An unnamed teacher in Sullivan, Indiana—believed by all to be Diana Medley—has been suspended. Unfortunately Medley wasn't suspended for the offensive comments she made about gay people (including her own gay students) or for violating the published professional staff bylaws of the Northeast School Corporation. She was placed on administrative leave, the school claims, due to a number of threatening email messages. Associated Press:
Superintendent Mark Baker of the Northeast School Corp. in western Indiana’s Sullivan County issued a statement saying the teacher has been placed on administrative leave out of concern “for the safety and security of everyone in our buildings.” He added that “as a precaution” the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police “have deemed it necessary to station an officer” at North Central Junior-Senior High School in Farmersburg, about 75 miles southwest of Indianapolis. He said the “administration and one school employee in particular” at the school have received “aggressive email messages. We are turning over to law enforcement all such communications,” Baker said.
And so Baker should. And any asshole who makes stupid and counterproductive threats should be slapped. And anyone who broke the law should be punished. And, of course, anyone who violates the published professional staff bylaws of Northeast School Corporation should be punished too.
The AP's readers will want to know what the fuss is all about, of course, so the AP report quotes Medley's controversial remarks. Or the AP pretends to:
“I just ... I don’t understand it,” Medley said when asked whether homosexuals have a purpose in life. She was speaking to WTWO-TV of Terre Haute at a planning meeting earlier this month for the anti-gay dance.
Medley didn't say, "I just... I don't understand it," when she was asked if "a gay person [had] some sort of purpose in life." She said this:
PAIGE PREUSSE: A gay person, um, do you consider them, maybe, do [you believe] they have some sort of purpose in life?
DIANA MEDLEY: I don't. I personally don't. I'm sorry. I just... I don't understand it.
What the AP presents to its readers is an incomplete, dishonest, and misleadingly edited version of Medley's remarks. And seeing Medley's full statement—including her actual response to the question she was asked ("I don't")—would help AP readers understand why some people were upset enough to send "aggressive" emails to the Northeast School Corporation.
The AP is in all sorts of trouble with gay activists at the moment. I don't know whether it's a coincidence that the AP is publishing stories that provide cover for anti-gay bigots while at the same time making gay activists look unhinged, but the AP's timing couldn't be worse.
UPDATE: The AP reverses course.