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Jack Conkling, Kansas Teacher, Writes On Facebook That Being Gay Is 'The Same As Murder'
Jack Conkling, a Prairie Hills Middle School social studies teacher and Buhler High School assistant women's basketball coach in Buhler, Kan., is under fire afterequating being gay to being a murderer on his Facebook profile, the Hutchinson Newsreports.
In his post, Conkling comments on gay marriage, writing that homosexuality "ranks in God's eyes the same as murder, lying, stealing, or cheating."
According to the paper, several of his students who were also his Facebook friends left comments on the post, something that led the school to eventually take notice.
"I wrote what I wrote for my Facebook friends who understand my heart and my intent," Conkling told the Hutchinson News. "I understand that there were some folks who didn't understand my heart, and while that's sad, it is what it is."
While the school district has no Facebook policy for its teachers, Craig Williams, the middle school's principal, said school officials are "looking into it."
In a news release, Kansas Equality Coalition Executive Director Thomas Witt condemned Conkling's public sentiments, saying it isolates students.
"What would Mr. Conkling say to a student who is getting bullied for being gay or lesbian," Witt said in the statement, according to the blog "Gay Star News."
As more are embracing social media as a regular method of communication and information sharing, school districts across the country are grappling with how to keep online interactions among students and teachers constructive.
States from Missouri to New York have adopted social media policies that prohibit or restrict communication between students and teachers on social media sites like Facebook -- regulations that have been met with mixed responses.
Greater online exposure has also heightened scrutiny of educators' personal lives and opinions, which sometimes puts those teachers' employment security at risk.
Viki Knox, a

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