HARDLY A HERO

Turns Out That “No Gays Allowed In Christianity” Kid Is A Homophobic Bully

Remember Dakota Ary, the Fort Worth student who got suspended for saying, “No gays allowed in Christianity” during his German class? Turns out that Ary might be a homophobic bully who harassed his German teacher for an entire year just because he thinks his teacher is gay.

The teacher, Kristopher Franks, cannot talk to media while the district conducts their investigation into the matter. But Franks did speak with a member of the group LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S. to help get out his side of the story, something he fears has been overlooked to Ary’s benefit:

He reports (and has reported to his school) repeated acts of anti-gay harassment by several students that occurred this and last year, including by a group of four specific boys in this class, of whom Ary is one. Among other incidents, Mr. Franks maintains a “word wall” for his German IV class on which he posts articles and images from several journals, including the German magazine, Stern. One of these articles concerned gay rights in Germany, and included a photo of two men kissing. The group of four boys concerned was sitting near this image immediately before Mr. Franks found it had been ripped from the wall. The student and his lawyer are now asserting that including this photo among the others constituted his teacher’s “imposing acceptance of homosexuality” in his classroom. These students subsequently took every opportunity to denounce homosexuality in class, frequently without context; that is, with the topic having otherwise been broached.

On the particular day in which this incident occurred, Mr. Franks was opening class when the topic of Christianity in Germany was broached by one student, who asked what churches were there, another whether they read the Bible in English, etc. Franks asserts that the topic of homosexuality was not broached in any way, and that Ary‘s assertions to the contrary are entirely false. At this point, Ary declared, with a class audience, “Gays can’t be Christians; homosexuality is wrong,” looking directly at Mr. Franks. Franks says he understands and affirms students’ right to free speech, and that he is perfectly prepared to lead a respectful discussion on topics such as gay rights that allows for the assertion of opinions with which he disagrees. He has led such discussion in the past in his sociology classes. But in this case, hr feels the context makes it clear that this remark was made ad hominem, aimed specifically at him to devalue him and any information he might share on the topic of religion, on the basis of his perceived sexual orientation.

LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S. goes onto say that the right-wing has done its best to foment public opinion against Mr. Franks and to paint Ary as some sort of religious free speech hero. In the meanwhile, Franks has received a lot of insulting and threatening e-mails and phone calls and may even be fired if the school caves to public pressure.

If you wanna help Mr. Franks you can write a “respectful and restrained” letter to Forth Worth school officials on behalf of Mr. Franks, calling simply for a “fair, respectful and caring hearing” of his side of the story. Also express hope that the school’s decision remain “unswayed by the public outcry” and “slanted media coverage.” They add: “Do not go into the speculations or reports of his side of the case; that is for him to present.”

The FWISD officials’ names, phone numbers and email addresses are below:

Walter Dansby
Interim Superintendent
Fort Worth ISD
Email: walter.dansby@fwisd.org
Phone: 817.871.2000

James Wellman
Principal
Western Hills High School
Fort Worth ISD
Email: james.wellman@fwisd.org
Phone: 817.815.6000

Ray Dickerson
President
Board of Education
Fort Worth ISD
Email: ray.Dickerson@fwisd.org

Carlos Vasquez
Board Member, District 1
Board of Education
Fort Worth ISD
Email: carlos.vasquez@fwisd.org

Norman Robbins
Board Member, District 7
Board of Education
Fort Worth ISD
Email: norman.robbins@fwisd.org

We’ll keep you posted as this story develops…