On Oct. 20, McDowell told a student in his classroom to remove a belt buckle with the Confederate Flag, the symbol of the southern confederacy that seceded from the United States over slavery, kicking off the Civil War in the 1860s.
She complied, but it prompted a question from a boy about how the flag differs from the rainbow flag, a symbol of pride for the gay community.
"I explained the difference between the flags, and he said, 'I don't accept gays,''' said McDowell, 42, who was wearing a shirt with an anti-gay bullying message.
McDowell said he told the student he couldn't say that in class.
"And he said, 'Why? I don't accept gays. It's against my religion.' I reiterated that it's not appropriate to say something like that in class,'' McDowell said Monday.
McDowell said he sent the boy out of the room for a one-day class suspension. Another boy asked if he also could leave because he also didn't accept gays.
"The classroom discussion was heading in a direction I didn't want it to head,'' McDowell said.
McDowell soon received a reprimand letter from the district that said his actions violated the students' free speech rights as well as school policy. It also said he "purposefully initiated a controversial issue'' by the wearing the T-shirt featuring the anti-gay bullying message.
"I thought it was a really great, teachable moment,'' McDowell said of his decision to remove the student from class.
Its a teachable moment that if a student expresses an opinion you don't like you kick that student out of the class? That is just being a self righteous prick. A teachable moment would have been to disagree and say why you don't agree with his belief of gays and open up a mature discussion.
Instead he got pissed, abused his position of authority and kicked the student out because of his religious beliefs. To treat this idiot like a hero is inexcusable and he should have been suspended more severely.
Jay Kaplan, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan's LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Legal Project, credits McDowell for trying to create a "welcoming environment for all students.'' But Kaplan said the "teachable moment'' would have come if the students stayed in the classroom.
"We believe, based on those statements — as offensive and upsetting as they were — they were protected speech,'' Kaplan said. "The only way we're going to create a better environment in schools is to start talking about this.''
When even the anti religious ACLU gets it, you know who badly this so called teacher failed in his duty as a teacher.