Liberty Alerts, Liberty Counsel
The Fort Worth Independent School District has issued a letterto 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. Liberty Counsel is representing Dakota in this case.
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 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 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.”
Used with permission of Liberty Counsel.