God Is His Vindicator: Christian Student Reinstated, Teacher Suspended in Gay Controversy

first amendment rights
(AP Images/Eric Gay)

In a story that proves God is our vindicator, the high school teacher that suspended a student for expressing his Christian beliefs about homosexuality in a group discussion has been himself been suspended.

Last week, Western Hills High School teacher Kristopher Franks wrote a disciplinary referral to high school freshman Dakota Ary for telling another student that he believes homosexuality is wrong because of his Christian faith. Ary was given in-school suspension.

After the Liberty Counsel stepped up in Ary's defense, the teacher has landed on administrative leave with pay. Liberty Counsel is demanding full vindication and a full retraction of the student's suspension.

Here's the backstory: Ary was in Franks' German language class when the topic of homosexuality arose. He said to one of his classmates, "I'm a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong." Franks overheard the comment, wrote Ary 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 Ary's expression of his opinion to one classmate.

The discipline referral form says the comment was out of context, even though the lesson for the day was on religious beliefs. Franks charged Ary 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.

After Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to the school and then met with school officials, the school district reversed the in-school suspension and placed Franks on administrative leave with pay.

"We are pleased with the school's response thus far. The teacher clearly crossed the line and should apologize publically to Dakota," says Mathew D. Staver, founder and chairman 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."

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