WATCH: Fort Worth teen suspended for anti-gay comments films NOM video

Dakota Ary

Dakota Ary, the Fort Worth teen who was suspended last year after he made anti-gay comments in class, is featured in a new video from the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage.

Ary was suspended after gay teacher Kris Franks sent him to the principal’s office for making anti-gay comments, which Franks said were part of ongoing anti-gay bullying from Ary.

Ary’s mom later hired Liberty Counsel lawyer Matt Krause — now the Republican nominee for Texas House District 93 — and the suspension was lifted. Franks was suspended for unrelated behavior, but the charges were later dropped.

Ary speaks about the incident in a NOM Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance video, where he talks about how his freedom of speech was violated and he encourages other people to speak up for what they believe in.

Ary’s mom is also in the video and talks about how parents should empower their children to stand up for their beliefs. She said Ary was targeted and called hateful names after his story made national headlines.

“Dakota is not a bigot. He is not someone who hates gay people,” she says in the video. “He’s not a hater in any way. And of all these organizations and companies that promote gay marriage and so on and so forth, for them to come back at him as a child is just ridiculous. I’m extremely proud of the fact that he did stand up for himself.”

Watch the video below.

—  Anna Waugh

Investigation into allegations against FWISD teacher expected to conclude today or Thursday

Fort Worth Independent School District Board of Trustees member Dr. Carlos Vasquez (top right) told Dallas Voice in a phone call this afternoon that he’s been told by administrators that an investigation into allegations against Western Hills High School teacher Kristopher Franks should be completed by today or Thursday.

Franks is the WHHS teacher who wrote a notice of infraction against freshman student Dakota Ary (bottom right) and sent Ary to the principal’s office after Ary said during Franks’ German I class that he, Ary, is a Christian and believes homosexuality is wrong. The vice principal then suspended Ary. However, the current investigation doesn’t involve the incident with Ary.

Steven Poole, deputy executive director for the United Educators Association of Texas, a teachers union, confirmed Tuesday that other, unrelated allegations had been made against Franks, and that Franks had been placed on paid administrative leave for the duration of the investigation. Vasquez said today that any time allegations are made against a teacher, those allegations have to be investigated, and it is routine for the teacher in question to be placed on paid administrative leave.

Franks has declined to speak to the media on the advice of his union representative. Poole said because the investigation is ongoing, he’s not at liberty to discuss the details of the allegations made against Franks or comment further on the case.

However, Ary and his mother, with the help of Liberty Counsel attorney Matt Krause, went immediately to the press, telling their side of the story in several TV interviews and saying Franks and the school had violated the student’s right to freedom of speech. The case quickly became a rallying point for the religious right.

With Krause representing them, Ary and his mother protested the suspension, and school administrators later reversed their decision.

Ary said in  media interviews that he made the comment quietly to a classmate sitting next to him in response to a discussion going on in the class at the time. But Franks told friends shortly after the incident that there was no discussion involving homosexuality at the time, and that Ary made the comment loudly while looking directly at Franks. Franks also told friends that the comment was only the latest in an ongoing series of incidents in which Ary and a group of three of his friends have made anti-gay comments to and about him.

—  admin

Liberty Counsel attorney says teacher’s ‘pro-gay’ comments led to FW student’s suspension

Matt Krause

More details are emerging about an incident we first reported on Wednesday, in which 14-year-old student Dakota Ary alleges that he was suspended from a Fort Worth high school for saying he thinks homosexuality is wrong. From CBS 11:

The comment came during a German class, where conversation turned to vocabulary for Christianity and the Bible. Dakota said one student asked about translations for homosexual terms.

Fox News reports that the attorney hired by Dakota’s family, Matt Krause of the right-wing Liberty Counsel, blames the teacher for bringing up the topic:

Krause called the incident “mind blowing” and said the teacher had frequently brought homosexuality into ninth grade classroom discussions.

“There has been a history with this teacher in the class regarding homosexual topics,” Krause said. “The teacher had posted a picture of two men kissing on a wall that offended some of the students.”

Krause said the picture was posted on the teacher’s “world wall.”

“He told the students this is happening all over the world and you need to accept the fact that homosexuality is just part of our culture now,” Krause said. “In German class there should be no talk of being pro-Gay or homosexual topics.”

It’s unfortunate that neither the district nor the teacher can comment, which means we’re only getting one side of the story. Krause’s comments, while intended to defend Dakota’s behavior, would seem to indicate that there’s more to this than he’s letting on.

Watch a report from CBS 11 below.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Fort Worth high school student suspended for saying homosexuality is wrong

A student at a Fort Worth high school alleges he was suspended for saying he believes homosexuality is wrong. Fox 4 reports:

Fourteen-year-old Dakota Ary spent most of the day Tuesday serving an in-school suspension. It was punishment for discussion in his German class at Fort Worth’s Western Hills High School.

“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.”

Dakota says an assistant principal reduced his suspension from two days to one after hearing his version of what happened, but his mother has hired an attorney, Matt Krause of the Liberty Counsel. They met with school administators today and demanded that the suspension be removed from Dakota’s record and that he be protected against “retaliation.” The school district isn’t commenting on the incident.

—  John Wright