Stella Maxwell
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Teacher Suspended for Spirit Day Incident

Teacher Suspended for Spirit Day Incident

Jay McDowell, a high school teacher in Michigan, has been suspended for a day without pay due to an incident with an antigay student on Spirit Day last Wednesday, reports The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus. Following a recent spate of gay teen suicides, October 20 was designated Spirit Day by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and supporters were asked to wear purple clothing to show solidarity with anyone, gay or otherwise, who'd been the victim of bullying.

An unidentified student entered McDowell's Howell High School classroom and said, "I do not support gay individuals," according to David Boeving, an alum of the school whose younger brother is currently a student there. Boeving says McDowell asked the student, who was wearing a belt with a Confederate flag belt buckle, to leave the classroom.

Boeving e-mailed the newspaper Monday morning to inform the staff of McDowell's suspension. He said he was made aware of the disciplinary action through the teacher's Facebook page by reading his status update.

Ron Wilson, superintendent of Howell public schools, says the incident involving McDowell is a matter of discipline and declines to comment on the specifics of the suspension, as it is a personnel matter.

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