High school teen Daniel Glowacki has
filed a federal lawsuit against his Michigan high school and a
teacher over his right to speak out against people who are gay,
News Service reported.
The lawsuit, which was filed by
Daniel's mother, Sandra Glowacki, accuses Howell Public School
District and teacher Johnson “Jay” McDowell of violating Daniel
Glowacki's constitutional rights.
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
“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.
The lawsuit also accuses McDowell, who
wore a shirt in support of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University
freshman who committed suicide over anti-gay bullying, of promoting
The incident received nationwide
attention after the district decided to suspend McDowell for one day
without pay. Eventually the district reversed its decision.