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FL teacher gay-baits kids as discipline

Clay County Schools Superintendent David Owens (above) couldn’t explain why teacher Larry Eger was still teaching after the incident.

At least the bastard was fired, er, resigned. Given the climate of homo-bashing is alive and well in many schools, having a teacher mock kids as being gay as discipline sends a clear message that even the faculty like jumping into the act.

The Clay County school system allowed a teacher to remain in the classroom nearly a week after he was accused of disciplining two sixth-graders by instructing the boys to hold hands as he told classmates they were gay.

Larry Eger, who resigned Thursday, told the Swimming Pen Creek Elementary students to sit knee-to-knee in the front of the class after they were caught Sept. 23 mouthing words to each other, said Jackie Fuller, a mother of one of the boys.

She said Eger told the boys to hold hands but they refused, and then Eger announced to the rest of the class that they were gay. “They said the other kids were laughing,” Fuller said. Eger, 63, did not return calls Friday left by The Florida Times-Union.

Superintendent David Owens said officials learned of the incident Sept. 23 and received Eger’s two-week notice Monday. Owens said the school district has the power to remove teachers from a classroom but wouldn’t say why Eger was allowed to continue. “I’m not going to make any comments on that,” Owens said.

…Fuller said her son and his friend went to the school principal immediately after the incident and explained what happened. “Nobody called us. Nobody told us anything,” Fuller said. “We had to find out from our children when we got home. It still blows my mind.”

Fuller said she went to the school Monday morning to complain and was told the district would handle the situation. Fuller said she and the other boy’s family asked that the students be placed in other classrooms because Eger was still teaching.

By Thursday, Fuller said she hadn’t heard back from the district. “I was mad that he was still there,” she said. “I just thought the school was running me around. You just don’t treat children like that.”

…”I think it’s absolutely outrageous and is a clear indication as to why it was so important that this particular school district add sexual discrimination to its policy and training,” she said. “Short of using an anti-gay epithet, that is one of the most flagrant anti-gay biases by a teacher that I have ever heard.”

In a perfect world where being gay is not an issue, well-adjusted young people wouldn’t be fazed by such juvenile behavior like Eger’s. But alas, we’re not there yet.

Extra bonus points for Clay County: this is the same district that banned Kelli Davis from her school yearbook for sitting for her photo in a tuxedo. That dispute was settled out of court, and resulted in a new non-discrimination policy to be distributed to all secondary school students and provide annual non-discrimination training that includes sexual orientation to all faculty and staff. Guess Eger didn’t get the memo.

Thanks to Ol Cranky for the pointer (via Public Theologian).

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding