Social Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

A member of a local school board in western Arkansas actually wants "fags" to kill themselves. What should the repercussions be?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (30614points) October 26th, 2010

Schools in the US are decentralized, and local school boards have governance within the law over schools in their towns or counties. In western Arkansas, a member of such a governing body has praised the suicides of gay teens. (Source)

This school board member is charged with educating the children and youth in his district.

When asked to wear purple on Oct. 20, 2010, to show support for LGBT youth, he wrote on his Facebook page, “Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.”

He went on in a comment to announce that he would disown any of his own children who were LGBT.

I believe this man should immediately resign his post, and if he doesn’t, that any legal means should be used to remove him.

Should he retain his position?

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85 Answers

palerider's avatar

the locals hired him… it’s up to them to fire him.

faye's avatar

Not educating, reminiscent of KKK mentality.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@palerider : So as a nation, we should tolerate localized hate and bigotry?

palerider's avatar

it is always a local issue. you can be tolerant or intolerant as you like. and i am sure there are local laws that apply in such a case. it doesn’t have to be a national issue.
EDIT: Disclaimer: With this response, I am in no way condoning ill treatment or violence against any particular group or persuasion.

truecomedian's avatar

My heart goes out to all suicides. The fact that these kids killed themselves is greater, far more important, than whether or not they were gay. Kids killing themselves should touch everyone’s heart, why not this man??

Trillian's avatar

Wow. Kind of hard to believe that this sort of virulence is still in people today.
Then again, I’ve seen the same unreasoning hatred right here on this site by a couple of jellies, only it’s directed against Chrstians.
People get fired for things they put on facebook, I think that this man is no exception. The level of immaturity he exhibits is staggering. One would hope that the rest of the school board would take immediate action and remove him. I hope they’re well embarrassed and talking about it over dinner. This is one of those damage control cases that needs immediate attention.
I can imagine how afraid some of the kids in his district might be right now, being gay and knowing how he feels and wondering where the rest of the board stands.
This is an opportunity for the LGBT community to make a difference by maybe setting up a website and offering assistance to the kids of that district. I wonder what the legalities would be…

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@palerider : If the desegregation of schools to achieve equality of education of African Americans had not been made into a national issue, then we would still be living under the tyranny of racial hatred on a very wide scale. And let’s be very clear on what is at stake here: lives. The lives of LGBT young people are denigrated by hate and viscious bullying every day. It has to stop, and it has to stop everywhere in our country.

josie's avatar

I would expect that he won’t be re elected

judochop's avatar

Welcome to freedom of speech. He is allowed to wish and say what he wants. This is the kind of thing I expect from Arkansas. I don’t understand why you should feel like he needs to be punished? Sure he is an asshole however that asshole was put there by the parents. I would expect the answer to be easy, better education in Arkansas.

palerider's avatar

@hawaii_jake the point is: the federal government has no jurisdiction over local matters which you alluded to in your beginning remarks.

(Thanks for the correction, Future Memory)

perg's avatar

Someone who thinks the lives of young people are expendable for any reason (and someone whose writing is that atrocious – but that’s another matter) shouldn’t be in a position of authority over the welfare of young people. He doesn’t have to like gays to be concerned about an epidemic of bullying that has led so many young people to kill themselves. That he’s so vocally in favor of harm coming to these young people is reason to remove him from this or any job where his attitude alone can endanger them.

palerider's avatar

@perg That still does not detract from the fact the even if you agree or disagree, you have no power over him. Only the people who hired him and the people who hired those people have that power. All any bystander can/could do is to protest.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

The guy is probably a porn addict who cheats on his wife. These clowns aren’t taken seriously except by a few local fundies. His ridicu-lies are lunacy, and every reasonable person alive understands that. Suggesting someone, anyone, actually kill themselves is inexcusable.

I expect the hypocritical sins of Mr. Clint McCance will be uncovered soon enough.

truecomedian's avatar

I can’t believe the size of this guys balls to be promoting harm to kids while all this is going on, its almost like it’s obvious who is behind all this.

FutureMemory's avatar

So much for separation of church and state (assuming this is a public school).

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

what’s this have to do with church?

perg's avatar

@palerider I didn’t claim to have power over him. The question was whether he should retain his position. That’s my answer – he shouldn’t. I’m not in a position to ride in on my pony and whup him out of town, though I’d be pleased if I could.

palerider's avatar

@FutureMemory There is no such thing as the separation of the church and the state. And who is doing the promoting that you guys are talking about?

FutureMemory's avatar

Pardon me while I update my profile.

palerider's avatar

@perg Touche’. The whole point is moot. We all know he will be fired or resign after an inundation of hate mail and/or death threats. Probably rather quickly.

perg's avatar

@palerider The point is not moot. We’re discussing a question, which I could have sworn was the purpose of Fluther.

FutureMemory's avatar

He called them “sinners”. He is in a position of power in a public school, i.e. THE STATE.

judochop's avatar

I think you lost me at “balls.” How am I to take this seriously when GA’s are handed off to fodder like that?

palerider's avatar

@FutureMemory And according to the King James Version, they are all sinners. So are we all. And his position is tentative unless he is in one those infamous teachers’ unions where it is almost impossible to be fired.

truecomedian's avatar

@judochop
here I’ll give you one for that…

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@palerider : He’s not a teacher. He is a member of the board of education for a whole school district. Most members of such boards are locally elected.

And any version of the bible or any other religions’ holy books have no place in public schools. That is why we have separation of church and state guarantied by our Constitution.

palerider's avatar

@hawaii_jake Again, there is no separation of church and state guaranteed by the federal or any other constitution within the borders of the U.S.A.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@palerider : When was the last time you read the Constitution and its amendments? The first amendment states emphatically that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

I am done talking off-topic. The question is about a person in a position of authority stating that he believes the suicides of LGBT people to be a good thing.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“That is why we have separation of church and state guarantied by our Constitution.”

The reason is to protect the Church from the State, not the other way around.

palerider's avatar

@hawaii_jake And where does it say separation of church and state? That clause is there so that the federal government could not establish a national religion such as they had been under within the the rule of the european countries.

cockswain's avatar

If there’s one thing I truly hate, it’s anyone using the bible to justify bigotry.

palerider's avatar

@cockswain Who is using the bible to promote bigotry?

DominicX's avatar

@palerider

Um, the man in question? He views them as sinners who killed themselves because of their sin and believes that is the right thing for them to do. How is that not bigoted and how is that not related to the Bible?

truecomedian's avatar

@hawaii_jake
Do you think a person in power who thinks like this could cause these deaths??

cockswain's avatar

RIght here:And according to the King James Version, they are all sinners.

Whether or not you personally believe that doesn’t change the fact many have and continue to use this moronic ideology to oppress our fellow citizens.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It’s not related to the bible because nowhere in the bible does it mandate sinners to kill themselves @DominicX

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@truecomedian : If I were a young person going to school in the jurisdiction of this man’s authority, it would make me question my own self-worth. Whether that would lead to suicide, I can’t predict.

DominicX's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies

No one claimed that he was properly using the Bible. People use the Bible to justify all kinds of things that the Bible doesn’t really support.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Agreed… So it’s not related to the bible. It’s related to McCance’s lies.

cockswain's avatar

People use the Bible to justify all kinds of things that the Bible doesn’t really support.

Or does it?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Try reading it and let me know.

DominicX's avatar

In b4 atheist vs. Christian debate again…

truecomedian's avatar

You guys are all missing the point, we’re talking about kids killing themselves, how could anyone justify that, even indirectly. Not the bible, or church and state, or balls, but a promoter of hate. Must be some haters here…

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

And so? Does the bible suggest that sinners kill themselves @cockswain?

cockswain's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies No, but the “sinners” are frequently destroyed. I don’t wish to debate that, and you’re right so you can have the debating victory.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Q&A doesn’t demand debate, or victory. I’d just like to keep this OP on topic and not use it as an excuse for Bible bashing. Here, the problem is not with the bible. The problem is with McCance.

Pandora's avatar

In answer to your question.
It is my opinion that he should not be in a position to be an influence on any childs education since he apparently does not see suicide a problem or even care that his statements can be used to brow beat other children.
What can you do to bigots, that would make a difference. They will let fear and ignorance rule them.
Does he have the right to say stupid things on face book? Sure does. Like anyone else.
And I’m sure he will have to face the consequences of his ignorant statements like any one else who dares to make ignorant statements worldwide, or put naked pictures up, or talk trash about their boss.
Everyone has the right to show how much of an ass they are.
And he will learn how strong his convictions are soon enough. LOL

cockswain's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies OK, how about this: how likely do you think it is McCance would have derived his POV without his life being influenced by the bible?

truecomedian's avatar

When did the Bible get involved? What if you don’t believe in the Bible, does that exclude me from disagreeing with this man in question? Or is it just because he probably uses the Bible to form these ideas. This sucks.

palerider's avatar

The bible does not suggest people kill themselves, but it does state what is and is not considered a sin. If the gay community are unwilling to take the most basic religious laws to be sacred, why then are they so eager to enter a religious compact such as marriage?

I wonder how many of you would also be outraged if a gay man said the same about straight people and based his beliefs on his atheism? The sentiment would be the same. The outcry would be nil.

He shouldn’t have said it and I’m constantly amazed at the drivel people espouse online when they think they are anonymous. The judgement will not be yours or mine, but the people who hired him.

cockswain's avatar

Eh, I’m derailing it. Sorry, just get fired about about how much the result of the bible on human history sucks so much. I’m done.

DominicX's avatar

@palerider

Ugh. I knew you would say something like this and reveal your true colors. First of all, marriage is not exclusively religious. Atheists get married. Jews get married. People have been getting married long before Christianity. Many of the reasons gay people want to get married have to do with the government’s recognition of marriage in legal terms.

The difference between a gay man saying it and a straight man saying it is that there is no epidemic of straight kids killing themselves because of anti-straight bullying. This is not happening. It is happening for homosexual children. The man in question is taking of advantage of the situation and trivializing it (and promoting it). You are trivializing it as well by trying to make that comparison, a comparison which is absolutely in no way valid.

palerider's avatar

No, most of the ones I know want to take the vows…in a church…with the bible. I’m not trivializing it, only pointing out the obvious.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Dum Dee Dum Dee Dum. Meanwhile, children are killing themselves. If you look way up at the top of this thread there’s an OP.

DominicX's avatar

@palerider

Wow, anecdotal evidence. I have some too. Most of the gay people I know are atheist and want nothing to do with a church. Most of them also believe that no church should ever be forced by the government to perform gay marriages.

And yes, you are trivializing it. There is no comparison between the two. People are reacting strongly because of the wave of suicides among gay kids because of anti-gay bullying. There is no such of wave of suicide among straight children for anti-straight bullying. No wonder the reactions would not be the same.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I don’t know @hawaii_jake. Couldn’t McCance be committing some form of bullying crime? Aren’t there some states that have enacted bullying laws?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies : That’s an excellent question. I know that here in Hawaii we have strict laws against bullying and cyber-bullying in schools. I don’t know about Arkansas.

And now I’m off to practice a play and live my life. Have fun with the thread.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@palerider Take a history class before you assume that christians or those who believe in god invented marriage. Marriage is not exclusively christian, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

A smart lawyer from Hawaii could get some great PR by suing that Arkansas school board for bullying HW’s gay students by way of McCance’s comments.

Iclamae's avatar

@hawaii_jake
This kind of situation is soooo tough for me. I am horrified and so angry at this man. And yet, I can make an argument for free speech, his facebook being private, and the entire thing being based on a screenshot which is not conclusive evidence that it even happened.

So, I’ll say this as a middle ground:
Yes, it is up to the people of that town to respond.
However, if I were living in that town, my response would be that it will boil down to his actions. As he is on the school board, he will not be interacting with students. (And his facebook is private.) He will be working on policy. If he has a record of approving equal policy for straight and gay students, then he is doing his job, his personal beliefs aside.
If he does not, all you can really do is not re-elect him.

I would not expect the school board to fire him. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, but I wouldn’t expect it.

If any of the following were true, I would expect him to be fired:
~He held a position that interacts with students: teacher, counselor, principal. While there certainly are those in those jobs that dislike gay students, they need to leave their personal beliefs at the door and remain professionally neutral. Counselors especially.
~His facebook was public. While teenagers know that there are people in the school and political ranks that dislike gay people, to have comments so drenched in hate and intolerance posted for all the students to see… it’s too much. It also leaves the school board open to critique him for misrepresenting what the school stands for.
~He openly admitted to saying it and defended his hatred. Then I would expect the school board to fire him for misrepresenting their message.

As of right now, there’s no evidence that this screenshot is even real and I sort of really hope it’s not. That makes it very difficult for the school board to do anything about it.
Keep in mind we’re in election season and photoshop is pretty amazing.

FutureMemory's avatar

I’m so glad I went to hippie schools here in California rather than backwards-ass public schools in bumfuck Arkansas.

Dog's avatar

[Mod Says:] Even though this question is in social please respect the asking party and stick to the topic regarding how this supervisor should be dealt with.

Please create another question if you wish to discuss the role of religion in the bullying of gay students.

Thanks!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

There are “bumfucks” in every state @FutureMemory. The problem is not Arkansas. The problem is in Arkansas. Nobody accused California of being screwed up when Marshall Applewhite convince two dozen teenagers to commit suicide for the Heavens Gate Cult.

Blackberry's avatar

He should resign, or be fired, or not have kids, or read a book other than religious texts….I don’t know…maybe something on evolution, DNA, humanism, astronomy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, etc….....

FutureMemory's avatar

edit: respecting Dog’s wishes. Comment removed.

Nullo's avatar

The quoted quote isn’t all that bad, really. I share some of his opinions – that no special attention is warranted, for instance, and the marriage thing. He could certainly have been nicer.

DominicX's avatar

@Nullo

Yeah, it really isn’t all that bad to suggest people commit suicide.

Nullo's avatar

@DominicX I said “the quoted quote.” For reasons known only to himself, @hawaii_jake left the really nasty stuff on the page that he got the story from.
You know perfectly well what I was, and was not referring to.

DominicX's avatar

Actually, no, I didn’t. I thought you were referring to the quoted material in the question.

truecomedian's avatar

Wow this was a fiery question. I was lucky enough to ride the wave of controversy and pick up some lurve, sweeet. I guess there are some topics, off topics, that inspire a complete lack of compromise and create a bit of outrage. I admire those that stand up for what’s right. What’s right in this question is being against kid’s killing themselves, the gay part is secondary and open for debate, obviously. Anyone promoting the death of kids is most likely a bad person. Bad as in mean, evil, stupid, and/or lame. I personally think it’s cheap to ask questions that are potentially enflamatory in that real communication gets suppressed, but it was good times noneoftheless.

Nullo's avatar

When have I ever advocated suicide? Anybody‘s suicide, for any reason? Heck, I seem to recall a lot of arguments against suicide as an acceptable practice.

I don’t think that the quoted material in the OP does, either. It places little weight on the suicides, to be sure, such that it would take millions (?) of them to earn McCance’s consideration (or, perchance, his sympathy), but that’s not the same thing as hoping for someone to off himself.
It is my belief that the article is deliberately misrepresenting – however slightly – these details to further its writers’ agenda. You will notice that the opening accusation, ”...Arkansas school district is using his Facebook page to encourage “queers” and “fags” to kill themselves,” is not borne out by the man’s quotations. Not even one.

The only truly damning thing that the guy says – that is, what couldn’t be fixed with politeness (and excluding, per moderator request, doctrinal differences) – is, “I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die.” That he enjoys the fact.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

McCance is a DICK. with a capital DICK.

iamthemob's avatar

Rarely do I enjoy the downfall of others, with glee, but seriously BRAVO!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

wah wah wah, wah wah wah whaaaahhhhhhh!

mattbrowne's avatar

Western societies do have the resilience to be able to deal with a few lunatics. Self correction is built into our way of thinking. In theocratic societies these kinds of people are not forced to resign. After having proved that earthquakes are caused by the boobs of indecent women they move on to find a theological explanation for volcanic eruptions.

iamthemob's avatar

also boobs

Iclamae's avatar

Everyone should see this

Iclamae's avatar

That needs to be cleaned up a little but the premise is AWESOME

Nullo's avatar

He’s not saying that he wants them to commit suicide, but that he doesn’t want to commemorate past suicides. That’s his right, isn’t it?

cockswain's avatar

Yes, that is his right. And since his opinion is so grossly unpopular, the vast majority of the nation will label him a bigoted fool.

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