he actually is, in order to create the appearance of authority. In other words, pointless posturing as a substitute for a substantive argument.

    He would have communicated more clearly if he had used a context appropriate, and age appropriate term like “social” or “common” or “general” or “cultural”.

    “And by the way, I don’t agree with the last paragraph, and I think putting in Bible verses at all was a bit tasteless of him, but besides that, it was harmless.”

    Actually, no, those verses are not harmless. For centuries, those verses have been the justification for murdering GLBTQ people, and even today, in countries like Uganda, those verses are being used to justify imposing the death penalty on homosexuals.

    By fifteen, Dmac, you should have a better grasp of current events than you apparently have, and should know about issues as serious as Uganda’s attempt to make homosexuality punishable by death. That you do not, apparently, possess this knowledge, knowledge most participants here do possess, means that it was ironic and ridiculous when you called us stupid.

    “And I know, this whole time, you’ve been stereotyping eho I am,”

    Funny, until your post, the criticism was of the author. No one here had any knowledge of “Dmac” until your post, number 20. You have either outed yourself as the author, or given the impression that you are the author, and in either case, that was not smart.

    “don’t be stupid just because you’re yoo lazy to read the thing yourself.”

    I think you are projecting again, because you clearly have not comprehended the criticisms that have directed at the shoddy work your “friend” presented.


    All caps, on the internet, is considered screaming or shouting – and that not a very mature, or very intelligent, way to communicate.

    Further, disbelieving the accumulated evidence for the process of evolution is nothing to brag about when you are pretending to be smarter than everyone else here. Frankly, it is unlikely that you, at your very young age, understand the science necessary to formulate an opinion about the subject of evolution on your own, and any rejection of it on your part would be based on what you have been told, rather than on your own powers of analysis and deductive reasoning.

    “Most of us are fine with gays. We realize that is new,”

    Not an intelligent thing to say, Dmac, for homosexuality is as old as humanity, and then some. Nor is it wise, for you, to speak for the people of Kansas.

    “So stop being dim-witted, I’m 15 and figuring it out better than you.”

    Ah, but you are not. And your arrogance, and generally ignorance and lack of education, is appalling.

    Heterosexuals are not experts on homosexuality, and cannot be. Every homosexual or bisexual or transgendered person participating here knows more about what it means to live under the oppression of homophobia far better than you do.

    Your insults, Dmac, are derived from your own self – they are the criticisms that you personally find the most threatening because you worry that they apply to you.

    The problem with calling other people “stupid”, Dmac, is that it usually indicates that they are smarter than you are.

  • Dmac

    Dude, Crusty, stfu, you egotistical asshole.

  • Bostom

    DMAC You might benefit from your own advice, as above. One cannot grow passion – presumably you meant passionate. And it’s “decrypt” dear, leading me to think that your spelling is as weak as your arguments.

  • the crustybastard


    Awww. Poor dear has to compensate for his hurt feelings with a naughty-word tantrum?

    Seriously, just go.

  • RoughAcres

    Oh, c’mon, lay off DMac. His expression was real, even if slang. Let’s not be such purists that we disregard the feelings for the stylebook.

    I’ve been trying to find the actual editorial’s text; it looks as if some things have been quoted out of context, and the student was actually discussing some of the arguments that people make against homosexuality, not his own viewpoint — which seems to fall somewhere between “all this talk about gays is distracting me” and “I’m confused about whether it’s OK.”

    While I am aghast that a school newspaper is printing ANY kind of hate message – even those contained in one particular religion’s holy book – I am more appalled that the advisor did not make the writer rewrite until his argument was clear. My journalism advisor would never have permitted that to be published; he was a real stickler…. she has done the student no favors by not being the same.

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