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

Rihanna fan Aaron Gifford threatens class-action lawsuit over Friday night’s flame-out at the AAC

We’re late to the news that Rihanna fans won’t be getting refunds for Friday’s fire-shortened show. That’s mainly because I was so sick of this story that I didn’t feel like updating my last post. But after seeing Fox 4‘s report Monday night, I couldn’t resist sharing it anyway — not because you haven’t already heard the news, but because you really need to meet the man behind the “Rihanna Dallas concert refund” Facebook page, Aaron Gifford. (Watch the video below to find out why, although the screen grab above might already have given it away.) According to the Facebook page, it looks like Gifford’s now threatening a class-action lawsuit. “Not everyone is Rihanna and can just sing and make a million dollars. I mean, some of us actually have to work for our money,” Gifford, who spent $300 on his ticket, tells Fox 4. “This isn’t just about me. It’s about everybody that worked hard to come see her and was disappointed. … If they would have had a fire extinguisher up there and someone knew how to use it the concert would have gone on.”

No Refund for Rihanna Fans after Concert Fire: MyFoxDFW.com

—  John Wright

WATCH: Fox 4 on Dallas’ failure to enforce ordinance prohibiting anti-gay discrimination

 

I’m on vacation this week but I couldn’t resist putting this up. Before I left on Friday for an undisclosed location, I got a call from Peter Daut at Fox 4. He wanted me to put him in touch with Mark Reed-Walkup and Dante Walkup, the local gay couple that filed a discrimination complaint against The Dallas Morning News for refusing to publish their wedding announcement. Peter had seen our post on Friday saying that despite 53 complaints file in nine years, the city has never prosecuted a single case under its ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. So I connected Peter with Mark, and above is the result. It’s a good story that brings needed attention to the issue, but I should note that there is a fact error: The report says the case isn’t going anywhere because sexual orientation isn’t a protected class. Not true. Sexual orientation is a protected class in the city of Dallas, and that’s the whole point. There’s an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, and people have been filing complaints under it, but the City Attorney’s Office isn’t doing anything with them. Peter is right when he says the complaint isn’t going anywhere. But he’s wrong about the reason why. Also, he should have given us credit.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Why last night’s DISD victory shouldn’t lead to complacency on anti-gay bullying

On the heels of last night’s approval of an LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying policy by the Dallas school district, comes this sobering reminder that the LGBT community’s work has just begun.

For one thing, these policies don’t mean squat without training and enforcement. And for another, only a fraction of students even in North Texas attend DISD schools.

Fox 4 reports on one North Texas mom who says the Keller ISD is failing to protect her son from anti-gay bullying:

The boy’s mother said he has been roughed up more than half a dozen times at school. He’s been punched, pushed and had his head slammed into a locker. FOX 4 has agreed not to identify her to protect the boy’s identity.

“I don’t want him to be physically assaulted anymore. I want him to get an education, that’s all,” the boy’s mother said.

The woman said her son is depressed and suicidal because of bullies.

“They say to him you’re gay, you’re a faggot or you’re retarded,” she said. “A boy told him you need to go get a gun and shoot yourself.”

—  John Wright

WATCH: N. Dallas High School doesn’t want you to know if trans student won homecoming vote

North Dallas High School isn’t releasing the results of the vote for homecoming queen, saying the information is confidential. So we have no way of knowing for sure whether transgender student Andy Moreno had enough votes to be a finalist for homecoming queen. But Andy’s running mate on the ballot, her MTF transgender friend, is one of three finalists for homecoming king. So it’s likely that Andy was also one of the top three vote-getters, but Principal Dinnah Escanilla is stubbornly sticking to her terrible decision not to allow Andy to run for queen. What’s worse, the Dallas Independent School District continues to allow Escanilla’s blatant discrimination, making us wonder what would happen if the principal required the homecoming queen to be of a certain race.

Fox 4 has been following this story closely, and it’s been the No. 1 most read article on their site both last week and today. But why does Fox 4 reporter Sophia Reza suddenly begin referring to Andy as a “he” and “him” halfway through her report, almost as though she’s mimicking students who do the same thing? And why does anchor Heather Hays seem to have such a hard time understanding the simple fact that Andy identifies as a girl, not a boy?

Andy, who has a new hair-do and looks stunningly beautiful in the interview, says she plans to talk to the principal about the homecoming vote, but as of now, she has no plans to sue despite being approached by some lawyers. She’ll be attending the homecoming dance in a dress and heels this weekend, which Hays also seems worried about. Hays asks whether the school has a dress code — such as one prohibiting low-cut dresses — that would also bar Andy from wearing a dress at all.

“Well then they should have less of a problem with me coming in a low-cut dress, because I’m sorry, but what’s going to pop out of my top?” Moreno responds.

You’ve gotta absolutely love this girl.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Did DPS trooper slam woman’s head into concrete wall because she was leaving gay bar?

When 23-year-old Whitney Fox crashed her car into a concrete wall on the Dallas North Tollway near Lemmon Avenue in October 2009, she and her friends were on their way home from a gay bar, according to her attorney.

As you may have heard, what happened next has led to criminal charges against DPS Trooper Arturo Perez, who slammed Fox’s head into said concrete wall after she allegedly resisted arrest on drunken driving charges. The incident is shown in the shocking new video above.

Last night, Fox 4‘s Steve Eagar asked Fox’s attorney, Randy Isenberg, about the gay aspect of the case.

Eagar: “I don’t think many know this, but she was coming home from a party at a gay bar that night. Your client says when she told the officer that, he had some kind of reaction. She thought he didn’t like it. Does she think that’s why what happened happened?”

Isenberg: “I don’t think she’s blaming her friends that were with her’s orientation for the officer, but she did indicate that there was a change in his demeanor when he learned that.”

Eagar: “Has that been part of the investigation, do you know?”

Isenberg: “Well I don’t really know.”

Eagar: “The FBI investigated?”

Isenberg: “The FBI did look into this and as far as I know they’re still looking into it.”

Eagar: “Into that part of it, that element?”

Isenberg: “Sure.”

—  John Wright

WATCH: N. Dallas High School bars transgender girl from running for homecoming queen

A male-to-female transgender student at North Dallas High School says the school’s principal is discriminating against her by barring her from running for homecoming queen, according to a report that aired Wednesday night on Fox 4.

Andy Moreno, an 18-year-old senior, told the station that some friends nominated her for homecoming queen. However, a few days ago, a counselor warned Moreno that some school administrators were opposed to the idea. Moreno says she went to talk to the principal, who told her to run for homecoming king instead.

The Dallas Independent School District says it has no formal policy on the issue, but DISD issued a statement saying: “The district fully supports the decision of the principal at North Dallas High School. It should be noted that the Dallas Independent School District is proud to have one of the most aggressive anti-harassment policies among school districts in the state of Texas.”

Moreno says she doesn’t feel comfortable running for homecoming king because she identifies as a female, and her friends support her.

“I do feel like I’m being harassed and I feel like I’m being discriminated against,” Moreno told Fox 4. “I feel like the principal is embarrassed to have a transgender queen.”

Stay tuned to Instant Tea and Dallas Voice for more on the story.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Dash-cam video of the fake U.S. marshal who terrorized Oak Lawn last weekend

Above is a report from Fox 4 that includes dash-cam video of the suspect who claimed to be a U.S. marshal and threatened a traffic control volunteer with a laser-sighted semi-automatic weapon early Sunday in Oak Lawn.

The dash-cam video was recorded by the 66-year-old volunteer, Douglas Ervin, who followed the fake marshal after witnessing him make a bogus traffic strop near Wycliff and Lemmon avenues. According to the police reports, the suspect got out of his vehicle near Rawlins Street and Oak Lawn Avenue, approached Ervin and said, “Who the fuck are you?” Ervin responded by saying “Who are you?” before the suspect pushed Ervin’s face in, knocking out his dentures, and aimed the weapon at his head. When Ervin told the suspect he was being recorded, he got back in his vehicle — which had rolled backward down the street because he hadn’t put it in park — and took off. As Deputy Chief Craig Miller explains to Fox 4, it’s not exactly the type of behavior you’d expect from a real cop.

The Dallas Observer has posted an enhanced photo of the suspect, and The Morning News reports that police are looking for other potential victims because they believe the same man may have been arrested in the past for pretending to be a cop.

Anyone with information can call 214-671-3616 or better yet, if this guy’s anywhere near you, 911.

—  John Wright