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WATCH: Kansas Teacher Who Showed Pro-LGBT Antibullying Video Returning to Classroom

WATCH: Kansas Teacher Who Showed Pro-LGBT Antibullying Video Returning to Classroom

KWCH

After media attention and a petition to reinstate Thomas Leahy gained 3,000 signatures, the superintendent and the teacher announced he would not resign.

School officials in Conway Springs, Kan., announced the teacher who said he was asked to resign, for showing an antibullying video that has a pro-LGBT theme, is returning to the classroom following two weeks of administrative leave, reported Wichita TV station KWCH.

Thomas Leahy showed his eighth-grade history classes last month a short film, Love Is All You Need, as a lesson on tolerance. The movie portrays a heterosexual girl raised in a world where everyone else is homosexual. The girl is bullied so severely that she takes her own life at the end of the film.

Media attention, including newspaper and TV reports in which Leahy told reporters he had been asked to resign, sparked a petition with close to 3,000 signatures to have him reinstated.

Leahy and the district released a joint statement Saturday after canceling a scheduled news conference:

"Both parties agree to the statements below and both agree not to make any further statements about the topic.

"As was reported previously, Mr. Leahy chose to show a film in his classroom that became controversial due to the graphic content shown to 8th graders. Mr. Leahy has stated that he knew the film might be controversial and has agreed that he should have checked with the administration prior to showing the film. He also agrees that some of his comments made in the classroom after the film added to the controversy.

"The school district and Mr. Leahy agreed that he would be on leave for 10 days from the classroom. During this leave, both sides consulted legal counsel and facts were gathered and rumors were eliminated to make sure all information was available prior to making any decisions. The legal advice was used throughout this process to determine what further action, if any, was needed.

"Many rumors have floated around during the leave time. We would like to address some of those:

"It was posted that Mr. Leahy had been fired -- this never happened.

"It was also posted that Mr. Leahy was being forced to resign. That never happened. Mr. Leahy was considering resigning at one time, but decided not to do so. There was never a forced resignation in this process.

"Many posts were made about why some parents were upset with the showing of the video. The fact is that the vast majority of complaints were about the graphic suicide scene and some of the comments made after the film had ended.

"In closing, we want to point out that from the start of this issue, Mr. Leahy was on two weeks leave. That never changed. At the end of the two week period, he will be allowed back in the classroom with some safeguards in place to make sure the students in the classroom are okay which is our number one concern.

"Mr. Leahy and the school district want to make this our final statements on this issue. We will have no further comment on the topic."

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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