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Eleven or Thirteen More Dead Gay Kids Ought To Do It

Jim Burroway

October 26th, 2011

Click to enlarge

That’s what a Joplin, MO, high school math teacher– or someone posing as him — posted on the Facebook wall of a former student in a debate over fifteen-year-old Jamie Hubley’s suicide. According to the Joplin Globe:

A Facebook comment replying to the (Josh) Gonzalez post that appeared under (Jim) Whitney’s name stated: “Moral of the story: Don’t be gay.”

That comment provoked reaction and criticism from others, including this: “How many more kids have to kill themselves before everyone realizes that this is an actual issue?”

That was followed by another comment attributed to Whitney’s account that read: “11-13 ought to do it.”

The Joplin Board of Education is investigating. Whitney apologized in an email:

I do not condone bullying or harassment of any kind and I am very aware and saddened by the negative impact this type of behavior creates. I regret that the posts appeared on Facebook. They do not reflect my personal views and I apologize for any and all offenses caused by the comment.

Whitney wouldn’t explain to reporters how comments which don’t reflect his personal views ended up under his profile. But Gonzales said that Whitney told him later that Whitney’s account had been hacked. Gonzales said the comments appeared out of character for Whitney, which leads him to believe Whitney’s claim of innocence.  “The part that got me really fired up was the ‘11-13 might do it,’” Gonzalez said “At that point I was like, ‘OK, that can’t be him.’”

Comments

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Ben In Oakland
October 26th, 2011 | LINK

What’s missing from his statement is…

“Someone hacked my facebook account and placed these comments there. I didn’t write these comments, and they violate my deeply held beliefs. Whoever did hack my account has committed an evil deed.”

Then we’ll actually find out whether he is puulingh a Weiner–

nope, that’s not mine.

G.I. Joe
October 26th, 2011 | LINK

@ Ben: Exactly. I think his message doesn’t sound indignant enough from someone who’s been hacked and had their accounts say horrible things like that.

Actually, his “apology” is a copy/paste from every single other homophobe out there who had their comments made public.

TampaZeke
October 26th, 2011 | LINK

By tomorrow he’ll be claiming religious persecution and Maggie Gallagher, Tony Perkins and the whole Hee Haw gang will be running to his defense.

WMDKitty
October 26th, 2011 | LINK

Uh huh, “hacked”, riiight. That’s awfully convenient, yeah?

Jerry
October 27th, 2011 | LINK

I don’t use facebook so don’t understand just how it’s organized and controlled. If I send an email to someone, there is a record at the receiving end of my IP address. It shouldn’t be too difficult to track down the source of that facebook entry if facebook is anything like standard email.

Allen
October 27th, 2011 | LINK

Jerry, it may be more complicated than that. He may have logged into Facebook on a school computer and simply closed the tab or browser forgetting to log out so that another person was able to come along right behind him and use his account. Yes, it would be an extremely dumb thing to do, but it is a plausible explanation.

And if it was a school computer–one in a library, for instance–finding the perpetrator will probably be extremely difficult.

John
October 27th, 2011 | LINK

Just because something is convenient doesn’t mean it isn’t true. I don’t understand why people are so un-trusting.

Also, people don’t really seem to know what “hacked” means. What he probably means is that he left his account logged in at an Apple store or something.

Priya Lynn
October 27th, 2011 | LINK

I’m with Ben and GI Joe, if he had been hacked he’d have been screaming about it in his apology. I don’t believe he was hacked or left his computer logged in, he said those things himself.

customartist
October 27th, 2011 | LINK

I’m with you Priya.

Mens sana
October 27th, 2011 | LINK

Hacking aside, does the comment that 11-13 more gay suicides may be enough to catch full, and lasting, public attention sound accurate?

Regan DuCasse
October 27th, 2011 | LINK

Isn’t that the city where a big, fat tornado flattened a lot of it and killed hundreds of people?

The things that make you go hmmmm….

Timothy Kincaid
October 27th, 2011 | LINK

Like Ben, I assume that any lack of denial suggests more questions.

However, I’m a bit of two minds. Take, for example, this comment:

11-13 ought to do it. Somewhere in that vicinity.

Use of the word “ought” suggests that this is probably not an adolescent. However, wouldn’t a math teacher say “Somewhere in that range“?

Theo
October 29th, 2011 | LINK

The school has every incentive to cover for him. He is probably kicking himself for issuing that apology before he was able to coordinate his story with the school. Now that apology stands as the best evidence that there was no hack.

FYI: Joplin voted in support of Missouri’s anti-gay marriage amendment by a margin of 81%-19%. When anti-gay sentiment is that widespread, it is not difficult to see a teacher being comfortable with aggressive homophobia while online.

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