- Associated Press - Saturday, November 7, 2015

CONWAY SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas teacher will return to work Monday after being on leave since mid-October for showing a controversial anti-bullying film to his students.

Conway Springs school officials said Friday that Tom Leahy, a social studies teacher at Conway Springs Middle School, will be allowed back in the classroom with some safeguards in place. The Wichita Eagle reported (https://bit.ly/1kBjjOs ) that Superintendent Clay Murphy would not discuss details of the safeguards.

Leahy was placed on leave after he showed students “Love Is All You Need,” a short film that depicts a fictional world in which heterosexual children are bullied by homosexual classmates.

Leahy, who had said he planned to resign but changed his mind on Thursday, told the Eagle he would no longer comment on the controversy.

“The school district and Mr. Leahy agreed that he would be on leave for 10 days from the classroom,” the statement said. “During this leave, both sides consulted legal counsel and facts were gathered and rumors were eliminated to make sure all information was available prior to making any decisions.”

Leahy has said he did not get his principal’s permission to show the film and did not notify parents before the film was shown.

“Mr. Leahy has stated that he knew the film might be controversial and has agreed that he should have checked with the administration prior to showing the film,” Friday’s statement said. “He also agrees that some of his comments made in the classroom after the film added to the controversy.”

Neither Murphy nor Leahy would elaborate on those comments.

Leahy told the Eagle earlier this week that he showed the film after he was bothered by some students’ reaction to a history lesson last month. When students were told to create their own colonies, like early American settlers, several students decided that homosexuals would not be allowed in their colonies, Leahy said. Other students created colonies where everyone was welcome, which led to heated debates and hard feelings.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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