An Indiana teacher who said she believes that gays have no purpose in life and voiced her support for a 'traditional' prom banning LGBT students has been suspended amid fears for her safety.
Diana Medley, a special education teacher at North Central Junior-Senior High School in Farmersburg, Indiana, raised eyebrows and ire earlier this month when she joined a group of students, parents and religious leaders in nearby Sullivan who called for a separate prom that excluded LGBT students. In addition to supporting the '2013 Sullivan Traditional Prom,' Medley told a news reporter that LGBT individuals "chose to be that way" and that she did not believe that gays had any purpose in life.
"Sorry, but I don't," she told WTWO's Paige Preusse. "A gay person isn't going to... make some change unless it's to realize that it was a choice and they're choosing God."
The Sullivan High School group calling for a LGBT-free prom, along with Medley's homophobic comments, sparked widespread international outrage, not all of it falling within the bounds of civility. The Associated Press reports that Medley has been placed on administrative leave "for the safety and security of everyone" at North Central Junior-Senior High School, apparently not because of the nature of her comments. Superintendent Mark Baker of the Northeastern School Corp. added that Sullivan County Sheriffs and Indiana State Police "have deemed it necessary to station an officer" at the school "as a precaution."
"Administration and one school employee in particular" have received "aggressive e-mail messages," Baker said, not mentioning Medley by name or even confirming that she was the target of the menacing missives.
Baker released the following statement regarding Medley's homophobic remarks:
"As many of you know and appreciate, our school corporation is continuing to manage as responsibly and respectfully as possible the fallout from comments made by an employee as she attended a meeting outside of school or a school activity. We have conveyed our disappointment and our disagreement with these statements and have emphasized her comments do not reflect our school's views or opinions."