Dakota Ary Vindicated After Wrongful Suspension for Opposing Homosexuality
|By TFP Student Action|
|October 12, 2011|
|Dakota Ary's record
was fully cleared.
The Fort Worth Independent School District has issued a letter to Liberty Counsel fully vindicating high school freshman Dakota Ary, who was given in-school suspension for telling another student that he believes homosexuality is wrong because of his Christian faith. The letter is in response to Liberty Counsel’s demand letter requesting full vindication and a full retraction of the suspension. The district’s letter will be placed in Dakota’s permanent file to further clear his record.
Shortly after the incident, TFP Student Action launched a petition urging Western Hills High School to completely clear Dakota Ary’s record. Very soon, over 7,500 people contacted the school with their protest and concern.
The District’s letter apologized for the delay in returning Dakota back to the classroom, and stated that “Dakota has the right to express an opinion in a manner consistent with law and policy.”
Dakota was in Kristopher Franks’ German language class at Western Hills High School when the topic of homosexuality arose. Dakota said to one of his classmates, “I'm a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong.” Franks overheard the comment, wrote Dakota an infraction, and sent him to the principal’s office.
The discipline referral form says the comment was out of context, even though the lesson for the day was on religious beliefs. Franks charged Dakota with “possible bullying” and indicated, “It is wrong to make such a statement in public school.”
Two weeks prior to this event, Franks displayed a picture of two men kissing on a “World Wall” and told his students that homosexuality is becoming more prevalent in the world and that they should just accept it. Many of the students were offended by Franks’ actions and his continually bringing up the topic of homosexuality in a German language class. Franks was temporarily placed on administrative leave with pay last week.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented: “We are pleased that the school district vindicated Dakota Ary. No public school teacher should use the position of authority to bully students to accept homosexuality. That is what this teacher did, and he got his hand caught in the cookie jar. We want to make sure this never again happens to any student.”