West Virginia Student Made to Attend “Gay Club” Against His Will (Video)

Posted on January 7, 2015 in Religious Freedom, Sexuality by

Buckhannon Student snapchat video screenshotA high school student in Buckhannon, WV, has come under fire for posting a simple picture with an absolutely true message to a social media website.

The student’s school started a LGBT club called “The Gay Straight Alliance” to try and change perception of other students and make homosexuality more welcome. The club could not find any teachers available to sponsor the group so they met it the same room as the “Kindness Club.” This presented a problem for one member of the kindness club that did not want to be part of the gay club because of his religious convictions.

The student took a short video of the combined meeting of the gay club and the kindness club and uploaded it to Snapchat with the caption “Our school has a ‘gay’ club.”

That was all that was needed for one teacher to become angry and accuse the student of bullying.

The story is causing an uproar for a couple of reasons. First, the Christian student could have simply left the meeting if he didn’t want to take part in something that he felt violated his convictions. Right? Except that because the gay club was meeting in the room where his kindness club met, had he left he would have been marked as skipping the meeting. In essence, he was forced, against his will to take part in the gay club meeting.

But let’s be real here for second. The video, which is only 3 seconds long and doesn’t feature anything remotely objectionable, carries nothing more than the words “Our school has a ‘gay’ club” with it. Can anyone find anything even slightly problematic with this?

Let’s see, is it his school? Yes. Is it a gay club? Yep, even the name of the club makes that clear (The Gay Straight Alliance). So what is it that anyone would find so objectionable?

As we are seeing more and more in our culture, anyone that would even hint at their lack of support for homosexuality is immediately and viciously targeted. Where at one time tolerance and respect were called for, the order of the day is unwavering support and celebration. Nothing short of whole-hearted approval for homosexuality can be tolerated.

So what was the result of the student’s video and caption? The following audio recording between the student and his teacher makes that clear. The transcript can be read here. (H/t to Matt Barber and Barbwire for first posting this.)

The article at BarWire sums the conversation between the student and teacher up by stating:

“This student, at first, did not acknowledge that he was bullying and seemed confused as to why it would be considered as such. After stating ‘possibly,’ he was then told that his response was the wrong answer. She aggressively made him answer yes, and lead him to believe that was the right answer to the question, so to avoid getting in deeper trouble, the student felt that he was compelled to answer ‘yes.’ She then ranted about how his religious beliefs were wrong, by stating that he was ‘judgmental, mean, intolerant, and unkind.’ To make matters worse, the teacher stated that he should be transferred out of his club because of his beliefs, which he holds due to his Christian religion. This was obviously religious discrimination and is a clear violation of WV’s state code.”

The only thing made perfectly clear form the student’s video and caption was that his school has a gay club. Nothing more. There was nothing that would lead anyone to a conclusion concerning the student’s views on the club. The student simply made a factual statement that his school now had a gay club. What becomes obvious is that the teacher made assumptions about his post and concluded his intentions on her own without a shred of evidence.

This is disturbing on many levels. That a teacher would act out in such an obviously hostile manner is disturbing. That a student would be targeted for simply making a factual statement is also disturbing. That anyone, especially a teacher, would “bully” the student into confessing to being a bully is truly disturbing.

I hope these instances serve to instruct us, but not to intimidate us. Not only do we have the freedom to adhere to our religious convictions, we are free to speak our minds. While some might not like that, it’s the same freedom that allows them to oppose our freedom of speech. I hope this instance serves to show how twisted the idea of tolerance is in our culture. The true definition of tolerance – respecting the right of people to hold a divergent view – has been lost. It has been replaced with the politically correct definition – accepting the views of other people.

As far as anyone can tell, this controversy has blown over and has largely been forgotten. But it’s a precursor to more instances like it. If people remain silent and refuse to defend their rights you can be sure instances like this will become the norm. Thankfully, at this point, few people behave like this teacher and fewer still believe such behavior is acceptable or appropriate. I’m thankful for that.

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