Students Reveal Teacher Brought Anti-Gay Bias to the Classroom
Weak Anti-Bullying Policy Leaves Lake County Students Unprotected
Strengthen Lake County Anti-Bullying Policy
Demand the Lake County School Board expand the district's anti-bullying and non-discrimination policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
More troubling revelations have emerged surrounding Jerry Buell, a Lake County teacher who posted virulently anti-gay comments on Facebook.
Last week Jerry Buell, a Lake County teacher at Mount Dora High School gained national attention for publicly posting comments comparing gay couples to "a cesspool" on Facebook. Initially Mr. Buell was suspended from his teaching position, though the Lake County School Board has since placed him back in the classroom.
A growing number of students have come forward to describe Mr. Buell's homophobic behavior in the classroom. Brian Blaise, an honors student who graduated in 2003, described the day Mr. Buell offered his disturbing take on the issue of gays serving in the military:
"I looked up when he said he supported gays in the military, stunned by the answer. He immediately followed that comment with the statement that we should then put them on the front lines, and pull back," Blaise said.
Another of his students recounted Mr. Buell invoking the quote "A pig in a tuxedo is still a pig" to declare his disdain for recognizing gay relationships.
A syllabus that Buell admits to have used for many years states his beliefs plainly,
"I teach God's truth, I make very few compromises. If you believe you may have a problem with that, get your schedule changed, 'cause I ain't changing!"
Last week nearly 300 of our members in the Lake County area sent letters calling for a thorough investigation. Now we need everyone to step up and deliver the message that every student deserves a safe learning environment.
60% of Florida's students live in school districts that provide specific protections from anti-gay bullying and discrimination. But, Lake County is not one of them.