A Florida elementary school teacher has resigned amid allegations he attempted to force two male sixth grade students (equivalent to the UK’s Year 7) to hold hands in front of classmates and announce to the room they were gay.
The Clay County School Board says Swimming Pen Creek Elementary teacher Larry Eager resigned after he was called on for making “inappropriate” and “humiliating” comments in front of a reading class.
The two sixth graders told school officials they were mouthing words to each other while the teacher was talking.
“He made us sit in the front touching knees and then he kept trying to make us hold hands,” said Vinny Fuller.
The boys said Eager told the other students they were gay and kept insisting they announce they were gay. Fuller and Jones said it went on for about 15 minutes while the six other students looked on.
“I was feeling embarrassed and wondering what he was going to do next,” said Fuller.
“I was mad and I was sad,” said the other student, Malcolm Jones.
The next days, the boys said they told the principal and their parents what had happened.
“It blew my mind,” said Jackie Fuller. “I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe he came home and was telling me this. What would possess you to do such a thing like that? You’re a teacher. They look up to you. Why would you want to humiliate them?”
Darlene Mahla, with the Clay County School Board, said this is Eager’s first year teaching in Clay County, and he resigned before his 97-day probation period was over.
Mahla said that even though Eager has resigned, the board is still deciding if it’ll file a report with the Professional Teaching Commission in Tallahassee.
Both students are in new classrooms for the time being.
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