Clint McCance and gays 

As president of the board of the Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality I am writing to call for the resignation of School Board member Clint McCance of the Midland School District in Independence County. I find his recent comments regarding the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students and related suicides appalling. As an elected official his statements are unacceptable and are a threat to the wellbeing of students not only in his district but around the state of Arkansas.

McCance's cheering on of youth suicide and death from HIV/AIDS is an issue of public importance. In light of recent youth suicides that were influenced by bullying at schools, Mr. McCance's comments go beyond being merely insensitive. His comments are supporting bullying on the basis of sexual orientation. The Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing the Code of Ethics for Arkansas Educators specifically identifies "engaging in harassing behavior on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion or disability" as unethical conduct. McCance is also perpetuating the misconception that HIV/AIDS is just a "Gay Disease." This type of ignorance puts everyone at risk particularly youth who are coming to terms with their sexual identity. The Arkansas Constitution calls for suitable public education for all the people of Arkansas. The state of Arkansas cannot possibly achieve this constitutional goal when an elected official tasked with managing education in Midland School District so cavalierly dismisses the lives of their students.

Raymond Sweet

NWA Center for Equality


What an unmitigated moron Clint McCance has turned out to be. I hope the people of the Midland School District are as embarrassed of being a native Arkansan as I am, because we are all now associated with him, like it or not. At least he put Midland on the map. Maybe the school district will get an award of some sort. Imagine: "Midland, the land of Moron McCance!" Obviously you can do nothing about his elected position, therefore, he is yours and yours alone. Good luck, good buddies in Midland. You must be deeply proud.

Ken Kimberling

Little Rock

Attention from throughout the western world is presently focused on the state of Arkansas due to the calloused, uncivilized and insensitive statements made by a school board member, amidst the reaction to the disturbing number of suicides across America due to bullying. How does someone like that ever get accepted into the sphere of influence that is compelled to be supportive and protective of young people? I don't think I need to tell you that this man's actions not only marginalize the lives lost, but they also tarnish the reputation of your state.

H. (Bart) Vincelette


My recent letter seems to have come as an almost providential forerunner to the foul, revolting comments of that outstanding Christian Arkansan, Clint McCance. This is the face of Arkansas. Stupid, semi-literate, murderous, vile, nauseating. Congratulations on your natural state. 

James A. Means

Natchitoches, La.

The Quakers

In reply to your "Observer" column of Oct. 21: Either Observer's Religion 101 was woefully inadequate or his memory is faulty when espousing his views on Quakers. The column was a rather snide dig at a religious group of which there are many in Northwest Arkansas, the large majority of whom do not wear black hats, who often drink wine and beer in moderation, and could even have fun of the whoopin' and hollerin' kind that appears required by Observer to live here. And yes, perhaps some have even been known to "sin"; although, since Quakers are an open-minded and forgiving movement there are fewer things for Quakers to "sin" about. But what Quakers would find unforgivable is to denigrate those of another religious group. We, as Quakers, respect all religious groups and treat other people's religions with the respect that all deserve. It is a pity that your columnist did not feel moved to do the same.



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