The Questionable Authority

Apparently, offering high school English students the chance to read an article on the Seed Magazine website is ground for suspension – at least if you’re an English teacher in Piasa, Illinois.

According to several media reports, teacher Dan DeLong has been suspended with pay pending a Monday evening board meeting. The suspension came about when a parent complained about the content of an optional, extra-credit assignment that DeLong had offered students in one of his 10th grade honors classes. The assignment? Read an online version of an article by ScienceBlogger Jonah Lehrer that appeared in a 2006 issue of Seed Magazine. The article in question deals with homosexuality. In animals.

That’s right. Apparently, Teh Gay is so offensive that students need to be protected from being permitted to read about it in any form whatsoever, even in animals.

The Superintendent of DeLong’s school district is Larry Elesa. His email address is

HT: Jonathan Turley


  1. #1 Greg Laden
    October 31, 2009

    This will not play in Peoria…

    I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. Outraged, yes, but not surprised. Thanks for reporting it.

  2. #2 The Ridger
    October 31, 2009

    Apparently, offering high school English students the chance to read an article on the Seed Magazine website is ground for suspension – at least if you’re an English teacher in Piasa, Illinois.

    Let’s be fair. It’s not “an” article, it’s a specific one. Seed is unimportant – the article could have been anywhere.

    The suspension is stupid (though he was asking for it unless he provided a choice of articles) but saying it was for letting them read “an article on Seed” is disingenuous.

  3. #3 katie
    October 31, 2009

    It was an optional assignment. He offered a choice of other articles and warned the students about the somewhat explicit content before they read it. He’s previously assigned reading of the Bible the Quran and many Buddhist teachings…(also controversial topics) because his whole philosophy is to encourage students to form opinions, not force his own.

  4. #4 BaldApe
    October 31, 2009

    I’m frankly amazed. After all, the title talks about problems with Darwinism, doesn’t it?

  5. #5 Matthew
    October 31, 2009

    Mr. DeLong had the consent of the principal to use the article. This is the work of a Conservative parent making a complaint about his/her child’s beliefs. If DeLong is terminated, he may have a great legal case for wrongful termination. Also, the authorities have already been notified of the peaceful gathering of support for DeLong on Monday night before his trial with the school board. I guess they expect a riot?

  6. #6 Joe
    November 1, 2009

    It appears you’ve spelled the superintendent’s last name incorrectly. It should be Larry Elsea.

  7. #7 Vince Whirlwind
    November 2, 2009

    Maybe this “teacher” really wanted to become a catholic priest?
    Trying to normalise perverse sexual behaviour to children under your care should be a police matter.

  8. #8 DA
    November 2, 2009


    I am pretty sure that “normalising perverse sexual behaviour” has already been done by nature – the article shows that homosexuality is pretty common in hundreds of species. The teacher was simply allowing his students to learn about this fact of nature. These kids are old enough to learn about facts and decide for themselves how they should be interpreted.

  9. #9 Shelly O.
    November 2, 2009

    ‘Vince Whirlwind’s’ comments are typical of the ‘flat earther’ view of the world and science. Don’t tell your kids about homosexuality and maybe, even if they have those traits, they’ll never act on them.

    He and others like him should be ignored and ridiculed for the simpletons and bigots they are.

  10. #10 Owen
    November 2, 2009

    At least Vince has let us know why the teacher was suspended. Someone must protect the children from us.

  11. #11 Vince Whirlwind
    November 3, 2009

    We could similarly indoctrinate children into coprophilia with pictures and stories of animals which eat their own faeces – “it’s natural”.
    Same argument. Different fringe.

    Children do not need to be confused by dodgy teachers with illegal adult agendas.

  12. #12 Hall Monitor
    November 4, 2009

    This story made ! Check it out for all the crazy headlines from our schools.

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