Teacher asked to resign after showing anti-homophobia video in school

A teacher at a Kansas school has been told to leave after sharing an LGBT anti-bullying video with his class.

Tom Leahy, a social studies teacher at Conway Springs Middle School, showed the viral video to a class of 13 to 14 year-olds after hearing homophobic views in a group discussion.

The popular anti-bullying film from 2011 asks viewers to imagine a fictional world where straight children are bullied for their sexuality by gay children, in an effort to increase understanding and sympathy.

But Tom says that his decision “upset too many people” in the heavily religious town and has since been asked to step down, after teaching at the school for nearly 20 years.

He told The Wichita Eagle: “I knew something was going to happen. I just didn’t know this would happen. There are people who don’t want their children in my classroom. I thought that I’d take a little time off and then come back, and people would cool their heels and everything would be better. That didn’t happen.

“I didn’t want just a dorky little film, I wanted something that was important, something that was serious. So that’s the one I came up with. I’m not saying what I did was very smart. It really wasn’t, but I’m a spur-of-the-moment kind of guy, and it seemed right at the time.”

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