Clint McCance, appearing on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN on Thursday evening, announced that he will resign from the Midland School Board. The controversy erupted when McCance unleashed an anti-gay tirade on Facebook in response to a rash of bullying-related suicides.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement:
“Clint McCance’s decision to resign from the school board is a step forward for the community he represents. We are hopeful the wounds that were inflicted will soon be healed,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “What remains troubling is that Mr. McCance focused his regret on particular word choices not the animus behind those words. We hope he will take this time to reflect not only on the language he used but on what he can do to make the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people better.”
Anyone who questions whether we need to do more to create schools that welcome every student need not look any further than Clint McCance – a Midland School Board Member from Arkansas who unleashed an anti-gay tirade on Facebook recently. Reacting to Spirit Day that encouraged people to wear purple in honor of young LGBT lives lost to suicide and to raise awareness of the bullying behaviors that contributed to those deaths, McCance wrote: “Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed therselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.”
“Clint McCance has put a face on the hate that devastates our young people,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “McCance and his hate shouldn’t be allowed near children, let alone managing their education. We call for his immediate resignation from the school board.”
He responded to commenters on his original post by further writing, “No because being a fag doesnt give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it.” He further writes, “I would disown my kids if they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone.”
The messages were first brought to HRC’s attention by R. Anthony Turner, a 1998 graduate of Midland High School. A PDF of the Facebook page with the message is at: www.hrcbackstory.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/ClintMcCance-Facebook-image.pdf.
Already a Facebook page has been set-up calling for McCance’s removal. It’s at: www.facebook.com/pages/Fire-Clint-McCance/170421922968484. HRC further calls on Facebook to take appropriate action regarding McCance’s hateful language on the site.
To help stop the name-calling, bullying and gender stereotyping that so many students face every day, the HRC Foundation has also developed the Welcoming Schools initiative. This innovative program gives elementary school administrators, teachers and parents across the country the tools to prevent bias-based teasing and harassment among elementary school students. It helps kids learn respect and tolerance early on, to prevent violence later in middle and high school.
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