Clint McCance is on the school board of Midland, Arkansas, and has come under fire for anti-gay comments on his Facebook page. SheWired.com reports that McCance made comments such as calling homosexuals derogatory names and then said he wouldn’t wear purple unless “they all commit suicide.” Because McCance is an elected official he cannot be fired by the superintendent of schools since he answers to voters. The only way he can be fired under Arkansas law is to be convicted of a felony. The Arkansas Department of Education has condemned the posting on McCance’s Facebook page which has since been disabled according to NPR.
Once again the debate is heating up about homosexuality in American. A Facebook page has been created called “Fire Clint McCance” which has over 22,000 friends. Even our educational leaders have betrayed the very students they are supposed to protect. What kind of message does this send to our precious children?
If our school’s leaders are supposed to have the best interests of every student in mind then McCance has no business being a member of the school board. Hopefully the people who elected him will see the error of their ways and demand his resignation. The Facebook page has included the address information for the Midland School District.
The Midland School District responded with a statement on their own website saying they “do not support or condone the comments of Mr. Clint McCance posted on his personal social networking page. Mr. McCance was not acting as an agent of the school board, but as a private citizen when this comment was posted.”
School officials cannot do much else. Unless there are anti-bullying laws or hate crimes specifically for sexual orientation that can be prosecuted as felonies there is nothing the Midland School District can do. They continued with the statement, “The district…discourages all forms of bullying…and encourages a safe and productive educational climate for all our students.”
Imagine what must be going on behind the scenes. Superintendent of schools Dean Stanley must be red-faced, aghast, and horrified at the behavior of a member of his board. What will be said at the next school board meeting will be telling-if he gets support from the community then we know that voters approve. Surely some news media will be there if they aren’t already.
Midland’s estimated population in 2009 was 260. I hope Midland is ready for the crush of news media should this story get more unfortunate. In a sleepy little town along the Oklahoma border the residents just got more attention than what they want.
Freedom of speech is a cherished freedom in this country. It also means we have the freedom to be stupid and bigoted. Hence Clint McCance still has a job even though his statements are horrible.
Broverman, Neal, “Arkansas School Official Calls for Death of Gays on His FB: Keeps His Job?” SheWired.com.
Associated Press, “Ark. School Official Accused Of Anti-Gay Screed”, NPR.org.
Facebook, “Fire Clint McCance”, Facebook.com.
Midland School District, midland.k12.ar.us.
City-Data.com, “Midland, Arkansas”.