Special Ed Teacher Who Said Gays Have No ‘Purpose’ is Suspended

An Indiana teacher has been suspended after making homophobic remarks, and though the school district hasn’t formally identified the teacher, we can all guess who it is.

In the midst of a campaign by some students at Sullivan High School to hold a “traditional prom” barring gay students, Diana Medley, a special education teacher at another local school, reportedly told the media that she not only disagreed with homosexuality, but felt gays had no purpose in life:

“We don’t agree with it (homosexuality), and it’s offensive to us,” Medley told reporters. “Homosexual students come to me with their problems, and I don’t agree with them, but I care about them. It’s the same thing with my special needs kids. I think God puts everyone in our lives for a reason.”

When asked if she thinks gays have a purpose in life, Medley said, “No I honestly don’t. Sorry, but I don’t. I don’t understand it.”

“A gay person isn’t going to come up and make some change unless it’s to realize that it was a choice and they’re choosing God,” Medley told WTWO.

According to Indiana’s RTV6, the unidentified teacher was suspended “as a precaution” after her comments generated such furious responses nationwide and via social media:

Superintendent Mark Baker of the Northeast School Corp. in western Indiana’s Sullivan County issued a statement Wednesday saying the teacher has been placed on administrative leave and that state and local police are stationing officers at North Central Junior-Senior High School as a precaution because of “aggressive” email messages sent to the school and the teacher.

While the school’s principal has said he doesn’t condone the idea of a separate prom, a Facebook page supporting the “traditional prom” is back online after a temporary hiatus. Doesn’t look like it’s going to get very far, though.

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at gaywrites.org.

  • Aegis

    Methinks some pharyngulation is in order with that facebook page…

  • Blasphemous_Kansan

    “Those people? Well, sure they’re people, but they’re just not, like, you know, people.”

    Human garbage.

  • J. Sanders

    What an odd thing for a Special Ed teacher to say. The gay titans of commerce and entertainment have no purpose, but mentally compromised people were put here to teach us lessons. Weird.

  • Claude

    Homosexual students come to me with their problems…

    My heart breaks for these kids.

  • Jason

    Some body should egg her house

  • Crystal Thomas

    When one person says “We don’t agree with it (homosexuality), and it’s offensive to us,” Medley told reporters. I always wonder who “we” is…I want to say…Who is this “we” you’re speaking for? You got a mouse in your pocket?

  • C Peterson

    Administrative leave means she’s being paid. There’s nothing to suggest any investigation is in progress. The school just wants her out of the way until the storm blows over, and the teacher gets a nice paid vacation. This teacher needs to be punished, but there’s nothing punitive here.

  • A3Kr0n

    I should sign up again for Facebook just for the Pharyngulation opportunities.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    you want sad? check out this kid. he got picked up by gawker and his blog is pushing 200 comments.


    i really hate the mormon church. grrr.

  • A3Kr0n

    The school is getting hammered with “aggressive emails” because people are sick and tired of this crap and they’re not going to take it anymore.

  • icecreamassassin

    I partly disagree. She might have a nice paid vacation, but she is going to have to explain to people *why* she is on administrative leave. Now, there are many different paths she can take with that, though the two that stick out in my mind are a) she claims that she is being silenced/oppressed and changes nothing or b) she starts to recognize that maybe, just maybe, her views are wrong.

    But in any case, I don’t think additional punishment above and beyond the associated social stigma will do a damn thing.

    What this teacher needs, I suspect, is to actually meet a homosexual person to talk and listen to.

    But I do agree that it seems questionable that no further investigation seems to be occurring, and the likely situation is that administration is sweeping her under the rug until they are out of the limelight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hinchliffe Jason Hinchliffe

    Whoa, whoa whoa! What exactly does she need to be punished for? Having a reprehensible opinion? She didn’t say this in a classroom, she said it to reporters. The school board may choose to review her employment as a counsellor considering she is now known to have views that could prejudice her ability to perform her job. However, I can not and will not support muzzling people with punishment for expressing their beliefs, however asinine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hinchliffe Jason Hinchliffe

    “No I honestly don’t. Sorry, but I don’t. I don’t understand it.”

    No please, don’t apologize, I assure you I won’t for thinking you’re an ignorant c**t.

  • gateraid

    The important lesson here: Teachers especially should avoid the media & Facebook if they cannot stick to the gov’t mandated script.

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine

    A special education teacher say gay children have no purpose. Stow your “government mandated script” BS and call it as it is. That was hateful, that was hurtful, and she has no right to be teaching children.

  • busterggi

    Other than being a bigot just what is her purpose?

  • busterggi

    Tell me about the rabbits….

  • Glasofruix

    She basically said that some of her students are worthless pieces of shit, inside or outside of a classroom that still merits an enormous bitchslap.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hinchliffe Jason Hinchliffe

    So what? Big deal. Tons of people think other people are pieces of shit. We have a right to our opinions. You can’t punish someone for that. However, like I said, her suitability for her employment can be reviewed on the grounds that she may be incapable of fulfilling her duties as required. This is much ado about nothing.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Ahh yes, good lesson, and I agree! Because, as this shows, when they don’t stick to the script then they might be revealed as horrible, disgusting, shit-filled people with the inability to admit that a living, breathing, teenager in front of them going through the most difficult time of their lives is not quite a ‘person’. Then these people could go on, ‘caring’ for your kids in their own little way. As long as they maintain their status as ‘people’, anyway.

    Yes, your’e completely correct: to maintain the disguise of a decent human being, they should have absolutely kept to the script.

  • Glasofruix

    She’s a special ed teacher ffs, she’s supposed to help students with problems and now they know how she thinks about them. It’s one thing to yhink that your students are idiots, it’s another to say it out loud and expect to keep your job as an educator.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hinchliffe Jason Hinchliffe

    So then you agree with me? I’m not sure where your rage is coming from. You seem to be missing the distinction between punishing someone for their views, and fairly reconsidering their suitability for their employment. If she were teaching at a Christian school, this would be completely acceptable, even though it is offensive.

  • JT Fan

    Why would a man want to stick his penis in a man’s ass rather than a womans vagina?
    Never did get that.
    Send em all Darwin Awards as they shoot sperm up the shit hole.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    Well, I don’t understand it.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Does she work for a public school? Then her employers are the parents of the students that she called sub-human.

    That, under your criteria, would seem to be a reason to ‘consider the suitability for their employment’, perhaps?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hinchliffe Jason Hinchliffe

    Yes, exactly. That’s what I’m saying. Am I not acting outraged enough to get that point across?

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    Hoo Wee bubba you’s got a filthy mouth on you, I suspect that you secretly covet the action you done described there which is why you’s so much anger and resentment toward them there gays. ‘Haps soon when you find your self in the pokey “you’ll get it” a lot of it and you’ll like it.

  • C Peterson

    People get fired for doing things that reflect on their employers in some way. This woman as been publicly vocal about her personal feelings towards children that she has a good deal of power and control over. Beliefs that are at odds with the laws under which she is obligated to act. I think she as already gone far enough that firing her is justified; that she’s apparently not even being investigated is absurd.

    If the district thinks her presence in the school creates a danger for the kids, they should put her on unpaid leave. If she thinks that the giant foot she put in her mount puts her at physical risk, she can hire protection out of her own pocket. Not only is the public paying her salary while she’s not doing anything, they’re paying the police to protect her!

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    Yes she is entitled to her opinion. Yes she can tell it to reporters. Yes she can express her opinion as a private citizen unmuzzled. But she represented her self as a Special Education Teacher for X School. At this point she waived her Private Citizenry for her Professional Title and thus she is misrepresenting her position as an educator.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Outrage is not required but, no, I don’t think your defense of that particular opinion was clear. You seemed to be muddying the waters and deliberately obfuscating with the hypothetical situation about her employment at a Christian school, and when you originally said that the school board ‘may’ review her ability to do her job, you didn’t make it clear that this was the desired outcome, and didn’t focus on that at all in your later comments.

    So, no, it wasn’t clear, and I’m still not sure if it is. Are you saying that the district is right to review her employment status, but that any emotional reaction to her comments that would inform that review is invalid? It just seems like you’re drawing a trivial distinction between yourself, and people who have a more emotional reaction.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    In an Ideal World an educator should begin their work day with an unbiased opinion about the people they are intrusted to educate. Obviously we don’t live in an Ideal World but when an individual makes a poor example out of their selves then everyone should join in the discussion. Now she is a public figure and she is representative of a culture of bigotry and hate. She has made her self a focal point for public admonishment and for that she should resign her position as a Public School Teacher since it is now impossible for her to represent her students, her job and her profession without bias. go ahead and continue playing the Devil’s Advocate if you like Mr. Hinchliffe but she is in the wrong a deserves punishment for her ignorant bigoted but very Public opinions.

  • PegK

    I think the FB page that is back up is a poe.

  • gateraid

    Because scary people are threatening her for something she believes, not something she does. You are only extrapolating that she does anything egregious.

    Thought crime. Right here in the USSA.

  • gateraid

    It IS important to know what you can and cannot say now because the US equivalent of the Party is watching.

  • Glasofruix

    And how do you know that she’s not trying to pray the gay way during her counseling sessions with the students?

  • duke_of_omnium

    Oh noes! She’s a martyr now! (well, given the laughably slipshod criteria for persecution these days, anyhow)

  • gateraid

    And how do you know she is. Or are we going with “Guilty until proven innocent” now? Look, I wouldn’t have said it because I don’t believe gay people are useless or dirty. I think her worldview is narrow and scared. But I really don’t like the way this thread is going down either.

  • 3lemenope

    Nah, it’s a hamster. A miniature giant intergalactic space hamster. Named Boo.

  • 3lemenope

    You almost got an up vote, but then you went and ruined it with the “USSA”.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Well, I can’t argue with that.

    I mean I really can’t argue with that, because you didn’t really make a point.

    Calm down, take a nap, and try again, maybe?

  • David Starner

    The tribe is watching, and has been since our ancestors became tribal, who knows how many millions of years ago. A teacher has never been able to publically denigrate any of their students that society considers important.

  • David Starner

    So you’re okay if she goes on TV and tells the reporter that she fantasizes about having sex with her students? Or are only some forms of thought crime bad?

  • Glasofruix

    I was never fond of the idea of a thought being a crime, unless you’re expressing it or acting on it, but you should be ready to receive criticism (justified or not).

  • Cecelia

    I agree with you Jason. The teacher is an idiot, but she expressed opinion. But around here, that is tantamount to child rape.

    It is sad to see the left side of the fence as bubbled and deluded as the right. But the thing that frightens me most is the immediate call for punishment for the mere expression of free speech. Reprehensible speech? Yes. But so what. We do not have the right to not be offended, and frankly, I am a fan of free speech. We must endure that which makes us uncomfortable so we may have the same rights to express our thoughts and beliefs.

  • Cecelia

    How do you know she is? That door swings both ways.

    Free speech is more important than anything else, sorry. And thought policing is horrifying, left or right.

  • Carmelita Spats

    A special ed teacher is NOT a counselor!!!! If she’s “counseling” students, she is arrogantly bypassing the appropriate channels: LICENSED school counselor, LICENSED school psychologist, etc. There are mechanisms in place for appropriate counseling. She is also subject to professional communication in her evaluation. Professional communication is a rubric and you are evaluated accordingly.

  • Lurker111

    I’m stealing this comment. Thanks! ;)

  • Cecelia

    She can fantasize about having sex with her students if she wants. She can even talk about those fantasies. Would it make me uncomfortable? Yes. But does that mean we should punish her for speaking those thoughts? No.

    Now, if she acted on them, yes, but to speak of it, no.

  • Bob Becker

    Think you’re right about this.

  • Friendly_Autist

    A convicted fraud once told me that Native Americans are actually Jews, so now gay people have to be celibate.

  • Friendly_Autist

    That’s kind of offensive too, against handicapped people.

    I would not imagine this blog to be the place for anything like that.

  • coyotenose

    Reread what the superintendent said. If anyone had been threatened, he wouldn’t have just said “aggressive”.*

    She did do something egregious. She insulted her own students publicly with bigotry, and she stated her desire to up the ante with discrimination. She further did so not only as a person who happens to be a teacher, but specifically IN HER ROLE AS A TEACHER. What is difficult about that? it’s spelled out pretty plainly.

    “Thought crime”: Pure garbage. Why is it that people who reference Orwell never read him?

  • coyotenose

    Obsessing on false equivalencies is not an argument. Why aren’t you able to get that public servants are not free agents when acting as public servants, or that people represent their employers when they speak publicly?

    Again, you aren’t at all familiar with Orwell. Please stop trying.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    I’m disabled, and I’d really like to be treated like a person, instead of as a “lesson” or as some kind of “inspiration” for others.

  • fin312

    So you’re teacher and a non-theist and you say anyone who believes in jesus has no purpose in life should also be punished?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Time for you to go to bed, fin. You have your first day of kindergarten tomorrow. Here’s hoping they’ll finally teach you how to read…

  • fin312

    So I can see you haven’t used that “Summers Eve” yet! Maybe some chocolate also?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Eat shit and die, misogynist asslicker.

  • fin312

    Well if you keep on vollying asshole, I will return the serve!! Very mature rebuttal by the way! very angry person you are, may i suggest some valuum?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    And your comments are, like, totally mature, right?

    Your mother should have swallowed.

  • Sindigo

    Your defence of free speech is laudable. Always remember though, that it cuts both ways. Not only are people perfectly within their right of free speech to criticise her for her bigotry, even to call for punishment but the people who employ her are equally within their rights to take a stance against her statements and fire her ass because of them. When an employee doesn’t reflect your organisation’s standards in public they can expect punishment.

  • fin312

    Isn’t maturity fun? Your mother probably caught the slap when you came out of the womb!

  • Cecelia

    Oh I agree. Free speech does not mean there are no consequences for stupid behavior or such. However, the immediate call for “punishment” is frightening and borders on thought policing.

    But I agree that there are consequences for free speech. Imagine if you yelled the N-word on the A-Train near Malcolm X Blvd. Yes, legally you can do it, but chances are high there will be some pretty bad consequences.

  • Cecelia

    YES!!!! You are an ass, but that was funny! kitty here is a knee-jerk asswipe and deserves as much shit as can be given!

  • baal

    I thought “pharyngulation” was limited to biasing on-line poles. If it means doing “mail bombs” (a limited form of manual ddos) against folks you hate, that’s 4chan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hinchliffe Jason Hinchliffe

    Devil’s advocate? What the hell are you talking about? I said that her employment should be reviewed and I personally feel she should be removed from her job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hinchliffe Jason Hinchliffe

    I’m not deliberately obfuscating anything, I’m making a nuanced point. “Punishing” someone for vocalizing an unpopular in my mind is unacceptable. I will staunchly defend everyone’s right to share their opinions, however disgusting they may be.

    However, if these unpopular opinions potentially conflict with your ability to perform your job, then a review of your employment is merited. I would say that is clearly the case here. I do not believe this distinction is trivial at all, which is why I mentioned a Christian School. If she were employed in such an environment, her views would be in line with her employer, and despite the fact that I, and most others, find it grossly ignorant, that’s really too bad. As citizens, we can lobby our representatives to do away with public money for schools like that who promote hatred and bigotry (like all the Creationist schools getting vouchers).

    This also extends to things like employers bullying employees for their political views. It happens, but it shouldn’t, and we need to be cognizant and fight it.

    In a nutshell, calling for her termination, because she is incapable of doing her job is one thing – unspecifically calling for punishment because we don’t like what she says is another.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hinchliffe Jason Hinchliffe

    Dude, you are literally echoing what I said minus the police part, which I agree with you on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hinchliffe Jason Hinchliffe

    Wow, four exclamation marks. You must really mean what you’re saying. She indicates in the article that she performs this function for students. Perhaps I read more in to it than I should have. Though I must say, It seems awfully irrelevant to the argument at hand. Her presence in any fashion would be disruptive and angering for any LGBT students.

  • Cecelia

    Fine. You are an asshole. There, equal treatment. Your disability does not mean anything when your behavior is viewed. You are just a bitter asshole.

  • Derrik Pates

    Thank you. The idea that “free speech” means “I can say anything I want without consequences” is hilariously wrong. “Free speech” means the Government cannot restrain your speech. That doesn’t mean people can’t react to it, and make their opinions known – and even call for that person’s dismissal if they find their words particularly objectionable.

  • kaydenpat

    I don’t get the whole suspended as a precaution thing. Shouldn’t she just straight up be suspended for making bigoted statements? Good that the Principal doesn’t condone the separate anti-gay prom. Would be nice if it didn’t take place or was such a dud that it’s never repeated.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    My behaviour?

    What about yours? You’re the one who attacks with no reason, and you’re the one supporting the misogynist troll…

  • fin312

    Celia is not supporting me you heathan. I’m an ass with a sense of humor! Quite a fancy word for one who treats women badly, yet you can’t spell behavior? Do you also think asphalt is a rectum problem? The only thing disabling about you is the air coming out of that hole in your face!

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    On the contrary, “behaviour” is the proper spelling. It’s not my fault Americans have to fuck up the spelling.

    Go fuck yourself, you waste of oxygen.

  • fin312

    Now see that Cecelia, very bitter wmdkitty is. There can’t be a guy in your miserable life kitty!! May I suggest a battery toy? you need a gasm bad. You’ll probably lose 20 lbs when it happens!

  • fin312

    A bitter asshole that’s not feeling springtime fresh!

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    I’m sitting here with the guy in my life — he thinks you’re a miserable waste of flesh.

    I’m not “bitter” — I’m just sick and tired of your endless bullying.

    Now go whine to your mommy about the “mean kitty” that scratched you because YOU wouldn’t leave her alone.

  • Friendly_Autist

    Same here, that’s why I commented. What’s your issue? I suppose you can assume mine from my username.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    The physical one is Cerebral Palsy. I also have ADD, depression, anxiety, a touch of OCD and a nice case of PTSD.

  • vincent findley

    Well, sorry to hear of your phsyical ailments,but you fling way to much shit on this blog for sympathy. So continue your pity party!

  • vincent findley

    His endless bullying?

  • Sunjay140

    What a douche