The Indiana school district that made headlines when a group of students called for a “traditional” prom sans gay dates is doing what they can to make up for it by suspending a teacher who made anti-gay statements in support of the dance.
Special education teacher Diana Medley, received the most criticism for her comments, saying she believed gays had no purpose in life.
“We don’t agree with [homosexuality], and it’s offensive to us,” said Medley. “Homosexual students come to me with their problems, and I don’t agree with them, but I care about them. It’s the same thing with my special needs kids. I think God puts everyone in our lives for a reason…I honestly don’t [think gays have a purpose]. Sorry, but I don’t. I don’t understand it. A gay person isn’t going to come up and make some change unless it’s to realize that it was a choice and they’re choosing God.”
Superintendent Mark Baker of Northeast School Corp in Sullivan County, Indiana issued a statement, saying “an employee” has been placed on administrative leave out of concern “for the safety and security of everyone in our buildings,” though Baker did not directly identify Medley as the teacher in question.
“As many of you know and appreciate, our school corporation is continuing to manage as responsibly and respectfully as possible the fallout from comments made by an employee as she attended a meeting outside of school or a school activity,” Baker said. “We have conveyed our disappointment and our disagreement with these statements and have emphasized her comments do not reflect our schools’ views or opinions.”
A petition on change.org calling for Medley’s dismissal, created by Jay Michaels, has reached nearly 20,000 signatures.
“This woman is teaching our children – including openly gay students,” wrote Michaels. “Gay teenagers have the highest rate of suicide in our country, surely Mrs. Medley’s lack of concern for their emotional and mental well-being, as well her mis-understanding of their purpose in life makes her a threat to not only students in her classroom, but, in her community.”