FORT WORTH The teacher that imposed a suspension on a 14-year-old high school student for opposing homosexuality has been placed on administrative leave with pay.
Western Hills High school freshman, Dakota Ary, was given in-school suspension for stating in class that he believes homosexuality is wrong because of his Christian faith.
After Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to the school and then met with school officials, the Fort Worth school district reversed the in-school suspension and placed the teacher, Kristopher Franks, on administrative leave with pay.
Ary and his attorneys are seeking an apology and a full retraction of the suspension.
“We are pleased with the school’s response thus far. The teacher clearly crossed the line and should apologize publicly to Dakota,” said Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel.
“It is intolerable for the teacher to ridicule the religious beliefs of students in front of class. This teacher should not force his views about homosexuality upon students. Teachers cannot use their position to bully students and humiliate them in front of their peers,” Staver continued.
Dakota was in a German language class at Western Hills High School on Sept. 20 when the topic of homosexuality arose. “I'm a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong,” Dakota said to one of his classmates.
Franks overheard the comment, wrote Dakota an infraction, and sent him to the principal’s office.
The class topic was religious beliefs in Germany. During the discussion, one student asked what Germans thought about homosexuality in relation to religion. Another student then asked to hear some translated terms such as “lesbian.” These questions provoked the conversation about Christianity and Dakota’s expression of his opinion to one classmate.
The discipline referral form said that the comment was out of context, even though the lesson for the day was on religious beliefs.
The teacher charged Dakota with “possible bullying” and indicated, “It is wrong to make such a statement in public school.”
According to the Liberty Counsel, the teacher had displayed a picture last week of two men kissing on a “World Wall” and told the students that homosexuality is becoming more prevalent in the world and that they should just accept it.
Many of the students in the class were offended by the teacher’s actions and the continually bringing up the topic of homosexuality in a German language class, according to Liberty Counsel.
District officials issued a press statement that an investigation was continuing.