The Thomas More Law Center announced the filing of a federal lawsuit on behalf of Daniel Glowacki, a junior at Howell High, against the Howell Public School District located in Howell, Michigan, and teacher, Johnson (“Jay”) McDowell, for punishment and humiliation he heaped on Glowacki after he expressed his religious belief opposing homosexuality when asked by the teacher during class.
The incident occurred on October 20, 2010, which was designated as an anti-bullying or "Spirit Day" by the school in conjunction with gay activist groups. McDowell, an economics teacher, decided not to teach about economics that day and instead promoted the gay agenda by showing movies about gay teens who committed suicide and wearing a purple t-shirt with a pro-gay message on it.
At some point during Glowacki's class, McDowell, who is head of the school's teachers union, ordered a student to remove her confederate flag belt buckle because it was offensive to him. Glowacki then raised his hand and pointed out the teacher's obvious hypocrisy by asking why, on a day dedicated to tolerance, a student couldn't wear a confederate belt buckle but McDowell could display a rainbow flag that might be offensive to some students.
Angered by the question, McDowell confronted Glowacki about his views on homosexuality at which time Glowacki stated that he was Catholic and could not condone the behavior. McDowell said his religion was "wrong" and ordered Glowacki to leave the classroom under threat of suspension.
McDowell, asked the remainder of the class whether anyone else did not accept homosexuality. Another student raised his hand, and McDowell ordered him out of the classroom as well.
As news of the incident spread, homosexual activists across the country hailed McDowell as a hero and vilified Daniel and his family, as “bigots”, referring to Daniel’s religious objections to the homosexual agenda as “hate” speech.
National lesbian TV host, Ellen DeGeneres, also featured an openly gay student on her show who supported McDowell at school board meetings. This student was rewarded with a $10,000 academic scholarship by a digital media company.
Even though the school district eventually disciplined McDowell by suspending him for a day without pay and placing a reprimand in his personnel file, the suspension was rescinded after McDowell appealed.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of TMLC, commented: “Rather than teach the required Economics curriculum for which he is paid, McDowell, with the full knowledge of school officials, used his position of authority to promote his homosexual agenda at taxpayer’s expense. This case points out the outrageous way in which homosexual activists have turned our public schools into indoctrination centers, and are seeking to eradicate all religious and moral opposition to their agenda.”
Thompson added, “It defies common sense for schools to ban all sorts of unhealthy foods while at the same time promoting the homosexual lifestyle, which hard statistics show increases drug abuse, suicides and reduces the life expectancies by several years. Schools that promote such lifestyles are engaging in a form of child abuse.”
Glowacki's family has since decided to sue the school district in federal court claiming that their son's constitutional rights to freedom of speech and equal protection have been violated by the policies and actions of the school district and McDowell. Among other things, the lawsuit seeks nominal damages, a declaration that the school policies and actions violate the Constitution, and injunction to prohibit further constitutional violations.
The TMLC also contends that the Howell School District and the Michigan Education Association (“MEA”), which is a subsidiary of the National Education Association (“NEA”), along with the Howell Education Association (“HEA”), which is a chapter of the MEA, have forged a symbiotic relationship and have worked with one another to adopt policies, that promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle and to prohibit religious opposition to homosexuality. The school district has promoted the concept that religious opposition to homosexuality is equivalent to bullying, hate speech, and homophobia in order to eradicate such opposition.
TMLC Senior Trial Counsel, Robert Muise, who is handling the case, stated: “Homosexual activists, with the willing and complicit support of public school districts and teachers’ unions throughout the country, are using our public schools to foist their destructive agenda on our children, thereby creating a hostile learning environment for those students who oppose this agenda on religious and moral grounds. This case is just one example of the pernicious effect these activists are having on our students and in our community. We intend to stop it.”
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