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Fort Worth student serves suspension for saying ‘homosexuality is wrong’

Friday, September 23, 2011
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FT. WORTH, Texas A 14-year-old high school student in Fort Worth was suspended after remarking to a classmate in his German language class that he believes homosexuality is wrong.

In a broadcast report on KDFW-TV, Dakota Ary said:

“We were talking about religions in Germany. I said, ‘I’m a Christian. I think being a homosexual is wrong,’” he said. “It wasn’t directed to anyone except my friend who was sitting behind me. I guess [the teacher] heard me. He started yelling. He told me he was going to write me an infraction and send me to the office.”

A school administrator contacted Ary’s mother, Holly Pope, at work to let her know he was in trouble.

“At first I was in disbelief. My son is on the honor roll with great grades. I don’t have any problems out of him,” Pope said.

After hearing Ary’s explanation of what happened, the assistant principal reduced the original suspension from two days to one. But Pope was not satisfied with that.

“He was stating an opinion. He has a right to do that. They punished him for it,” Pope said.

Attorney Matt Krause joined Ary and his mom at a Wednesday morning meeting with the principal. They asked for the blemish to be taken off his record and reassurance there would be no retaliation.

“Students don’t lose their first amendment rights just because they go in the schoolhouse door,” Krause said.

District spokesman Clint Bond said the Fort Worth Independent School District does not comment on specific employee or student-related issues, but did say that “We are following district policy in our review of the circumstances and any resolution will likewise be in accordance with district policy.”

If Ary continues taking German he’ll have to learn from the same teacher who punished him. His mom is relying on faith that things will work out.

“I want to believe the school will make the right decision. That’s something the school will need to handle,” she said.

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