Teacher Accused of Making Anti-Gay Remarks in Class

Instructor made bigoted comments, students say

By Matt Bartosik
|  Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009  |  Updated 10:37 AM CDT
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A Geneva high school teacher is accused of using offensive anti-gay slurs in class.

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Teachers are supposed to set an example for their students. But one teacher at Geneva High School was sent to the principal's office for inappropriate and ignorant comments.

According to 17-year-old Jordan Hunter, teacher Dave Burk told his consumer education class last week that tax dollars were wasted on art education.

Burk went on to say that "their taxpayer dollars" were being wasted on black, gay men, using an offensive slang word for "homosexual."

"I'm personally offended," Hunter, a gay senior, told the Chicago Tribune. "I just think it's completely unacceptable for a person in that position to make any comments that are discriminatory toward any group in a classroom setting."

Hunter talked to the dean, who told the student to put his statement in writing. The dean then accommodated Hunter's request to be assigned to a different class.

"I don't understand why he would say this. I have no idea where it came from," the teen told the Daily Herald.

This was not a one-time thing, either. Other students reported the teacher making the same statement in other classes that day, Hunter says.

Michael Sunderman, another student in Burk's class, said he heard the teacher use the same derogatory word last week and earlier this year.

"[The teacher] is older," said Sunderman, giving Burk the benefit of the doubt. "Maybe it's just a poor choice of words."

Geneva School District 304 officials are investigating the allegation and told Hunter that Burk will not be allowed to teach until after the school board meeting Tuesday. The board will decide what, if any, action will be taken against the teacher.

"People need to know," said Hunter. "This is someone influencing the children of Geneva with their tax dollars."

Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, believes a man's word is his honor... or lack thereof.

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