Superintendent: Anti-gay teacher was ‘expressing her First Amendment rights’

Superintendent: Anti-gay teacher was ‘expressing her First Amendment rights’

HYMERA, Ind. — An Indiana school district said Tuesday that a special education teacher who said that gays have no purpose and that LGBT teens were “offensive,” was simply “expressing her First Amendment rights.”

Diana Medley, a teacher at North Central Junior/Senior High School, told WTWO-TV on Sunday that the idea of LGBT teens attending a prom was “offensive,” adding that she believes homosexuality is a choice, and that no one is born gay.

Diana Medley (via WTWO-TV)

As LGBTQ Nation reported Sunday, Medley was among a group of parents and students who met to plan a “traditional” prom for local high school students that would exclude gays.

In the interview with WTWO-TV, Medley said that gays served no purpose in life, and equated LGBT teens to students with developmental disabilities.

“It’s the same thing with my special-needs kids,” she said. “I think God puts everyone in our lives for a reason.”

On Tuesday, Dr. Mark A. Baker, Superintendent of the Northeast School Corporation, where Medley works, issued this statement:

In regards to the story that WTWO aired on February 10, 2013, the Northeast School Corporation employee that was interviewed was expressing her First Amendment rights. The views expressed are not the views of the Northeast School Corporation and/or the Board of Education.

These comments were expressed during a Sunday community meeting at a local church and at no time was she representing the Northeast School Corporation. The teacher was participating in a meeting with her local church congregation.

Plans by the group to hold a “traditional” prom exclusive of gay students have been met by outrage by LGBT advocates around the country, including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and activist Dan Savage, founder of the “It Gets Better” project.

Savage called Medley a “mentally challenged special ed teacher” and has called for her termination.

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“Take a good look at the condescending, hateful smirk that spreads across Medley’s face when she was asked if gay people have a purpose in life … and then imagine you’re a gay kid in special ed in Sullivan and this hateful bigot is your teacher,” Savage wrote on his blog earlier this week.

Baker’s statement gives no indication that the school district plans to take any action against Medley.

A petition calling for Medley to be fired has been signed by more than 10,000 people as of Tuesday afernoon.

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