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A Gay Dad Sounds Off About The Kansas Teacher Who Is Getting Fired For Fighting Homophobia

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Tom Leahy, a teacher in Kansas, is being forced to resign over actions he took to stop homophobic bullying in his school. Here is his story, and what you can do about it.

Tom Leahy, who teaches social studies at the Conway Springs Middle School in Kansas admits he made some mistakes. He showed teens a film depicting suicide. He showed teens a film that specifically called out the Catholic Church for criticism. He did not give them warning, a chance to opt out, and he did not have their parents’ permission to show the film.

He made some mistakes because he was deeply disturbed by the bullying and homophobic culture he saw evidenced by his eighth graders. As he sought to drive home the point, he cut some corners, which have now landed him in trouble.

Here is why he was so stressed to impact the point of view of his kids: a recent social studies exercise had gone horrifically wrong. He had split the students into groups and told them that they were each a fictional colony. They were to develop their own Bill of Rights, and lay out the principles on which to build their societies. He expected kindness and fairness.

What he got was homophobia. At least one of the colonies declared it would ostracize LGBT people and reject them from their world. Leahy saw some deep, hurt reactions from other students, and that motivated him to want to change attitudes immediately.

So he showed them “Love Is All You Need,” the viral video film by Kim Rocco Shields, in which the world is reversed and it is heterosexuals who are the bullied and persecuted. The film is no holds barred in its depiction of the damage of bullying.

“I didn’t want just a dorky little film, I wanted something that was important, something that was serious. So that’s the one I came up with. I’m not saying what I did was very smart. It really wasn’t, but I’m a spur-of-the-moment kind of guy, and it seemed right at the time,” Leahy told the Witchita Eagle.

Now Leahy has been removed from the classroom, and awaits a school board meeting on November 9, when he will be asked to offer his resignation. They are expected to take it. 

Here is my letter to him, and to the board, hoping those events don’t take place:

Dear Mr. Leahy and members of the Conway Springs School Board,

Mr. Leahy, you must not resign. Dear board members, you must not allow him to do so. Whatever problem you think you are fixing by taking this action is miniscule compared to the problem you are creating.

You are letting the bullies win.

No, I am not calling parents, who want to approve of graphic material before it is shown to their kids, “bullies.” They are due an apology, and a promise that such action will not take place again.

They were not the bullies that Mr. Leahy was fighting, however. He was going up against the principles of judgment, intolerance, ostracism and degradation. He was addressing a disease that is evidenced in your population of kids. While his choices were not well thought out, the harm he was seeking to prevent should be a much higher priority.

I am the gay dad of two seventh graders. The colony exercise that took place, in which a mob had declared they would reject their dad from the world, would have devastated and shamed them. They would have suffered in silence, but the harm would go deep.

So too, was the harm felt by a number of your LGBT students. They, in various stages of self awareness, are also likely hidden from you. That does not mean you are free to cease protecting them, it means you have even a greater responsibility to do so.

I am sure you found that the suicide of the lead character, in the film Mr. Leahy showed, disturbing. What is more disturbing is that the spirit of who she represents IS real, and in your population. She is my kid. She is the LGBT kid. She is every child that does not fit the mob mentality “norm.” By your inaction, and condemning of Mr. Leahy for his attempts to reach these kids and defend them, you are signaling for them to listen to their darker instincts. You are inspiring them to hide, to self-harm and even kill themselves.

Did you ask parental permission to do THAT?

Mr. Leahy, I don’t know what pressure you are under to resign, but you must resist it. What you did in showing the film at risk to yourself was heroic.

Your job is incomplete however. Your community has diverted the topic from homophobia to parental notification procedures. You need to right that course, the conversations need to be had, and rectification measures need to be taken. The real lesson still needs to be learned.

If not, the film you showed will not be just a conversation starter, it will be a prophesy. Your sacrifice will have been for nothing.

 

Sign the petition here.  Conway School District contacts are here.

You can watch the film here:

 

Image by Rob Watson via CIMIC Centre of Excellence/Flickr and a CC license, and Lexi DiBenedetto/YouTube

 

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AMERICAN IDIOT

Trump Mocked After WSJ Reports He Wants to Start a New ‘Patriot Party’ – The Original Was Linked to the Black Panthers

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“Patriot Party was socialist antifa”

President Donald Trump in recent days has been talking about starting up a new political party, called the Patriot Party. Social media users immediately mocked Trump – not only for wanting to start a new party, given his historically unpopular polling numbers, but because of the name he chose for his new group.

Late last week former Trump Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, told Foreign Policy that President Trump is just plain ignorant of history.

“His understanding of global events, his understanding of global history, his understanding of US history was really limited,” Tillerson said. “It’s really hard to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t even understand the concept for why we’re talking about this.”

The Wall Street Journal Tuesday night reported Trump wants to call his new political party the Patriot Party.

Not surprisingly, there already has been a Patriot Party, starting in the 1960’s. It ended in the ’80’s. Trump was alive during those years, but apparently missed it.

The Patriot Party was affiliated with the Black Panthers, a far-left anti-racism Black power political group that disbanded in the early ’80’s. It grew through community organizing and became popular among poor rural Americans by advocating for free basic necessities, including food and wood for stoves.

Trump apparently isn’t the first in recent days to come up with the idea. It’s been rolling around on social media since last month.

Here’s what some are saying:

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Calls Grow for Expulsion of ‘Insurrectionist’ and ‘Enemy of Democracy’ Josh Hawley After He Roadblocks Biden DHS Pick

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‘On the Side of Terrorists and Insurrectionists’

Americans are once again ramping up calls for U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) to be expelled from the United States Senate after he announced he will block quick consideration of incoming President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Dept. of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.

Hawley was one of the leaders of the movement that led to the January 6 insurrection, during which 5 people died. An infamous image of him standing outside the U.S. Capitol that day with his fist raised in the air has circulated countless times on the internet. Many, including his state’s top newspaper, has said he has “blood on his hands” while calling for him to resign.

Homeland Security has not had a Senate-confirmed Secretary in nearly two years, since Kirstjen Nielsen tendered her resignation in April of 2019. The massive $52 billion agency created in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks is charged with fighting terrorism and homeland security threats, securing U.S. borders, securing cyberspace and critical infrastructure, preserving and upholding the nation’s prosperity and economic security, strengthening preparedness and resilience, according to its website.

On Tuesday Senator Hawley said Mayorkas, who is eminently qualified – including having served as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security from 2013-2016 – had not “adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border.”

In response to Hawley’s actions today and seditious role in the attempted coup, Americans, including political experts, are demanding Hawley’s expulsion from the Senate.

Take a look:

 

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BYE

Trump to Say ‘The Movement We Started Is Only Just Beginning’ in Often False But Final Remarks as President

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President Donald Trump will deliver a final speech Tuesday afternoon, and is expected to tell America that “the movement we started is only just beginning.” He will release a video at 4 PM ET.

CNN’s Jim Acosta says in Trump’s remarks “he takes no responsibility for inciting that mob” that attacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempted coup on January 6.

“He does not accept that he lost the election to Joe Biden,” the CNN anchor adds, “which would undercut the lie that he told for weeks and weeks.”

It does not appear Trump will mention Joe Biden’s name, he continued, saying Trump appears to be “carrying on the sore-loserism” he has had since Election Day.  “This appears to be the bare minimum one would expect from an outgoing president.”

Trump, according to multiple reports, is also expected to say, “This week, we inaugurate a new Administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous.”

He reportedly will also say:

“The greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves – a loss of confidence in our national greatness.”

“America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree.”

“We restored American Strength at home—and American leadership abroad.”

“We built the greatest economy in the history of the world.”

“We revitalized our alliances and rallied the nations of the world to stand up to China like never before.”

Many of these excerpts are flat-out lies:

UPDATE –
Here’s the video:

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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