Inspiring defender or bully? Daniel Glowacki’s economics teacher has been portrayed as both in the national media for kicking Daniel out of his class. Daniel’s offense? Disagreeing with his teacher’s view on homosexuality.
The story his economics teacher told the media, school board, and teacher’s union paints a very different picture of the incident than the story told by the Daniel and other eye witnesses from his class. After his economics teacher asked a student wearing a belt with a confederate flag buckle to leave her belt outside in the hallway, the teacher proceeded to tell the class why he was wearing a purple shirt that day in support of homosexual rights and Anti-Bullying Day. Daniel raised his hand, and asked why the student’s belt wasn’t allowed in class, but the teacher’s shirt and message was. The teacher asked him if he supported homosexuality. Daniel responded that it was against his Catholic faith.
According to the economics teacher, Daniel’s statement was “anti-gay” and “homophobic,” and so he was justified in kicking Daniel out of his class. He admits that he became “emotional,” but according to Daniel, that entailed following him into the hallway, shouting after him that he was “bigoted” and “racist.” He also wrote him a referral for “unacceptable behavior.” A second student disagreed with the teacher’s view on homosexuality, and asked to leave the classroom also.
When the incident was reported, the teacher was suspended without pay. Then he began a campaign to recast the story by reaching out to the media and teachers’ union. On The Ellen Show and MSNBC News, he was commended for doing a “good thing” by putting a stop to harassing speech.
However, the school district reprimanded him, claiming he “disciplined two students for holding and stating personal beliefs, to which [he disagreed].” The reprimand continued: “You disciplined them in anger under the guise of harassment and bullying because you opposed their religious belief and were offended by it. The students were causing no disruption to the educational process,” and noted the irony of punishing students for having opinions he could not tolerate on Anti-Bullying Day.
Daniel was paid a settlement, and the incident was removed from his file.
His economics teacher also filed a grievance, and was reinstated at the school.