Michigan Student Sues School After Being Punished and Humiliated for Expressing Religious Views


The Thomas More Law Center:

The Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit yesterday afternoon against the Howell Public School District located in Howell, Michigan, and teacher, Johnson (“Jay”) McDowell, for punishment and humiliation heaped on a student after he expressed his religious belief opposing homosexuality when asked by the teacher during class. [copy of lawsuit]

The student, Daniel Glowacki, a junior at Howell High at the time of the incident, was specifically asked by McDowell about his feelings on homosexuals. Daniel responded that as a Catholic he was offended by the gay and lesbian lifestyle. Because of his answer, Daniel was ordered to leave the classroom under threat of suspension.

As news of the incident spread, homosexual activists across the country hailed McDowell as a hero and vilified Daniel and his family, as “bigots”, referring to Daniel’s religious objections to the homosexual agenda as “hate” speech. McDowell is head of the school’s teachers union. The Michigan Education Association, the state teachers’ union, supported McDowell’s actions.

National lesbian TV host, Ellen DeGeneres got in on the anti-Glowacki campaign. Daniel even became the subject of a school assembly.

The incident occurred on October 20, 2010, the day that Daniel’s Economics class teacher, Jay McDowell, wore a purple “Tyler’s Army” t-shirt, as part of a national campaign promoted by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to highlight alleged “bullying” of homosexuals.


  1. QueerNE
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    IF the story has all the facts, then, yeah, this is a bad deal for Daniel.

  2. Davide
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    this is madness it is only going to get worse

  3. Darren
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    The only one "bullied" was Daniel.

  4. Son of Adam
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    The definition of bigot:
    1. intolerant person: somebody with strong opinions, especially on politics, religion, or ethnicity, who refuses to accept different views

    From the article, there is no doubt who the real bigots are.

  5. dave carlin
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    This intolerant behavior is not typical of public school teachers, but it is typical of those who have a quasi-religious commitment to the homosexualist movement.

  6. Rick DeLano
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I hope and expect that Daniel's courage will be vindicated at law.

    I further hope, but do not expect, that the criminal bigot "Jay" will be fired as part of the eventual settlement.

    If he is not fired, then at least he will be on notice that similar, criminal bullying of children on his part will result in even greater sanction next time.

  7. AK
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Oh my! Wow hope they sue and WIN!!! This is unreal that a teacher would have this much say so over his right top FREE SPEECH and ESPECIALLY since he ASKED for his views! If you don't want to hear the negative-to-you answer than you better NOT ASK if you have that kind of a reaction, man had I been in that classroom I would have been LIVID with this student being treated this way

  8. AK
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    And you know what bigot can just as easily be said of that teacher.

  9. gary TX
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Gays want God out of all area;s of our lives and the ability to control our childrens minds. Marriage is under attack and soon any Preacher who dares preach from the Bible about sin will be thrown in jail under "Hate Crimes". They no longer want mearly the Right to practice their lifestyle freely, they want any other life style to be deemed perverted and punishable under our laws. They have Hollywood & Liberal Press on their side but are a Million miles away from removing God's Word from our Hearts & Culture.

  10. Cara
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    From what I'm reading, the teacher was wearing a purple "Tyler's Army" shirt to protest bullying that led to a gay man's death after him having sex with another man in his dorm was put on the web. During the course of the class, the teacher told a girl with a confederate flag belt buckle to remove it. When she asked why, he said that it offended him. Daniel asked why the rainbow flag was being displayed then, since it offended him. The teacher then asked if Daniel supported gay rights, and Daniel responded that as a Catholic he can't support gay rights, and was told to leave the class. Then the teacher asked if anyone agreed with him basically, and another student was kicked out.

    The teacher was suspended, but then that was reversed. Somehow Daniel was portrayed as being a bully because he didn't support gay rights and found the rainbow flag offensive to his religious beliefs, and at schoolboard hearings a gay student stood and spoke for the teacher. Then it got national attention, and Daniel was very much bullied about what he believed. Also it showed a very scary example to anyone who dared to say that homosexual symbols offend them, and don't support gay rights (mostly at this point gay marriage).

    I hope they win this case. Both for him and for the many students who would be bullied into silence if they lose.

  11. Ed Murray
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    So gays have no poltical power? I think it's the reverse:(

  12. Renee
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    The sad part of this story is Daniel simply expressed his views of what he has been taught. He didn't say he hated or bullied anyone. I am offended by thieves, murderers, liars but that doesn't make me a bigot! This country is headed in the wrong direction. No child should be bullied gay or not, but this isn't about bullying of anyone but Daniel. The teacher was the bully!

  13. Susan
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    He was asked about his feelings. He stated he did not like the lifestyle. He did not say he did not like the people! The definition also states . . ."One who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance". He DID NOT DISPLAY that action!

  14. Bryce K.
    Posted December 17, 2011 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Lol. If gays had so much power, we'd have same sex marriage across the entire country. Also, I'd like you all to research the school incident to get a better understanding of the whole story.

  15. John
    Posted December 17, 2011 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    When will these teaches and LGBTYWHERYRC ever learn..freedom of speech goes both ways.

  16. Paul McMichael
    Posted December 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    As usual, the half story - making it look like the kid was being bullied for stating a religious belief. Well, it was more than that. It turned into a level of debate where the teacher made the decision to remove someone from his class so that safety of all students can be maintained. There was only one responsible adult in that room and only one person required to look out for ALL the children.

    When religious bigots begin to learn that the basic beliefs that they hold make others feel unsafe and even fearful, then that will be progress. That is the nature of free speech. There is a time and a place.

    If you look at the laws being passed around the US increasing protections and attempting to fight bullying that is homophobic in nature then it is clear where this is going as a country.

  17. Davide
    Posted December 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Soon our public schools are going to look more like gay bathouses than a place of education for children. Be smart Catholic educate our youth!

  18. Posted December 17, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Poor kid! And the teachers union supports humiliating students!! Shame on them! I know what its like since I wrote letters in California when the teachers union in the 80's tried to push their agendas even back then, it got me targetted! I guess witnessing a murder by a homosexual and writing about it threatened them.....they are the BIGOTS!

  19. Posted December 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    You can read my story at

  20. Little man
    Posted December 17, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Hey, they are learning to respected opposing views, if not accept them. The schools don't like to get sued. Many christians will stand their ground, because the value system of homosexuality pretends to take over the secular value system. We are all entitled to contribute to the formation of the secular value system. That's why we have a vote. Students in school often yell at each other 'i'll kill you', and that's not considered a reason for temporary suspension. I say, keep the hate speech coming from homosexuality supporters. That way we can sue them. Who do they think they are?

  21. pat
    Posted December 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    God Bless this young man and his family. He will win because he stood up for his beliefs and the bible said when you stand up for GOD/Christ then he will stand up for you. Way to go Daniel.

  22. maggie gallagher
    Posted December 18, 2011 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    QueerNE, thanks for recognizing injustice across ideological lines when you see it. (Thanks everybody else too!)

  23. Scrounger
    Posted December 18, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Wow Gayla, the gays, the police, the masons, the communists, and two college profs are engaged in a massive hypnosis conspiracy/murder cover-up. And you're the one person who can blow the whole plot wide open so theyre out to get you. And you say gay people are mentally ill?

  24. David Shelton
    Posted December 18, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Even as a gay man, I find this article disturbing. How can I hope for equal rights and the fight of free speech when a teacher ASKS for an opinion then punishes the student for expressing it. If this story is absolutely correct, then this teacher was wrong. When Daniel expressed his religious opinion, the teacher should have accepted the opinion and then issued a civil debate if that was the reason for the question. I'm NOT religious, but everyone is free to have their own opinion, no matter who they are or if the opinion is wrong or not! This is one of the few times I fully support NOM for it's fight! I know I would be as equally outraged if the teacher had asked how someone felt about same sex marriage and a student has been treated like this because is opinion was in favor of same sex marriage!

  25. Spunky
    Posted December 18, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    @ QueerNE

    Jay McDowell gives quite a different account. From On Top Magazine:

    Last year during Spirit Day, the October 20 event that urges people to wear purple in
    remembrance of gay teens who have been bullied to death, McDowell asked a student to
    remove a Confederate flag belt buckle, which prompted Glowaki, then 16, to ask how the flag
    differs from the rainbow flag, a symbol of gay unity.
    “I explained the difference between the flags, and he said, 'I don't accept gays,'” McDowell said.
    McDowell told the student it was not appropriate to say such things in the classroom.
    “And he said, 'Why? I don't accept gays. It's against my religion,'” McDowell said.
    McDowell instructed Glowacki and another student to leave the classroom.

    I think refusing to remove a Confederate flag alone is enough to warrant a trip to the office. Comparing it to gay pride symbols is even worse. Aside from which, if teachers were sued each time they sent a kid to the office unfairly, then most teachers would find themselves in a courtroom.

    One last point: I've talked with many Christians who all told me the same thing about homosexuality. They are against the practice, not the people. Christianity does not promote dialogue like "I don't accept gays," because it's hatred. And again, this is the Christian PoV. So this kid's intolerance isn't christian view at all.

  26. Louis E.
    Posted December 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Spunky,Confederate flags and "gay pride symbols" should both be considered offensive.

  27. Bryce K.
    Posted December 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Why is that, Louis? One historically promotes hatred. One promotes love.

  28. Louis E.
    Posted December 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Slavery and same-sex sexual relationships are both things that by their very nature should not be,and no one should advocate for acceptance of either of them.

  29. Spunky
    Posted December 18, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    @ Louis E.

    If you're really comparing homosexuality to slavery, there is no helping you. How many people here actually agree with Louis E. on this?

    @ David Shelton, maggie gallagher

    If Jay McDowell's story is true, does that change your opinions of the situation?

  30. davide
    Posted December 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know if the teacher was a homosexual or had same-sex inclinations?

  31. Rick DeLano
    Posted December 18, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Spunky: I agree completely with Louis on this.

    Slavery and homosexual marriage both depend for their adoption and practice upon profoundly erroneous notions concerning the truth of the human person.

    It is true, of course, that slavery has been overcome.

    The unspeakable evil of homosexual marriage will almost certainly not be overcome, short of the destruction of whatever civilization is deranged enough to permit its adoption at law.

    The consequence of such an adoption will be, in the end, a collapse of civil polity, when parents finally come to understand that the state intends to indoctrinate their innocent children in a form of sexual immorality so profound, as to render the parents un shirk ably obliged to protect their children, whether the state agrees......

    Or not.

  32. leo
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    @ Spunky Agree with Louis this issue-I don't agree with Louis that the practice of sodomy is OK between heterosexual couple...

  33. M. Jones
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    It seems like there is a new story every day about homosexual child molestation. We better buckle our seat belts if the courts won't protect religious freedom and the nations morality.

  34. Posted December 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    There are rights to free speech and religion. There is no right not to be offended. As long as there is free speech, sombody will always be offended. I thought we settled this with the First Amendment.

  35. Spunky
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    @ Louis E., Rick DeLano, and leo

    I should have known you three would equate the Confederate flag to the gay pride flag. Amazing.

    My favorite part is that you all just admitted that you find the Confederate flag to be offensive. After all, you all compared slavery to homosexuality, so the flag must represent something evil indeed. Then how is it unreasonable to send this kid to the office for refusing to remove a Confederate flag? Regardless of his anti-gay commentary, this question remains.

  36. Louis E.
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Spunky,your link didn't work for me so I couldn't read the article.Was there one occasion on which he was sent to the office,and it was for the flag?

  37. Spunky
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    @ Louis E.

    Here's the link:

    Note sure why it didn't work the first time. According to McDowell, the whole incident started because he asked the student to remove a Confederate flag belt. Rather than complying, the student compared the flag to the gay rights symbol. Regardless of his anti-gay rhetoric, refusing to remove a Confederate flag should be grounds for punishment. Don't you agree?

  38. Rick DeLano
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Spunky: The Confederate flag is a symbol of slavery? Funny, I thought it was a symbol of the Confederacy, which included many perfectly moral concepts, along with its foundation ally erroneous one concerning slavery.........

    In any event, it is perfectly permissible to:

    a) wear the Confederate flag (protected speech, First Amendment)
    b) Oppose homosexuality (protected speech, First Amendment)

    and so our bigot child abusing teacher "Jay" seems to be in very hot water indeed.


  39. Louis E.
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    The Confederate flag is a symbol of the rebellion that was inspired by the desire to protect slavery,and if you think it wasn't,read the Declarations of Causes of the Seceding States,and the Cornerstone Speech by Confederate VP Alexander Stephens.

  40. Spunky
    Posted December 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I sent a post in reply. I guess it was blocked. Repost:

    @ Louis E., Rick DeLano

    You're both trying to correct me, saying that the Confederate flag does not represent slavery, when in fact you two were the ones who made the comparison in the first place (see posts 29 and 32). More to the point, Rick (and maybe Louis as well) believes it's not a problem for a student to wear a Confederate flag in school. I think that speaks for itself.

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