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Nearly 50K on Facebook Join HRC’s Call for Arkansas School Board Hater’s Resignation

October 28, 2010
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Newspaper Ad Placed Local School Officials Asked to Join Call for Resignation Citizens Can Weigh-In with Online Action

Washington- The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today once again called upon Clint McCance - a Midland School Board Member from Arkansas - to resign following an anti-gay tirade he unleashed on Facebook in response to a rash of bullying-related suicides. HRC has placed a full page ad in tomorrow's Batesville Guard - the local newspaper in Independence County - calling on McCance to resign. The ad can be seen here: www.hrcbackstory.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/FireMcCance-ad-BatesvilleGuard.pdf.

McCance was re-elected in September to a four year term and there is currently no recall process for elected school board members in Arkansas.

Earlier today, HRC president Joe Solmonese also sent a letter to McCance asking him to resign for the sake of the children in his community. A letter was also sent to McCance's colleagues on the school board asking them to join the tens of thousands of people across the country calling for McCance's resignation.

A Facebook page calling for McCance's resignation has swelled to nearly 50,000 "likes." The page is at: www.facebook.com/pages/Fire-Clint-McCance/170421922968484.

Concerned citizens can weigh in by sending a message to the school board president at: http://bit.ly/cqsJND.

The messages were first brought to HRC's attention by R. Anthony Turner, a 1998 graduate of Midland High School. A PDF of the Facebook page with the message is at: www.hrcbackstory.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/ClintMcCance-Facebook-image.pdf.

Text of the letters from HRC President Joe Solmonese to McCance and his colleagues on the school board calling for him to resign:

To the Members of the Board of Education for Midland School District:

I am writing about the recent hateful anti-gay tirade by Midland School District Board Member Clint McCance on Facebook. No students should be subject to the kind of hate that came from Mr. McCance. And that's why I am calling on you to join tens of thousands of Americans in calling on Mr. McCance to resign from his position immediately.

As you no doubt know, Mr. McCance's behavior is directly at odds with federal Title IX requirements for schools to protect all students from harassment, including harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. McCance's comments also violate the Midland's School District's nondiscrimination policy. While I applaud your condemnation of McCance's bigoted comments, it simply doesn't go far enough. You must ask him to resign now.

Students in the Midland School District, across Arkansas and America were put in harm's way by Mr. McCance's insidious remarks. These are exactly the kind of statements that will lead some kids to bully and others to continue a destructive pattern of self-loathing behavior. When an authority figure of Mr. McCance's standing repudiates gay people, it sends a very powerful message that violence and/or discrimination against LGBT people is acceptable. It also emotionally devastates those who are LGBT or may be struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This unacceptable and dangerous behavior cannot be tolerated - Clint McCance must resign now.

Sincerely,

Joe Solmonese
President

cc: Mr. Dean Stanley
Superintendent, Midland School District

Dear Mr. McCance:

I am writing about your recent hateful anti-gay tirade on Facebook. No students should be subject to the kind of hate that you have publicly exhibited as an elected official, especially one in charge of the education of children in your community. Because your conduct is unacceptable, and so that your community can begin to heal, I respectfully ask you to resign from your position on the school board.

As a school board official, your must know that your comments are directly at odds with federal Title IX requirements for schools to protect all students from harassment, including harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Moreover, they also violate the Midland's School District's nondiscrimination policy. Having received the condemnation of your colleagues in the school district, as well as your community as a whole, I urge you respond to the call of the tens thousands of other rational voices calling for you to immediately resign.

Students in the Midland School District, across Arkansas and America were put in harm's way by your insidious remarks. These are exactly the kind of statements that will lead some kids to bully and others to continue a destructive pattern of self-loathing behavior. When an authority figure of your standing repudiates gay people, it sends a very powerful message that violence and/or discrimination against LGBT people is acceptable. It also emotionally devastates those who are LGBT or may be struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity. This unacceptable and dangerous behavior cannot be tolerated.

Mr. McCance, do what is right - resign immediately.

Sincerely,

Joe Solmonese
President

cc: Members of the Midland School Board

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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