Enrollment appears to be nosediving in a Michigan school district where several teachers publicly supported a former colleague who admitted having sex with a middle school student.
The student body count in the West Branch-Rose City district, in northeast Michigan is down unofficially some 87 students following a tumultuous summer in which angry parents blasted seven teachers for writing letters in support of former teacher Neal Erickson. The letters urged a judge to be lenient in sentencing Erickson, who admitted to sexual misconduct with an underage, male student from 2006 to 2009.
When the school board declined to take action against the teachers, many parents vowed to pull their kids out of the public schools, which have a total enrollment of just over 2,000.
“I can’t speculate as to why the students have left, but there were certainly parents who vocalized that they were pulling their children out of school because of the teacher’s support,” West Branch-Rose City School Superintendent Daniel Cwayna told FoxNews.com. “We addressed the issue as best we could without infringing upon the teacher’s first amendment rights. There’s only so much we can do.”
Lower enrollment will cost the district under the state's funding formula. And it could get even worse, if other parents simply opt to keep their kids home on Sept. 25, when the official headcount is carried out. The school district stands to lose as much as $600,000 in state funding.
“It’s absolutely appalling, these … teachers who wrote the letters.
A Colorado judge says a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs, a ruling that a civil rights group hailed as a victory for gay rights.
Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled Friday that Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver, will face fines if he continues to turn away gay couples who want to buy wedding cakes.
“The undisputed facts show that Respondents (Phillips) discriminated against Complainants because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage,” Spencer wrote.