LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CBS/KTHV/AP) The Arkansas Department of Education condemned the alleged anti-gay posting by Midland School Board member Clint McCance, who purportedly wrote on Facebook that the only way he would wear purple to show support for bullied gay and lesbian youth was "if they all commit suicide."
The posting followed Spirit Day, an observance which called for Americans to wear purple to bring attention to the deaths of six teenagers who committed suicide after allegedly being taunted because they were gay, reports CBS affiliate KTHV.
In a statement Wednesday the state Education Department said that it had no jurisdiction over elected school officials but that it would investigate any reports of bullying that arise because of the incident.
"Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves," McCance allegedly wrote. "I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin."Neal Broverman of Advocate Magazine, the longest standing publication that reports about gay issues, said, "These are very very harsh words, especially in an environment where there's been so many suicides related to LGBT bullying. I think people are just flabbergasted."
McCance did not respond to a message seeking comment Wednesday, when he planned to issue a statement, according to The Associated Press. He reportedly told the Arkansas Times that the issue had been "blown out of proportion."
The posting prompted the creation of a Facebook page calling for McCance to be removed from the school board.
In a statement, the Midland School District said that it does not "support or condone" what was written on McCance's Facebook page.
"Mr. McCance was not acting as an agent of the school board, but as a private citizen when this comment was posted," the statement read. "The district strives to foster an environment that discourages all forms of bullying and an environment that encourages a safe and productive educational climate for all of our students."
One mother whose child attends school in the district says she's appalled at the comments, and couldn't imagine what this is doing to those in the gay community, reports KTHV.
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