(5/27/08) Do you think schools should allow Gay/Straight Alliances? Why or why not?

Do you think schools should allow Gay/Straight Alliances? Why or why not?

  • BR, San Diego
    Do you realize that the bigoted principal has just admitted that he cannot work in ANY school in the United States, because they are ALL covered by the Equal Access law? What does that tell you about the principal? He cannot meet the requirements of any school in America, because he is bigoted against a tiny minority.
  • SM, Eastover
    No, Because the kids have it entirely too good at school and any other place. The schools want let the kids have bible study. So why have this sinful club at the school. I feel if they want to have this club have it on their on time, off of school grounds. My be they can stay out of trouble.
  • DC, Lugoff
    Childern should attend school to be educated, not to learn about sex or sexual preferences. So, I guess now it's Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Sex.
  • cl,
    It is not morally correct according to the Bible to be gay. In the last ten years, our society has just decided to accept things the way they are instead of taking action. People are NOT born gay and parents of today's society need to be parents of their children and explain to them the proper way of living according to the Bible. I wish TV writers would stop writing in gay story lines as children seeing this on TV think that it is correct.
  • BR, San Diego, California
    They should be allowed because the law says they must be, if any other clubs meet. You will never find atheists legally allowed to get Christian clubs banned, for example. G/SA clubs create at least one safe oasis for marginalized kids who hear hate-filled messages in the halls all day long. They hear hate from society, they read it in their newspapers. As for the principal who has such high Christian principles that they prevent him from doing his job according to the law, good riddance. These are not "sex-oriented" clubs, these are social clubs for any student to join, and they bring out the best in heterosexual students who wish to understand and possibly even help defend the civil rights of others not like themselves.
  • GN, Columbia, SC
    I wish people would please take the time to educate themselves before they post factually incorrect information. Fellowship of Student Athletes clubs do meet on District 5 school grounds. Irmo High School does have a Black Student Union (club). These groups are student lead and exist to help students that share similar beliefs and concerns come together - as they should. The purpose of the GSA is to promote understanding and tolerance of others - which I believe is also referred to as education. Part of participating in our great democracy is accepting responsibilty to educate ourselves before we make judgements or give opinions.
  • KC, Columbia
    Sure, he sticks up for his students in their time of need... but only the straight ones. Some leader you are, KW. You should leave with him. If this is how Irmo's leaders act, then yes -- we ARE attacking its views on tolerance, too!
  • KW, Columbia
    I am the 2008-2009 Student Body President of Irmo High School. With all they hype of the recent news, I believe the public and media has lost sight of the purpose of the public school system. Many negative comments have been released in regard to Mr. Walker, but may I ask, is it truthfully Mr. Walker who is in the wrong? He clearly stated that the club conflicted with his beliefs. When have we, as citizens become such inferior beings to where we can ask for a principal to relieve his duties as a guiding being and role model. A principal in who over 90% of his students love, respect, and feel will stick up for them in their own time of need. One, who expresses his faith, lectures his students on morality, and brings in public speakers to enforce confidence in students who may not receive help within the confines of their own household. Irmo High School's motto is "In ourselves our future lies," and it just so happens that within his heart he disagreed with the situation (being the club) at hand. Attacking Eddie Walker for his beliefs is attacking Irmo High School and its view on tolerance. Its view of being acceptable to other's beliefs whether they are dissimilar or equivalent. People need to look beyond the MUK of the media and see Principal Eddie Walker for who he truly is. A Hero.
  • LJ, Columbia
    It's odd that Principal Walker is not resigning until the end of the 2009 school year. He could leave now and there is still plenty of time to form a search committee to select another principal. That would spare the Irmo students from a year of internal divisiveness, threats and media circus. His so-called resignation strikes me more as a political ploy to make homosexuality, yet again, a distraction in the general election in November. District 5 needs to accept his resignation effective May 30 of this year, 2008, to spare the students a year of disruption and media circus.
  • TW, Columbia
    The comments posted here are proof positive that there needs to be a place for these children to not feel judged. The ignorance displayed that this is just about sex. Did you not know you were heterosexual before you were sexually active? Gays and Lesbians face horrible prejudice as shown in these postings. I to am very proud of Mr. Walker for resigning. I think that he should hold tight to his belief system. However, his belief system conflicts with that of our government and the belief of our founders that every one should have the right to be treated equal. If you want you children raised in an intolerant so call Christan school then send them there. This however is a public school and our children must learn to be tolerant of all. They have to be prepared for the real world where you live a long side Gay's, Lesbians, Blacks, White's, Mormon and Baptist. As for the promotion of sex. I am often in the parking lot picking up0 my daughter who attend this school. It seems to me someone needs to be more worried about the enforcement of the dress code. It might do more to help to support of the abstinence policy the school has adopted.
  • GJ, Columbia
    It is inappropriate for WIS TV to ask this question! It's not up to a school, a school district or even a state to ban this type of organization, because the federal law known as the Equal Access Act does not permit school to discriminate against a club based on the club's purpose and views, unless the purpose of the club is unlawful. By asking your viewers to respond to a meaningless question is giving them a chance to advocate breaking federal law!
  • GR, Columbia
    Gay/straight clubs have been in larger cities for decades. The Irmo principal says he knows of no school club involving sexual orientation. I assume that means he's canceling the prom. The entire social structure of high school, from first crush til last dance, is often about sexual orientation. Nobody goes to their high school reunion to find their old math class. The principal knows he's talking to big people now, right?
  • SW,
    Yeah for Principal Eddie Walker. He stood up for his beliefs. More people should be like that. Way to go Mr. Walker. You are a role model for one and all.
  • DH, Camden
    How mature is it to quit your job just because you disagree with your boss? That's exactly what the Irmo HS Principal is doing. His resignation is welcomed -- I prefer a more mature person to take charge of my children's education.
  • JD, Pasadena
    G/S Alliance groups are sex-related but not sex-promoters. Saying they promote sex is like saying that a cooking club will make you fat. A healthy attitude towards sexual orientation might involve matters of discrimination, politics,religion, culture and , yes, sex, even abstinence from sex. Eliminating such groups because so-called abstinence is the only option "promoted" creates the impression that sex is understood only as the physical act of intercourse and not the myriad of other manifestations it really takes. Male bonding in soccer clubs or "gender specific" activities of any kind should then also be eliminated because they are equally sex-related. It is good when a particularly effeminate boy or a lesbian that is chastised at home can find a forum where people don't judge them all the time and, God forbid, find friends.
  • KH, Gaston
    I just want to Salute Mr. Walker for putting his foot down on this one. Society is saying that by not having these clubs that we are discriminating. I think that we are not encouraging by not having these clubs. I know what!! Lets do away with clubs all together and stop promoting unethical activities. I dont see any clubs forming for the Emo (Emotional/Gothic)kids out there.
  • AK, Sumter
    Yes, the club should be allowed. To say the formation of this club goes against the teaching of abstinence is ridiculous. We must be tolerant of others and allow them the same rights as any other student/s. I think this club would be a great way for students to communicate and debate openly with other members Next the Principal will want to ban the Future Farmers Of America for fear that the animals they work with don't practice abstinence. That must be a heavy burden on this principal's mind .I say good riddance to him.
  • RD, Columbia
    I feel that allowing this kind of club, is outside the scope of high school education. There should be no clubs that promote or endorse the sexual orientation of students. I find it discredits the school and the district. This is one of the reasons our society is in such moral decay. The Liberals have taken the attitude that anything goes. It is up to the parents to teach their children what is acceptable or not. I find that the SCE's claim that the principals stance on this issue will cause gays/lesbians to suffer abuse from other students, when in fact the creation of this club is what is bringing more attention to them.
  • WV, Columbia
    If schools allowed ALL groups, then that could give the right to have a group/club for Black Power or White Power.
  • jd, WEST COLUMBIA
    It is a shame he is being allowed to resign, He should be fired for BIGOTRY. We do not need his kind as public school administrators
  • LN, Sumter SC
    I applaud Mr. Walker for taking a stand!!! Bravo!!! We send our children to school to be educated. Clubs are extra-curricular and are not apart of the education process. Allowing students to advertise their sexual preference is asking for even more trouble and a more rapid spread of STD's. Conversations about sexual activity is not for casual conversation. Why do you think that sexual promiscuity has grown so in this country? Could it be because we are not teaching the children modesty and allowing them to advertise their preferences? What type of activity do you have in a gay/straight club? The activities surely could not be that much different than any other club, so why is it even necessary unless it is to seek others that are "your way". This also conflicts with my religious beliefs.
  • TJ, Gilbert, SC
    It is good to see a school official who thinks public school is not a sexual forum. God knows we have enough school employees who think they are in a sexual smorgasbord. We don't need more open sex on campus.
  • NB, Lexington
    I have known Eddie Walker as a professional educator for twenty-five years. We taught together at Lexington Middle School, and he was my daughter's teacher. He has always had the best interest of his students at heart. How can a school preach abstinence from sex on the one hand and sponsor a club that is based on sexuality? I admire him tremendously for staying true to his beliefs, something I know he has always done. Just ask any of his former students and those of us who were privileged to teach with him.
  • TG, Columbia
    I would like to say if there had been groups like this when I was growing up life may have been different. I'm a 49 year old gay man father of 5 and support the group that is trying to form at Irmo High School. I wonder if the group would be supported more if people were more informed of the suicide rate among teens that aren't able to talk to their family because of their narrow minded opinions on sexual orientation. These are our children we are turning our backs on that are crying for help and acceptance. What is it going to take for people to realize this is not a choice but the way we were created. My opinion is those of the Irmo Education facilty that are fighting this matter should think twice if their children,grandchildren would ever need the support of a group that they are against.
  • J , columbia
    Yes we beieve that schools should allow groups like these as they do for everone else, it not a matter of sexuality that drives these students togeter but more comraderie % acceptance We think its great that the principal @ Irmo has put in his resignation, because he is clealry not there for all of the students our tax dollars are paying him to watch over
  • JD, Columbia, SC
    I feel sorry for the children of so many ignorant parents who think that homosexuality is okay. Mr. Walker is doing the right thing. He is a good man. Thank God there is home schooling available! Mr. Walker, you are an awesome Principal and will be truly missed!
  • TM, Columbia, SC
    What could be wrong with promoting understanding and unity across our diversities? Isn't that a major goal of education? School is supposed to prepare our young people for 'the real world', this is as real as it gets. Let's not perpetuate our State's history of hatred and bigotry.
  • CD, Los Angeles, CA
    As a Columbia native when I was informed about this I was outraged but not surprised at all. The fact that a school principal is publicly resigning and stating the issue to be due to a student club speaks not only on the ignorance of Mr. Walker but ultimately on the ignorance of the general area. What exactly entails a student to automatically engage in sexual conduct if one simply joins a club for them to feel a part of something? Mr. Walker has only made these children feel even more isolated and secluded. It's 2008 and Gay Marriage was just passed here and yet a student can not even organize an affiliation at a public school over there without having their principal and role model resign. That is absolutely ridiculous.
  • DT,
    As a former educator I support Mr. Walker's stand against a gay club at Irmo HS. I agree with his religious beliefs that homosexuality violates Christian principles. All people are loved by Christ but supporting such a club encourages the practice of this sexual behavior. Abstinence should be the norm for all unmarried persons.
  • GC, Irmo
    If Mr. Walker is so upset by students' effort to foster social harmony, perhaps the Irmo school board should help him leave immediately.
  • CE, Columbia
    Being gay is not a choice. Who would voluntarily choose to be a third class citizen? Being around gay people does not influence a young child or a high school young person to become gay, but it does provide for the development of tolerance for all God's children. What would Jesus do???
  • AH, Lexington
    I do not feel like this club should be allowed to meet on school property. They do not even allow Fellowship of Christian Athletes to meet on school property.
  • sj, Kent
    Every gay and straight student has a right to a public education in an environment that is free from harassment, violence, namecalling and intimidation. All students deserve dignity and respect, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability, national or ethnic origin.
  • SM, Cayce
    Homosexuality is wrong. I admire the principal for standing up for what is right and moral.
  • rl, kingstree sc
    I am a cristain and the bible says that being a gay person is a sin the world is bad engouh we dont need to teach our kids this is right they should have never taken prayer out of the shcools most kids dont even know who god is and prayer in schools gives alittle idea of who he is thanks, concerned parent
  • DG, Columbia
    Our society has finally made evil good and good evil. Now is the time for parents with principles and morals to see alternatives to public education before their childrens minds are poisoned. Mr. Walker, good job for standing up on two feet for what you believe is right.
  • SM, Lexington
    The more on school clubs/classes the students have at school the more they feel that they belong & are understood.There will be less bullying. Abstinence or not God hates the sin not the sinner. Maybe the principal should rethink..maybe not.
  • DT,
    As a former educator I support Mr. Walker's stand against a gay club at Irmo HS. I agree with his religious beliefs that homosexuality violates Christian principles. All people are loved by Christ but supporting such a club encourages the practice of this sexual behavior. Abstinence should be the norm for all unmarried persons.
  • TC, Columbia
    Once again...I am soooo proud to be from South Carolina!!! Not!! I am ashamed. Let me tell you something. Clubs like as such squeeze out the real meaning of high school. I spent $60.00 on a high school yearbook that didn't even have the maching band in it or the football team. But it had stupid junk in it like the hacky sack club, the ultimate frisbee club, and other useless crap. I was livid!!! Now if they are going to have a gay/straight alliance club in high school...I will never purchase another yearbook as long as my child is in high school. The world is going to hell in a hand basket all because there are parents out there that just let their kids do what they want. Why don't they have an alcohol and drug club and sell drugs at lunch. Oh I know, how about a weapons club.
  • kk, columbia
    Absolutely Not! Prayer has been taken away which is much more important to our lives. If this is allowed, what else be next? there would be nothing else to stop any other type clubs. If they want clubs, then it must be done off school campus.
  • AS,
    I am student at Irmo High School and I am sorry to see this story making such bad news. I have been at Irmo with Mr. Walker for 3 years and I think he is a wonderful man. He has given his everything to Irmo High. I personnally do not agree with Mr. Walker and his decision, but he shouldn't be critizied for one bad thing. He has done many good things at Irmo.
  • LW, Columbia
    This type club should not be allow because it has no connection with school activities. What happens when the Wicans or Satan groups want to organize or nudist is this also equalty? I fully support Mr. Walker for standing for his beliefs as I did Mr. Witt several years ago. The group that calls itself SC Equality should read their Bible or can they read? The Lord will deal with each of us for our stand in the decision to allow such a club to exist in our public schools.
  • JS, Pittsburgh
    I hate how people use religion as a tool of discrimination. I can respect what the principal believes in, eventhough if he had actually read the Bible from cover to cover he might find that the issues is not quite as clear cut as it seems, but I do not understand why he cannot live within his own belief system without forcing it on others. I think by even stating his opinion on the issues he has betrayed his role as an educator. Educators should be like unbiased journalists. They should present all of the facts of an issue and allow their students to decide without ever introducing their own views. This is how college works, and I do not understand why our high school system is sturctured to indoctrinate children with what is "right", when as soon as they move on to college they learn that nothing is black and white, but infinite shades of gray that do not fit neatly on one side of the morality line. We would be much better off as a society if we made our children reason and consider all issues of life and education from the earliest age possible.
  • wd, columbia
    I am 17 years old and i attend irmo high school, the 2008-2009 school year will be my senior year. I believe that this "club" is a gateway to other clubs in regard to sex, drugs and other things that do not need to be in schools. If people are making such a big deal about god in the pledge, or the moment of silence to take it out of school, but its okay to have a gay club? Its ridiculous and it does not need to be addressed in school, what you do is your own time and does not need to be imposed on teens.
  • JD, Orangeburg
    NO!!! The Bible says it is wrong and that is what I believe. It puts a lot more pressure on our kids and they have enough pressure as it is. They will not allow Christian Clubs in our public schools so why gay clubs. As far as these people bringing up RACE, I have a question? There is a Miss USA pageant and there is a Miss BLACK USA pageant and there is always a black in the Miss USA pageant and the Miss Black USA pageant there are NO whites??? My daughter went to an all female college, Columbia College after graduating and lasted one month due to ALL the lesbians on campus. She was ALWAYS being approached and due to this her SCHOOL WORK was not what it could be. These distractions are not right. I went to an open house at the school and they had all the school clubs on display (booths) and the LESBIAN CLUB and the CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP CLUB were next to each other how sick is that. She was constantly being given fliers to join the lesbian group. I think this is repulsive and not the reason you attend COLLEGE. This world is in the shape it is in now because the Word of God has been taken out of it. People are not BORN this way/they choose this way. As the BIBLE states, HE will come again and at that time these people will SEE. BUT I know they think the people that feel the way I do are just plain stupid, but THE END will tell. KEEP school a place for teaching and keep personal issues out of it. As one of the comments I read said if we did not like it pick private schools, and that is JUST what I did with my children. Their school even prayed each morning and was not a CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, but they still respect the BIBLE. The end is near, that is why we are having this controversy now. Read the Bible and it SAYS when THE END IS NEAR, these types of issues are out there. Time will tell and these people will find out who is in charge. We make choices because God ALLOWS us to do so, but WE pay the price for our choices.
  • DM, Columbia
    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of, this principal is trying to bring students of a different life styles together, something substantial that could change the way they think about people different than them and you are telling those students it's wrong
  • MD, Little Mountain
    I think our children need to be more focused on their education. We need to keep sexual preference "clubs and/or organizations" out of the public education because that is not what they are there for. It will only open the door for other personal interest groups to develop. Our children have enough to worry about then whether they want to participate in an organization that could lead to disturbances interrupting their education experience as a student.
  • MR, Winnsboro
    First of all, the Equal Access Act permits clubs that are not unlawful. In the state of South Carolina, gay marriage is unlawful. Technically, allowing such a club would be unlawful.
  • MB, Katy, TX
    In short, good riddance. The club involved is not operated to encourage sexual promiscuity of any type rather to accept the reality that 10%+ of our population IS gay. Groups such as this are implemented in settings around the country in hopes of helping gay teens to find ways to feel less socially isolated as they face one of the highest suicide rates in our country. They have just as much of a right to assemble and discuss issues relevant to their culture as a chess club, a group of athletes, a Christian prayer group or any other extracurricular activity. Those that are not interested in supporting the cause of tolerance have no obligation to attend the meetings.
  • MS, kansas city mo
    Mr Walker needs to wake up it is 2008. I feel sorry for his kids what if they came out to him? would he resign his duties as a father.. What a joke and sad that there is still so much ignorance in this country. Honestly people like him have no buisness being role models.
  • WB, North
    We need a support group for Christians that are intimidated everyday in our world. If we never had removed prayer from school and all reference to Christian beliefs we would not be at the point of starting a gay alliance group. This is just the beginning of the decline of our culture just as it was in Rome! It is a chosen sinful life style that is spelled out in God's word. The only escape from the Gay life style is repentance from the sin and turn to God like any other sin. The Christian Church is the best support group that the gay community could find and is the only one that has their best interest in mind; not the ones that excuse and keep them in their sins.
  • FB, Irmo
    As a student at Irmo High School, I back Mr. Walker's decision to step down as Principal. I think that gay/lesbian students should be allowed to have their own club, as long as it is supported by the Principal, which in this case it is not.
  • JR,
    I have no problem with anybody being gay. In fact I have plenty of friends who are gay. But a club like this doens't belong at school. The whole premise behind it, is sexual. If they were to have a strictly straight club I would not support it either. School is about learning and betterment. It's not a place to be "hooking up". Eddie Walker is the best and I think we all know why he didn't want this club to be. It wasn't because he is biased. I'm a firm believer in Christ and I love everybody, even people that are gay. And Eddie Walker is the same. So don't be ignorant and call him hateful or spiteful.
  • KW, Columbia
    I am absolutely disgusted by the number of people in this state that still think there is some sort of "queer agenda" in this country. Let me let you all in on a little secret: the "agenda" is equal rights! Since being heterosexual is considered the norm in this country, these students don't need to make supposed "straight" clubs on campus. Unfortunately, with all of the hatred that still exists, homosexual students need to find some sort of outlet to get the message out there that they are normal people just like you and I! A gay/straight alliance isn't a place where students "hook up" as some people might think, but it is a forum for these students to promote their message of tolerance to others. Shame on those of you who still believe in hatred. It's truly embarrasing that 2008 is no better than 1958. This is still a racist and prejudice country.
  • BM, crestview, fl
    Thank goodness the principal has retired. He should make it effective immediately. If he wants to run a school based upon his religious beliefs then he should get a job at a private school that's religious based. There are plenty of these types of schools around. But, if he wants to work in a public school then he must follow the law. Doesn't his school have an American Government class? If so, he might want to spend his last few months attending the class and educating himself.
  • AM,
    The leaders of this group are about worthless. In just one day alone, one year ago, the leader (featured on wis) was immediately fired for stealing over $100.00 worth of lottery tickets. She was then advised not to tresspass. This was all at the Piney Grove Sunoco. This is the jerk you are allowing to hassel our local high school principal. Wis- you are bad! Really bad.
  • aw, prosperity
    I totally agree with the boldness of the principal. what is this world coming to? it seems that any and all things that are not of God is so accepted. God didn't create relationships to be between two people of the same sex. but sooner than we think, he coming back to clean up the mess this world has made. I pray that God will provide all that the principal needs spiritually, physically, and financially. in the word, it tells, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS THAT JESUS IS LORD.
  • SD, West Columbia
    Welcome to the bible belt. The land where it is only acceptable to be christian and only acceptable to do as they say because that is the religious freedom offered to us by our own Constitution. I am not opposed to christianity nor for anyone to stand by their beliefs. I am opposed to outright ignorance and refusal to learn the facts or even venture to possibly think that there may be another view, opinion or thought process. What they learned in Sunday school is rock solid and there is no other way to think, behave or believe. That is the biggest issue with organized religion today and I am so very glad I do not and will not subject my children to the brainwashing, backstabbing, conniving ways of the "church". Do I stop them from going if they want? No. Absolutely not! My children are free to experience all aspects of religion. I never tell them that what they have learned is wrong, it is simply another way to believe. There is no right or wrong when it comes to beliefs. I do however let them know that they have a perfectly good brain in their heads and to always think for themselves. Always ask questions and always form your opinion and belief based on what you honestly feel is truth in your heart and soul, but only after digesting all available facts and or opinions. Never ever ever close your mind to other possibilities and that is what the christian community in the south want; close your mind and only listen to the one opinion of the preacher at the pulpit. To this end, should there be a gay/straight club? Yes. Would it be okay to have religious-based clubs? Yes. I would love to see one religious-based club that allowed all religions to meet, discuss and have open communication between each other so that all members of all religions can learn and grow from each other. It would never happen though, at least, not here. Christian parents would not allow it and I am sure other religious sects would not either. I think the biggest bigotry in the US today is the discrimination based on your religion. You don't see it because it would be so easy to say "Why yes, I am Christian" when you are not. You don't know how many people have tried to "save" me. They don't want to listen to my opinions or beliefs, they just want to hear that I have accepted their belief as my own. That would be a lie. Would you rather I lie and live your life and be miserable or live my life, truthful and honest in my faith and belief and be happy? My guess from most christians would be to live a lie.....
  • SS, Irmo
    If schools are not allowed to have prayer in schools because people feel it discriminates about their religious beliefs then why should they be allowed to have clubs which discriminate against others religious beliefs.
  • TS, Columbia
    I do not belive that Mr. Walker is a bigot because he is standing for what he believes in. I would not call anyone who is writing their opinons on this post a bigot, because it is your opinion and everyone has the right to their own opinion. So let's stop the name calling. Mr. Walker is a good person. As for the gay and lesbian lifestyle, I do believe that it is a sin. But I do not hate anyone that is gay or a lesbian. As a Christian, I am to love everyone. We may not like how a person lives or what kind of lifestyle they are into; but the word of God does tell us to love one another.
  • LJ, columbia
    I feel that having a gay/straight alliance should not be granted. There's already enough problems in public schools now without it. Imagine what would go on once there is a gay/straight club.No body at these ages are mature enough to determine what their true sexualities are yet. Imagine how divided the schools that we send our children to for safety will become.By allowing this we are opening doors for more and more problems.Children getting beaten up or even hurt because of what they think is "cool".Its not "cool" at all,its wrong. I agree with Mr. Walker and I respect his beliefs. I pray that others do too.
  • IG, West Columbia, SC
    No! While I don't take a position on what others do in their private lives, I believe it is inappropriate for a school to encourage sodomites to push their agenda on the taxpayer's nickel.
  • GK, Irmo
    Why is publicly promoting your sexual orientation so important? The public school system is no place for this type of club. Among other social issues, young people need to be educated in safe sex and/or abstinence. If you have a Gay/Straight Club, then you must have a Fat/Skinny Club, a Wimp/Bully Club, a Redneck/Gangbanger Club and the list goes on. If you need a club because bullying, offer sensitivity training. If intolerance is the problem, offer diversity training. The answer to these social questions is to teach healthy living practices in the classroom. Clubs in public schools should remain in the area of academia. Our kids go to school to learn how to become contributing members in society, not to promote their sexual orientation, or personal shortcomings.
  • KS, knoxville
    I am thankful that human rights in the U. S. aren't decided or granted by popular opinion. The small-minded Christian right would be the sole purveyors of who should and should not be granted human rights.
  • SG, New London
    Ok So I am a gay male but most importantly I am a human being. What is the most disturbing is the amount of ignorance that a High School Principle can have. I understand and respect his values and views, HOWEVER, he is in Public education and must allow every student the rights and privledges that every other student has. If we have to allow "Black Student Union," on campus then this should not even be an issue. To those of you who say you dont want your children to be around "Gays" and "Lesbians" and that youd rather send them to a catholic school, then send them, I would rather have my children around gays then "GAY" Priests who sleep with children. Also for those who think this is a choice believe it or not, our Lord Jesus Christ, made us this way and he himself probably dabbled in homosexuality as well. Adam and Steve vs. Adam and Eve people. Wake up south were here were queer get use to it.
  • JJ, Lexington
    It is a Gay-Straight Alliance for the support and education of both gay and straight students, most of whom probably have NOT had sex yet. It is NOT a Gay-Straight Orgy Club. For the principal to imply it is shows more about his character and frame of mind than it actually shows anything about the students' club! Will the so-called social conservatives please get their minds out of the gutter?!
  • DC, Irmo, SC
    I applaud Principal Walker for standing up for what he believes. I have a freshman daughter that goes to Irmo, and I cringe to think of what is coming next if this kind of thing is allowed in the schools. I, like Principal Walker, have religious beliefs that do not agree with this behavior. However, even if I did not have a problem with the lifestyle itself, I do not think that school is a place where it should be promoted. Nor do I think that sex at this age should be promoted. Principal Walker stated that the sex education curriculum was abstinent based. This does not mean that they do not talk about forms of birth control. They do. (My daughter is taking it right now). They do however state that abstinence is the only way to be free of pregnancy and STDs. This is a fact, not an opinion. School is a place for getting an education, not promoting a specific lifestyle, especially one that is already so contradictory. We will be very sad when Principal Walker is no longer at Irmo â€" so much in fact that we are considering removing our child from this school system all together as it is clearly deteriorating before our very eyes.
  • ka, columbia
    I dont think they should have it because not everyone is ok with the whole GSA(Gay/Straight Alliances).Some people might not feel right with the whole thing and just like Mr. Walker some people's belief can be affected on this.
  • KS, Columbia
    As a graduate of Irmo High School and a Christian I am very proud of Mr. Walker and the stance he took in regards to the Gay Alliance. It is about time someone with deep beliefs and moral values stood up in this country for what is right and is not afraid of losing something for it. This type of club does not belong in our schools. Interesting that prayer in school and the teaching of Christianity (the basis for what this country was founded on) is taken out of our schools with high demands from parents etc saying it has no place in our school system yet when it comes to a "gay" alliance club the school system feels this is discriminatory? Where is the discrimination accusations against christian students and their rights? Way yo go Mr. Walker! Irmo High School Alums are proud and you and your reward will come in heaven!
  • DT, Loris
    Homosexual, lesbian/trans-gender life styles are lifestyles of choice. They are not normal. Why do you think so much of society abhors them? What benefit do they bring to mankind? What benefit is this life choice to the individual other than deranged and depraved gratification. What sustenance do they produce? Yes they have always been in the world, so has sin.
  • SF, California
    Oh my god the gays are coming, what will we do so our children dont grow up to be homos. Well ladies and gentlmen of the south, stats prove 1-4 people are gay, so Id like you to look around your house, count off in fours and then think really hard if you could deny your son daughter or loved one the same rights you have, because our Lord Jesus Christ made them that way. Wake up people, were not going anywhere.
  • AT, Lugoff
    As adults we are exposed to different types of people. In my opinion it would be better for kids to learn to interact with people who are different then they are. This would allow kids to not have such culture stocks when they go off to college or the work place. Plus clubs are never forced on kids in schools, it is a personal choice whether they attend the meetings or not.
  • BW, Los Angeles, CA
    I am a psychotherapist who facilitated a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at a high school in California. Members of the group included students who identified as homosexual or bisexual as well as supportive heterosexual students. It was my experience that the group provided a place where students of all sexual orientations could discuss the ways in which bullying of students for being homosexual or bisexual created an atmosphere that made the entire school seem less safe. GSA members strategized ways to combat not only homophobia among students but also intolerance of minorities and those from different social classes. After joining the group, members of the GSA that I ran performed better in school and had fewer behavioral problems. Allowing Gay Straight Alliances helps both the students who choose to participate as well as those who might not participate but who benefit from being in a setting that values diversity.
  • rr, lexington
    I admire the principal for standing strong for what he believes in. School is no place for sexual orientation clubs. It is sad to see that our society has reached to such low depths.
  • KW, Columbia
    If we allow this establishment, next thing we have will be the formation of a "winery and beer brewery society" in high school and it will be legal.
  • MM, columbia
    What is a GSA or Gay- Straight Alliance? Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) are student-led clubs, usually at the high school or middle school level, that work to address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools and promote respect for ALL students. Although a lot of student clubs that are working to ensure safer schools are called GSAs, many clubs that support this work have different names like diversity clubs. My son tried to start this club at Dutch Fork High School a couple of years ago, but I don't know what happened. The club they were trying to start had one person who had lesbian parents, they had some nerds, mixed cultural relationships and other people that just were not accepted because they were different. This group was not about sex like you ignorant people seem to think, it is about friendships, having someone to talk to and having someone that will accept and understand you just as your are. We seem to have a lot of very ignorant people where gay/lesbian issues are concerned. Do you know that statistics show that 1 out of 10 people are gay/lesbian. That means that someone in your family is probably facing these same issues right now, and because of your comments or rude remarks, are afraid to come out. Gay/Lesbians also have a very high suicide rate and that is because people can't accept them for who they are, they are humiliated, beaten up, left out and tormented all their lives. I have learned a lot about these issues since I found out that my son is gay. I have watched him struggle to try to find who he is, try to fit in somewhere He didn't just wake up one morning and decide to become gay, he knew he was different in elementary school, but didn't really understand it all at the time. If Eddy Walker is a good leader/Christian, he would accept this club as a way of learning more about the Gay/Lesbian culture instead of making it seem like a sexual group only. Let the students learn to get along with each other No matter race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, political affiliation, or sex, or sexual orientation.
  • JH, Lexington
    The school system is not the place for a sexually oriented club. The school system should be concentrating on reading, writing, arithmetic, and health, not sex.
  • s, irmo
    I ask you... Do they allow a "Sexual Alliance club"? No, they don't. School is not about sexual orientation. School is for academics.
  • JA, Irmo
    Of course schools should allow GSA's!!! I am a senior at dutch fork high school, and yes i've been gay all my life. However, I didn't come out until my freshman year. After my sophomore year in high school I was tired of being ridculed, given dirty looked, and being sexually harassed. So, I took the initative, along with a few adults to start a GSA. And yes, it took me 2 YEARS to get through to a new principal who saw the need for this. I held meetings for a month during april and hardly anybody beyond my closest friends showed up. I was told i couldn't advertise this beyond just word of mouth, with reason. The reason we had no one show up at a meeting, the reason no GLBT students came to us for support (which has nothing to do with sexual activity, its about EMONTIONS), they're were afraid the rest of the school would come after them with torches and pitchforks. Even straight students who were pro-gay rights wouldn't show up because of the same fears. I quit holding meetings this month, but have since then been revising plans to give to a leader to open this back up again next year. Our schools NEED these sort of emontional support groups where GLBT students can feel SAFE and COMFORTABLE, being the person the really are. Why can't anyone see the light at the end of the tunnel? This is a modern day gay rights movement! Nobody is going to be heard unless they step up and say something!
  • jm, Lexington
    When kids have these feelings they need to understand and deal with, acting them out is the obvious option that they already have. The club offers a better alternative.
  • HL, Lexington
    I have to agree with Mr. Walker. This is a club based on sexual preference. This has no place in a high school with an abstinence based sex ed program. These students already can claim discrimination or equal rights based on their race or religion. Sexual practices should not be part of the picture and a principal should not be forced to allow a club in his school that is based solely on a behavior that is not acceptable on school grounds.
  • AP, Milwaukee
    If a high-school principal cannot separate his misguided religious bigotry from his duties to educate and protect all the students in the school, then he should resign -- or be fired.
  • KH, Columbia
    Absolutely not! I am so proud of Mr. Walker for standing up for his beliefs. The bible clearly states that homosexuality is wrong. It is a lifestyle choice, you are not born to be gay! Mr. Walker has brought so many good things to Irmo High - he is the best there is! I think the parents and students should be able to vote on what they think - I think there wouldn't even be a question then. The majority of students do not want this club, and the parents as well. The Bible says that those who walk the narrow path will be persecuted. Things are being forced on kids today to the point that they don't even realize it's wrong - they just think it the norm. District 5 is making a big mistake in allowing this club to form and losing Walker in the process. If this happens, it will all be downhill from here on out. Mr Walker, we are behind you 100%! Standing up for what is right is not the easy thing to do - it's the ones that give in to what others say that are the wimps. I applaud you, and may God Bless you for your actions.
  • SL, Columbia
    As a graduate of Irmo High School, I have to say "What a load of cr@p!" I wonder if the principle knows how much sex is had during football games in the restrooms or in the field during lunch. I've even seen oral sex taking place in more then 3 locations, more times then I can count. I'm not surprised over the reaction of the principle or the parents but isn't it about time to drag South Carolina into the 21st century!
  • rg, Columbia
    No they should not. All these people saying it's their right to do this and do that, I guess the African American women (MW)of Lexington would be ok if they wanted to start a KKK club or an Arian Nation club. Where does it end? Is a threesome club or S&M club next? If they want to have a Gay club, school is out after 3pm, have the club at someones house, Maybe SK in Hopkins best friend could host the meetings. In any sense, that club has no business in any school. You want to be gay, fine, be gay...just don't force other people to accept it. Way to go Mr. Walker, I applaud you for your stand...I am in the district, and I will be at the next school board meeting to voice my opinion about this.
  • BH, Elgin
    I agree with the principal's decisions to resign. One of the parents commented that he put his bigotry over his committment to the students. I disagree and feel that the school district put their fear of being sued over the committment to education. School is not the place to support sexual outlets of any kind; heterosexial or homosexual. To allow a club to form that is based on a distraction to education is what is happening. Our jobs as teachers is to prepare our students academically and civilly for their futures. We, as educators understand that in the last 10-15 years, school has had to fill in many areas for a student that a stable home should have filled in. But under no circumstances to we (educators, school) advocate sexual preference, orientation, or anything else sexual for that matter. Students come to school for an academic education. informational highlights on non-academic points is okay but we don't need to delve into an any specifics when it comes to things like sexual orientation.
  • BM, Irmo
    Why do gay and/or straight people have to have a "club" at the public school? If that is the only means for them to meet people who share the same values, morals, likes/dislikes or whatever, then they should open their eyes to the world around them and learn to meet people and hang with people who are interested in hanging with them. A "club" is not going to all of a sudden open the eyes of a teenager and present them to a gay or straight person. Our "club", the earth has plenty of different people in it. Get out there and meet people. You will eventually determine if the person you meet will be somebody who shares the same values, morals and so forth. Heck, form a club at your house where you won't have to have the permission of a school principal.
  • PS, Columbia
    Yes they should be allowed to facilitate a student organization. Gay kids are somebody's children too. They should be allowed the organize as any other student organization. It is absurd to say that because these organizations exist it will promote sexual activity. That is ridiculous. If the Irmo principal was really serious, he would make his resignation immediately.
  • SR, Columbia
    No, I do not think that school should allow these types of alliances! Just as sex education has become how to classes, a straight/gay alliance will only inform and encourage kids to behave in unnatural behaviors. Will all the sex education teachings, why are we at an all time high in teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases? The principal is right to not accept just any old thing. That's one of the problems in our world today. We are finding more and more ways for humans to become more confused! We are daily losing our identity as humans! Suicide is at an all time high amongst gays. Most of these people commit suicide outside of people harassing or making fun of them. Most people don't even know if associates are straight or gay; so, how can we blame harassment and bullying on their cause of depression? I believe that no matter how much theraphy and encouragement we give to gays, deep down within, they will never be satisfied because they know in their hearts that it is a facade and that they were not created to live this way. Will we soon offer child molestation classes in school? There are older kids who are sexually molesting and raping younger children! Is it OK for them to claim that they were born this way and cannot help themselves? Child molesters and pedophiles also live with a lot of guilt! Why, because they are behaving in an unnatural out of control way!
  • DR, Lugoff
    When will people understand that homosexuals are not out to convert the world? Were this a racial or cultural club, no one would bat an eye. We all support equal rights for people of all races. Why can't we support equal rights for people of all sexual preferences? My high school had a Gay/Straight Alliance, and we didn't all suddenly decide we were gay. This principle's actions are utterly ridiculous and do nothing but teach his students intolerance and hate. As a heterosexual and a Christian, I am embarrassed and saddened. What happened to "they will know we are Christians by our LOVE"?
  • BM, Irmo
    Oh my gosh, you've got to be kidding me. Think about it folks, once that door opens then it's going to be fair game for any type of club or "gang" to feel they have the right to a formalized and justified club. I think the question we need to ask is how will the gay/sraight alliance educationally benefit my son/daughter as they pursue a career in the future?
  • JP, Elgin
    Mr. Walker has his rights and he should be free to express his feelings as well. I admire him for his decision which also speaks in a loud voice. He must realy love children and my hope is he will not get out of education. God, all of our children and we need you and more like you Eddie. After all, rivers were formed from small streams. Make a difference!
  • TH, Lexington
    Sex of any kind should not be encouraged in grade school. If Lexington County will allow a pro-sex club in the public school system, then my two children will go to a private school.
  • KP, Lexington
    I agree w/ Mr. Walker when he stated- "we do not have other clubs at Irmo High school (or other area schools) based on sexual orientation, sexual preference, or sexual activity. In fact our sex education curriculum is abstinence based." Whether it be a homosexual or heterosexual club is not the point, it is not appropriate in our schools- period. Our children are not at school to learn about their sexual preference or differences. It's not about discrimination; there may be a time and a place, but I agree with Mr. Walker that it should not be allowed in the schools. I commend him for taking a stand for what he believes is right. I also agree with CW in S. Congaree- "I believe in caring about all people and treating them with love and compassion, but some people act like we as Christians push our beliefs on them. Well, I see this as their beliefs being thrown in our face." Lastly, I am not here to judge anyone- everyone will have to face God one day and face judgement then. My concern is if this club is allowed, then what is next?
  • JC, Lexington
    As a 2007 graduate of a local high school in Lexington and now an active member of USC's version of a Gay Straight Alliance (BGLSA), I am appalled at the response of the negativity of the issue surrounding starting the club. The club is not about "sexual activity with members of the same sex, opposite sex, or members of both sexes," as Mr. Walker has stated. It is about issues surround the whole school community no matter their sexual orientation. It is about student's meeting other students that are similar to them for a support system. Students at this age have to deal like verbal and physical abuse from their peers and even their own family. I had little to no support and was basically disowned by my parents when they found out I was gay, and if it wasn't for my grandmother and USC BGLSA I don't know what would've happen to me. Carolina's BGLSA program helped me became a better person and learn that there is somebody that cares. Mr. Walker should be proud and support this type of organization, no matter his religious beliefs, because his job is to support the well-being of all Irmo high students, no matter who they are or what they believe.
  • EL, Columbia
    It upsets me that members of our community equate sexual orientation with lower values. As a bisexual woman, it hurts me to think that, because of my feelings, I am considered to have questionable values. We are not criminals. I, personally, am a good person. I was a member of my gay/straight alliance in college and we did a lot for our community through outreach programs, education, and fundrasing. We never once taught anything about having sex during our meetings. This is not about sexual activity, it is about feelings. As is clear from the public outcry on this issue, these young adults are being singled out and misjudged because of their feelings. They need a place to get together and discuss their problems and organize education programs to teach their community how rewarding it can be to have an open mind. My blessings to these kids, and if they ever need a supportive adult to help with programs, I am at their service.
  • AJ, Gaston
    It is an outrage they would have such a thing at a school supported by my tax dollars but thats not the worst part. The school says they cant stop the formation of the club due to FEDERAL laws. Over the past years I have seen the federal government slowly sending South Carolina into a depression morally, socially, educationally and financially. We have to break the yoke of the federal government and return government and rights to the individual states before SC turns out lookin like a combination of LA and NYC.
  • RJ, Lexington
    Mr. Walker is an example to all with morals! I work at WKHS and we can't even have a FCA (Fellow Christian Athletes) meeting on school grounds. Why is this meeting be any different than what Irmo is suggesting to do? Christian children should have the same rights.
  • HB, Lexington
    I can not believe our world is coming to this-- homosexuality is a sin!!! I am for the principal taking a stand! We need leaders like this that will take a stand for their religious beliefs! I'm glad the teenagers at Irmo feel discriminated against- it is wrong- they were not born that way- they choose to be that way! As the bible says, marriage is a sacred vow and is between man and woman-- God never intended for this to happen!! Our country needs prayer but back in the schools not taken out!!! Lord heal our land!
  • MJ, Irmo
    I applaud Mr. Walker. I don't understand why any school would have a club based on sexual orientation. Add this to my long, evergrowing list of why I homeschool!
  • RS, Gilbert
    I believe the formation of any club on public school grounds that clearly segregate on gender, race, religious preferences, and sexual preferences should not be allowed. Clubs are meant to bring students together not isolate them.
  • AS, Gaston
    I agree with Principal Walker. There should never be any club promoting sexual activity of any kind. Imagine if someone put up a sign in the hallways promoting a club for having sex at all. We wouldn't allow that, so we should not allow this!
  • TR, Lexington
    Absolutely not. If the schools would get back to the 3 Rs and stop trying to make students feel good about themselves, there wouldn't be as many problems. I sure don't want my tax money supporting this crap.
  • JD, Swansea
    i believe students should have a right to do what they want to. it's just freedom of speech!
  • PO, Sumter
    No. There is no scientific or DNA test to tell us if a person is homosexual, bisexual or even heterosexual for that matter. And since nobody is "born gay," it's clear that sexual orientation is a matter of how one defines oneself - not a matter of biology or genes. Homosexuality is not normal - it is an adaptation, not an inborn trait. The homosexual lifestyle carries with it potentially catastrophic emotional and physical consequences and to withhold that information from children and present homosexuality as a simple choice-like deciding what kind of shoes you want to wear-is intellectually dishonest, if not potentially abusive. It's clear that tolerance exists only for one viewpoint-complete acceptance of homosexuality as normal and worthy of being embraced. Anyone who doesn't agree with that message is cast as bigoted and ignorant. People must be given the real truth about the homosexual lifestyle - and know that they do not have to live trapped in that lifestyle - change is possible with God's help, as it is when dealing with breaking free of any sin. I applaud Principal Walker for having the courage to do what is right!
  • cp, columbia
    its funny how (most) people can tolerate EVERYTHING and ANYTHING under the sun, but the moment a Christian speaks out about his beliefs its called being "intolerate".....im glad mr Walker stood up to this liberal propaganda CRAP and took a stand......i can add this to yet ANOTHER reason why i homeschool....
  • RA, Columbia
    We do not seem to have all the facts explaining what the club will do or all that it stands for. It does sound, based on your story, that it will promote sex either with someone of the same sex or the opposite sex. The promotion of sex in school should not be allowed and I would welcome the attempted lawsuit. When will it end. How does this in any way make better people out of out students? Does this mean the school and the laws are pormoting underage sex? That is how I see it. My hat is off to Mr. Walker. Thanks for reporting the story.
  • CF,
    I DO NOT beleive this type of organization should be allowed in our schools systems. It does not matter whether if it is considered unlawfully or not. We must look at what message this is sending to our youth. The school system is not the place for any sexual orientation to be paraded. We wonder why our youth are confused with life and their purpose. What administrator/teacher would agree to over see this club? Is he or she confused also? WOW!! Our schools should be, to assist our youth in the advancement of their purpose for life and not for advocating or incouraging there sexual orientation. I wonder about the parents that would even allow there children to be a member of such. Shame on them. I had 2 children that graduated from Irmo and they both are disappointed in our district administration for allowing this. Mr. Walker is an excellent administrator and I commend him on his decision to stand for what is truly right. It will be to our district's lost to lose him. Men like him are very hard to find. God bless you Mr. Walker.
  • DB, Chapin
    Nor would I support a planned parenthood club or any other type of club that could send the wrong message in our schools. They have outside resources for these issues that should not be affiliated with a school. The hypocrites would include those that would allow this club, but reject A "Christian club" where they are all taught to accept everyone for who the are....loving everyone and hating their sin.
  • cp, irmo
    i agree with mr walker and his stand on this issue......yet ANOTHER reason why i homeschool....
  • MC, Columbia
    My name is michelle and i attend irmo high school i really dont think that we should have that club because we come to school to learn about job based curriculums and not about what sex we choose to be with. so as you can tell i am totally against the GAY/STRAIGHT ALLIANCE CLUB.
  • FK, lexington
    I think the over reaching problem is that the school borad would allow him to stay in the school for another year. They are responsible for allowing this type of narrow- minded bigotry to be fostered in an environment so critical to our future society. This situation also begs the question of quality of education in S.C., which by any standard is lacking. Could this lack of cultural and ethical awareness be contributing to the substandard S.C. educational system?
  • NH, Atlanta
    The fact that parents are afraid to expose their children to homosexuals is antiquated and misplaced at best. When AIDS was first brought to the attention of the American public, it was not uncommon to hear people talking about catching AIDS from toilet seats, etc. What we have here is in the same vein. Parents, your children are not going to catch "gay" from other children and sheltering them from all things disagreeable is a practice that will hinder their development as people. This is not a matter of agreeing with the religious dogma, but fostering children's growth. And as a side note, to think that this is what the "...foundation of our nation was about" is preposterous. Our Nation is based on tolerance. I can only hope that this incident will help Irmo HS and its students to grow instead of remaining stagnant.
  • LB, Lugoff
    I commend him on his decision, his morals and values are in the right place. The gays and les, ibians can have their place in the school system but one mention of God, Jesus, Prayer you might offend someone and get sued. It's time for the Christians to take back this nation and put God where he belongs - schools government, homes etc. Unit, ed States is very blessed but she will sooner or later feel the wrath of God just like other nations are right now who are rejecting God.
  • RK, Gaston
    It seems like we would be encouraging students to particpate in activities they are not mentally or emtionally ready for. It is not the schools place to promote those types of activites. We need to focus on education. Take a look at our test scores.
  • WR, Lexington
    First let me say I know Eddie Walker, have worked some with him and he is a fine individual and always does what he feels is best for the children and always has. It is his right to do what he feels best in his heart and he has done so with his resignation. Now for the meat of the subject. Schools in this day are required to allow clubs for most anything. We have clubs for Christian athletes. Should we also allow clubs for Satanists?? Being a school employee I see where the world is headed and it ain't pretty. Most kids have very little parent supervision due to us having to work all the time to get money to drive to work. That is the real issue we are failing as parents and role models. Read the news folks the world is messed up and we did it. Whether you believe in God or not we have screwed it up and we need to fix it. Mr Walker had every right to do what he thought was right and i'm sure he believes he did. We either have to allow these types clubs for everyone or not allow them at all. Remember that God is supposed to be a God of love and forgiveness. I sure hope so or we are toast.
  • SH, Columbia
    This is not a matter of discrimination or "religion based bigotry". It is simply a matter of turning the focus away from sex and towards learning. These kids need to be focusing on academics and planning for college. This is another great example of the sexual obsession that plagues our society.
  • CT, Irmo
    I teach in the district that is involved in this active discussion and this debate saddens me. There are an overwhelming number of people standing against the basic freedoms of American citizenship. The constitution outlines a plan in great detail to keep religious superstition and distortion out of government and maintain a society free of religious persecution. This debate demonstrates the lack of education in South Carolina. Everyone standing against these children are screaming morals and values, but what they are showing is veiled intolerance and hate. The only people who are ever present in m, obs and angry gatherings are people with hearts filled with hate and prejudice, and often they protest something that would never affect them or involve them in the first place. The job of the school is more than just academic; we are the only outlet where many students receive any social instruction. Parents sometimes provide their children with preparation to fit or survive in a global, secular, modern world; while other parents prepare their children to hate, detest, despise or in different ways consider others with differing opinions less valuable to society or a threat to their narrow minded way of life. Again I am sad to hear that so many citizens have chosen to HATE children, or anyone who offers a view of the world that is larger than their comprehension. Shame on you for thinking that these children and their friends have no morality, canâ€TMt you see they are already showing us that they are better than we are by taking the initiative to respect each other when the adults would have them choose who to hate or at-least separate themselves from others without knowing them personally.
  • GS, Gilbert
    No, when are people going to realize that homosexuality is a choice, it is not a way of life that should be accepted. Do we condem them, no, they need more help then we can ever imagine. This is not the way of life our four-fathers expected for us to accept. The Christians of this world need to pray and stand firmer in what you believe now more than ever. Accepting the things of this world has become a way of life, it time we take a stand for what we believe in. I firml, y thank God for the courage this man has to stand for what he believes is right. God will bless him for this.
  • CB, Columbia
    First and foremost, a principal's responsibility is to provide leadership and support for the children and staff of his or her school. Both facets are a must for effective leadership and well rounded student development. If Principal Walker's professional beliefs are conflicting with his professional expectations, maybe it is time for him to step down. Second, religious convictions should not even be considered. An authority figure with his level of education and training should be well aware that church and state do not mix.
  • JD, Gilbert
    Somewhere the school system has to draw the line. Schools are meant to educate, not push propoganda. We can no longer teach that a higher power is one explanation for creation, but having a gay club is something that should be tolerated? I mean where does it end? If all clubs should be allowed can another child start an "I hate gays alliance" or maybe a Nazi alliance? You must admit that clubs are not a schools purpose. Lets focus more on teacher/student education and less on making sure every individual's sexuality is represented in our schools.
  • AC, Lexington
    The principal is entirely correct that clubs of a sexual nature are and should be prohibited in schools. Keep in mind that these students are minors, and that any adult promoting or participating in such a club would be in violation of SC law under Section 16-15-385. "Disseminating harmful material to minors and exhibiting harmful performance to minor"
  • MH, West Columbia
    I feel if they are not allowed it would be a discrimination against a group of people that are only trying to provide awareness and understanding to a misunderstood issue. It's a shame that homosexuals, lesbians, their straight friends, and family are respected and appreciated when it's needed and convenient by society but then they are discarded, bashed and ridiculed when they are not.
  • TS, Irmo
    Of course schools should allow the Gay/Straight alliance to form. First of all, as the district notified Mr. Walker at Irmo High, the club's formation is protected by law and the school does not have the right to tell students whether they can form one or not. Secondly, what is wrong with allowing a club to form that promotes acceptance and tolerance of other students? I am ashamed as an Irmo graduate that my former high school is being led by such an intolerant person who has no concept of freedom of speech and is willing to step down rather than allow a group to form that is protected by law. What happened to separation of church and state? I wish the school board would accept his resignation immediately. Bigotry and hate have no place at Irmo High. Good riddance to Mr. Walker.
  • DT, West Columbia
    One positive thing I see in the responses to this question is that they are nearly equally divided between those who approve and those who disapprove. As recently as five years ago I suspect that those opposed would have far outnumbered those in favor. So perhaps we who speak for tolerance and acceptance of diversity are making progress in this state after all, even if it seems painfully slow.
  • BF, Columbia
    I am so thankful and proud of the Principal of Irmo HS...Eddie Walker! Thanks be to GOD there are some that are willing to speak out and take a stand on their moral beliefs...The Holy Bible very plainly specifies what God's position is on this! May Eddie Walker be richly blessed for making the "Right" choice!
  • BC, Lexington
    Isn't there a bill HR4907 pending in the SC legislature currently that would have prevented this man from resigning his job? Also, is sodomy not ILLEGAL in this state? What's next? Clubs collecting murderers. What is the purpose of these clubs??
  • MA, Lexington
    This is just another blow to the decline of western civilization. As a graduate of Irmo High School I wholeheartedly support Eddie Walker's decision and admire his committment to faith. There's a time and place for everything and high school is not the place for this type of social club. If the threat of a suit looms because of other clubs which already exists, perhaps the district should re-evaluate its policy on clubs other than service oriented ones.
  • m , columbis
    I am a mother of a gay child and I have seen first hand how they are treated and I believe this is what schools really need. My son tried to start the same club at DFHS two years ago but it didn't make it. I have read up on a lot of issues and I don't want to get technical, but 1 in 10 people is gay or lesbian (that is 1 person in three families), if you have experienced the emotional stress the kids go through, you would understand more that this is something they just don't wake up one day and say I want to be gay, these kids know long before they even understand what is happening to them. Nobody really understands these kids until you truely watch you child struggle with it. I am attaching something that someone else has written because it speaks for itself. The purpose of a Gay/Straight alliance is to promote TOLERANCE in schools and to provide SUPPORT and a "safe-zone" for bullied kids to talk and meet other kids dealing with similar issues. Gay/Straight alliances ARE NOT about sex or sexual activity.
  • JB, Chapin
    I am 100% in agreement with Mr. Walker's decision. Instead of helping those in need of direction, society wants to segment everyone into a specific group. Mr. Jennings, director of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network remarked that Mr. Walker must not understand the club. False. What he does understand is the safety of our children. By allowing this group of kids to hold meetings, they have now exclaimed their beliefs and sexuallity to all that would oppose. You really think the bullies and the harassing would stop? Nope. You just gave them a target. Why can't our schools be used for what they were designed for, not to stir up something else just to take the focus off the real problem, OUR KID'S EDUCATION.
  • PM, Ballentine
    My concern with Mr. Walker going public with his feelings is the fact that everyone now knows how he feels about gay and lesbian people. Does District 5 really want to keep someone as prinicipal of one our schools who has let us know he does not tolerate or have compassion for gay and lesbians? Isn't this a liability for our district? I feel Mr. Walker has officially opened the door for a discrimination lawsuit and should have been a little more discrete with his opinions. As an administrator or a teacher, I thought being discrete with your personal opinions was an unofficial requirement when dealing with the diversity that exists in a school setting. I also feel the fall out from this situation is just beginning, which is not good for our district. I am so disappointed in Mr. Walker's narrow minded views and his inability to see the big picture.
  • LH, West Columbia
    I think that schools are there for learning and for children to be educated and not exposed to something as immoral as a gay and lesbian pride club. If we cannot have sex clubs at school and not Christian clubs at schools, then there should be no gay/lesbian clubs as well. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. It is time that we stand back up for moral decency and not the politically correct thing of making something as immoral as homosexuality a lifestyle.
  • JJ, Columbia
    The meaning of the club has been poorly skewed by the principal and people of the community poorly informed on it. The club is NOT meant to be about sex in any manner. The club is however about promoting tolerance and acceptance within schools, something this high school apparently needs.
  • MM, Columbia
    Our schools are no place for any type of club such as this. These clubs are a place for teens to "express and explore their sexual preferences..." Well the problem with that is these are children we are talking about. Children need to be children-not adults-and our schools should not be promoting sex. I am an Irmo alumni and a District 5 parent and I am ashamed that District 5 has caved to this-District 5 has overlooked what is best for our students for fear of a lawsuit. I support Eddie Walker and I am sad to see him leave Irmo. He has been the best principal at Irmo since Keith Calicutt left in 1991! Irmo's students will hopefully learn from his example and see that it is more important to stand up for their beliefs than to be politically correct.
  • MB, Columbia, SC
    I don't think school is the place for every conceivable club that fits any and every imaginable mindset of the human race. Too much time is spent on focusing on what is politically correct. Education should be the main focus of the school. The family circle, along with community activities, should meet the personal needs of the individuals wishing to join others of like mindsets. I admire the principal for taking a stand. People have kept quiet on so many diverse issues that we have become a nation of accepting any and everything that comes along.
  • MT, Sumter
    I am in total agreement with Mr. Walker. Believe what you want, but I don't want it taught to my kids...
  • BW, Columbia
    I do not think schools should allow gay/straight alliances. As a public school teacher myself I've noticed that we are not allowed to have any clubs or groups relating to religion in the schools. We aren't even allowed to have any kind of organized prayer at assemblies or other school functions. Why then is it alright to have a group relating to sexual choice? We should be teaching students abstinance, whether they see themselves as homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual. Our young people today seem to be so misguided. I applaud the principal at Irmo High School. Principal Walker seems like a man that genuinely wants the best for the children at Irmo High School. We need more administrators like him in our public schools.
  • DL, Columbia
    I don't think schools should allow gay/straight alliances as the principal stated, because it is a club that promotes sex. I think sex has no place in education. I think it is the parents job to teach the child. But as our society has done, they are putting the school in the position of the parent. I support his decision.
  • M , Sumter
    What is this world coming too? They took the Bible out of the schools, then they take the pledge of alegiance. Now they want a gay/straight club in the school? Thats ridiculous, believe what you want but I dont want it taught to my kids!!
  • KW, Irmo
    Gay people want to be allowed to be true to themselves, and yet the Faith in America group faults Principal Walker for being true to himself. We tell children and others that this is a free country in which we are guaranteed the right to speak and act as we choose, within legal boundaries, and yet Mr. Walker is criticized for doing just that. It's OK to place careers and the desire for wealth at the top of our priority lists but not OK to put God there. Where's the bigotry now? Certainly not in Mr. Walker's corner.
  • AM,
    No! The idiot that you all had on the WIS news promoting the alliance has no children. She was also fired from Sunoco's gas station for steeling. Is this who we need directing our highschool decisions and promoting young sexual activities?
  • SS, West Columbia
    Mr. Walker was the director at the Lex/Rich dist 5 alternative school when my daughter attended. (not for discipline problems) Mr. Walker truly loves his students and works hard to support them. Irmo high school will loose a great administrator. As to the alliance, if it's called gay/straight, why do people assume he against gays? The district clearly teaches abstinance and any club that allows open communication between students to discuss their sexual orientation on school grounds is in opposition to that policy. Apparently you can have your own opinion until it clashes with someone elses who likes to use the media to fight their battles for them.
  • ef, columbia
    Quit trying to make everyone happy...its not going to happen! We dont all fit one mold, and they are trying to create a "catch-all" system so no one is offended. The problem with that is that there are conflicting views on Everything, so you will never make everyone happy. Let people make their choices, and if they believe them, they will follow them in their own footsteps. Don't make everyone else have to watch if they dont have to. I agree, if you have a gay club, then you need a christian club...then some will argue you need a satan worshiper club, then a child molesters club....when will it end? When do we finally say stop??
  • EF, Columbia
    No, i think this is a forced subject, and everyone is afraid to stand up to it. This all started when prayer was banned from schools. since when does this country force people to be around things that dont fit their religious beliefs? have our public schools failed us this badly? is the only way a person who religiously does not agree with gays get an education by going to a private school? i feel like "freeing" the gays forces the people who do not agree into an uncomfortable position. many of us do not agree regligiously, and teaching our children it is not okay, and then they go to school and see the complete opposite message taught. What about the people who can not afford a private school to get away from this forced issue? Why are they being forced to give up their religious freedom to choose what they believe in? The christians and believers in america need to stand up for what they believe in, and i am not just talking about gays. I am talking about prayer, and christmas (now called Holidays), and other religion based activities. Stand up America! Fight for the country your ancestors helped create!
  • MW, Lexington, SC
    Absolutely allow it. Homosexuality is not something you choose and this comes from a straight African-American woman. It is not just a lifestyle, but part of who you are. It's not a sex club. If the school teaches abstinence, it should be taught to the gay students as well. By not allowing the students to be around other people like them, you would be doing them an injustice. It's like any Black/Hispanic club or student union. Students want and need to be around people who are like them. Has anyone thought about what this is doing to the gay/lesbian students in the school? Shame on all of you for hiding behind your religious bigotry. Really, you could find ways in the Bible to justify anything. Isn't this the same Bible that supported slavery and unequal rights for Blacks? Isn't this the same Bible that said women shouldn't receive rights? Gays have been and will continue to be apart of this society, your family, and your church whether you like it or not. Wake up.
  • MS, Columbia
    No. It bothers me that the world is getting to a place to where no matter how wrong something may be, society is easily forced or coerced into accepting it due to stipulations of laws. On top of this reprobated thinking, every excuse under Gods sun is being used to force acception but none are being voiced to show a stronghold for what should be normal and acceptable behavior. I don't want my children exposed to the option of a gay lifestyle because this is not the natural order of life or what God has set for us in his word. These clubs give some of our younger innocent children the option and I stand against them.
  • MR, Columbia
    The one thing I agree with the principal is his decision to resign. Until you grow up in a world that is prejudiced against you or a family member for being different, you can't understand the struggle that you're faced with every day going to school and not having a safe place to learn. The sickness you feel in your gut when you have to get up every morning and go back to school and face more humiliation from the "in" group for being different. Anyone that has ever been "bullied", "picked on" or "beaten up" for their looks, beliefs, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability ... should understand this feeling. We need less hate taught in our schools and more knowledge. For those of you who disagree, there is always private school.
  • gw,
    Our world has become too liberal. I fear for my small granddaughter and her future. I am totally against having a gay organization or club in out schools!! I applaud the principal of Iromo High School for standing up for his beliefs and faith!
  • PH, Columbia
    It is ill thought out.. clubs directed toward interest bring all student populations together, those directed to physical similarities and behavior divide the student body. It is not a gay/lesbian issue, it is just one more way to focus on individual behaviors, rather than factual learning opportunities. I am in favor of limiting all school sponsored clubs to those connected to subject matter related topics.
  • VS, Baghdad, Iraq
    I'm in agreement with Mr. Walker my beliefs and I believe School is not the place to promote or this type of life style
  • EW, Irmo
    I sincerely admire Mr. Walker's prayerfulness over the issue and his courage in standing up for his principles. He serves as a true role model for all adults -- young and old -- and is to be commended. I also support Mr. Walker's belief that the school system is NOT the forum for any group desiring to discuss or express sexual preferences or orientation. That is instead a subject to be addressed by individual family units and, yes, by churches. Additionally, it saddens me that District 5 seems more concerned with legal costs than with the wellbeing of the majority of its students. It was always my understanding that the primary job of high schools was to provide children with the academic skills necessary to one day become productive members of society. I thought that the high schools were a stepping stone on the road to maturity. Now, I guess, District 5 wants its high schools to be the end point on that road, to include the further exposure of kids to a subject they are far from prepared to handle. My special note to District 5: Thanks for making a good case for home schooling!
  • KP, New Philadelphia
    The level of ignorance displayed in so many of the posts here is a powerful testament to the need for a Gay-Straight Alliance at this high school and at schools across the country (not to mention the need for REAL sex-ed classes!). One: sexual orientation is genetic and homosexuality is NOT a choice, no matter how many people mistakenly believe otherwise. Two: It's NOT a sex club. It's a club for young people to talk to each other and learn about each other in a mutually supportive environment. Folks who think it's a "sex club" need to get their minds out of the gutter. Three: abstinence-only education is a profound disaster/failure on all fronts. Over 1/4 of teen girls in this country have an STD and teen birth rates are now rising for the first time since the early '90s. Why are we so afraid of frank/honest sex talk with our young adults? They live in a culture that is SATURATED with sexual imagery. Sex is a fact of life. Parents clearly are NOT giving their kids the information they need to behave responsibly when and if they choose to have sex, and the statistics prove that just telling them "don't do it" and giving them downright false/misleading information about birth control methods at school doesn't work. Thinking that if we teach them about sex they're automatically going to go do it is an insult to their intelligence and is about as logical as stating that if we teach them how to safely handle guns they're automatically going to shoot each other. It makes ZERO sense. Folks keep falling back on the Bible, yet there is very little evidence of Christian love and tolerance in their posts. In fact, they're the ones who seem most disturbingly obsessed with who other people love and what others do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. Hatred/fear/misunderstanding of gays is sadly alive and well in South Carolina.
  • MS, CAYCE
    Yes,we must ALL follow the law whether we agree or not. There are a lot of laws I disagree with, BUT I must obey them. But we also must follow our hearts and what we believe in our hearts. If it is something we do not wish to do then we walk away. Thanks and have a great day.
  • BW, Pomaria
    I don't see the big deal. We should not judge our kids on their sex preference. We should be their for them and support them nd let them know that they are not lone.
  • mn, irmo
    I am happy to see him go..if he feels that strongly ...we only wish him well..and look forward to welcoming a more appropriate applicant to oversee our children education absent of personal grudge or judgment . A principle should oversee all of our childrenâ€TMs education not just the children he sees fit to accept.
  • sk, hopkins
    i think they should have clubs in school coz gays are just like every one else besides one of my best friends are gay
  • mn, irmo
    The truth of this issue is that gay people exist in our human race.. they exist in all colors ....they exist in all religions.. they exist in all nationalities...they exist in all genders since the beginning of time We are here...we live in YOUR world..In a world were the majority would wish our lives dead...the sooner the better... We live here... in YOUR world were ridicule and hatred dominate our what we as children thought of as our own faith...only to in later teenage years grow to understand our faith no longer offers us hope We live here.. in YOUR world ..as children in grade school petrified of death ..Petrified of beatings..petrified of constant harassment...petrified of humiliation... just for someone to know us.... We live here in YOUR world as gay Americans.. We live in YOUR world of judgment All We really want... is to live in a world that for once and all might be OUR world together... For once We would like to just live with YOU...without having to live amongst you... In order for us all to live with each other we must first have understanding ..a gay-straight alliance group in grade schools is a small consolation for YOUR world to gift to the millions of gay youths in our country who only hope, wish, and dream they could live in YOUR world ....
  • DG, Los Angeles
    High School is supposed to teach our young adults many things including but not limited to respect for one another, responsibility and the fact that we have the ability to be whatever we aspire to be. I think this HS principle should be removed for making this statement and demonstrating his inability to be a fair and impartial administrator. His statement/position makes me shudder at the biased decisions he may have made concerning Gay students whom he may have been entrusted to discipline. It also disgusts me that this person would abuse his position to impose his homophobic and religious beliefs. Precedence dictates that religion has no place in our schools. Accordingly no school administrator should be preaching to their students. The same Bible that this religious zealot is using to discriminate against Gays is the same Bible that was used to justify slavery and keeping Blacks from reading years ago. We should also keep in mind that until the 1950's the word homosexual didn't appear in the "Bible". Last but not least we must not forget that the Bible has been and will continue to be used to justify wars and a host of other political views despite the fact that church and state are to remain separate! This Bible thumper should spend more time wrestling with the contradictions his tenants present. After all the Bible commands us to "love thy neighbor". "Judge not lest you be judged". It says nothing about loving thy neighbor only if he's straight gay or anything else we may deem acceptable! No one is asking this principle to accept this lifestyle however our students deserve a role model who will respect them regardless of their sexual orientation! Respect exudes tolerance and when all else fails allows us to agree to disagree. I wish Eddie Walker well in his career choice. However I regret he has been appointed to such an important role and are elated to see him go!
  • CW, S Congaree
    I commend the principal for upholding his beliefs and I agree with him because of my Christian beliefs. I believe in caring about all people and treating them right but lots of people act like we as Christians push our beliefs on them. Well, I see this as their beliefs being thrown in our face. No questions asked. Just Live with it!
  • mc,
    I am glad that the principal is sticking up for his religous beliefs. Not many people would do something like this these days. The bible says that homosexuality is an abomination. It is because of groups like this that people think it is ok to be homosexual. Groups like this and I blame alot on some tv shows. I wonder in this same school, is there a time and a place where students can have bible study. Maybe if they would have that instead, there wouldn't be anyone worring about being discriminated.
  • PT, Lexington
    They can let controversial clubs into schools but they cannot allow Bible clubs? Is this truly freedom of speech as our founding fathers meant it?
  • RL, Germantown, MD
    The principal's decision to leave is based on bigotry masquerading as religion and the principal's distortion that the club is about sexual activity. That is like saying that a prom is about sexual activity -- that is ridiculous. Proms foster positive ways to handle sexual/social feelings. That is what this club does for students who are stimatized and insulted by bigots.
  • AW, Poplar Bluff
    Kudos to Principal Walker for standing up for his personal belief. They are his beliefs. He is resigning, not asking anyone to change the rules for his benefit. How refreshing to see someone who is not aspiring to be politacally correct. I suppose if there was a club to help students be supported in bestiality or necrophilia there would be someone out there screaming 1st Amendmant Free Speech. Issues like this is why people are fleeing to both religious and secular private schools as well as homeschooling. Even people without any type of religios preference or affilication are sick of schools who ability to educate is infringed on by social issues. What about the rights of all the other kids to be able to attend school without the stigma of being a gay/straight school. Do what you want but keep in the bedroom. School clubs usually have a basis in being rooted to some type of academic or sporting endeavor. Form a club away from school.
  • SV, Irmo
    I am thoroughly disgusted with district 5 allowing this club. As a parent in district 5, I do not want my children subjected to the gay agenda. Clubs for sexual orientation do NOT belong in school. I'm ashamed to say I graduated from Irmo. Mr. Walker is a great example for Christians everywhere. We need to start standing up for our faith.
  • JM, Columbia
    I personally think that Irmo is doing something that is a good thing. I am an Irmo graduate and have seen and heard of a lot of things that have gone on in the school when I was there and even after I graduated. I was there when the Gerald Witt was principal and he did not allow the Indigo Girls to come perform due to their sexuality. So I applaud the school district for allowing this alliance to come about.
  • RW, Columbia
    It's about time an administrator stood up for what we believe and not what the moral digenerates in D.C. stand for. Not everyone believes that someone's sexual preference needs to slap everyone in the face. This club is about sex and needs to be left in the bedroom, not the classroom.
  • CB,
    on my street the stop signs have paper on them that says that our next door neighbor is a child molester. well i heard rumors but i truly beleive it now but how do we fix it to where nothing happens to nobody else
  • LS, Columbia
    Some people have this wrong. The purpose of the club isn't ABOUT or FOR sex, it is to acknowledge that not everyone is created with the same sexual attraction. It is to understand sexuality - a gift from God.
  • L , Columbia, S.C.
    I am very proud of the Irmo principal who took a stand for his belief. I totally agree. To form a Gay/Straight Alliance in a High School is encouraging same sex relationships which is clearly against God's creation. Schools should not promote it.
  • DC,
    I applaud Mr. Walker's decision to stand firm in his beliefs. I agree that a high school campus is not the place for any club based on sexual orientation. I am saddened that we are losing such a strong leader over this issue.
  • aw, cayce
    Let the old school man go, he needs to wake up and so does the rest of the town of IRMO. I went to Irmo and its all about who has the best. Maybe its time for an old school to get in to the real world. I think its great for kids to be able to exspress they"er sexuality in these groups. It would have been a lot easer on me as a gay woman in school if I had a group to talk to instead of living a lie. Just remember you do not choose this life style you are born this way. Mr Principal what ever you name is you need to check your on sexuality, you are probably in the closet yourself thats why you are leaving,have a good life.
  • KT, columbia
    Schools are institutions of learning. Any and all clubs and extra curricular activities should directly support the mission of the school, which is to educate students. The idea of a club on a high school campus that promotes sex of any kind or has sex as its focus is absurd. It seems as if many of those posting on this site have not thoroughly read the principal's letter and have missed his point. Rather they have chosen to make this an issue of sexual orientation and have called him a bigot. This is ridiculous. As a taxpayer, you should be appalled that your tax money is being spent on a club with a sexual focus rather than on abstinence education.
  • CG, Columbia
    I believe that relationships should be only between a man and a women, if you cannot pray in a public school then why would they allow a gay/straight alliance in? Im a republican and think that this would only cause more problems than people are going to be willing to deal with.
  • CW, CAYCE
    Yes, As a former student of Irmo I think it is an eye opener for the teachers from the old school who really think its a choice. It is not a choice ,you are born gay, know one would choose this life style it is so hard to be a n every day person being an person in the public I it is so hard. I wish Irmo would have had a club like this for me when I was in school. The pricipal needs to go a head and go and so do the teachers that have a problem exceptance they are not in the real world. Maybe this would help with the teens coming out instead of living a lie for the next few years of their lives, and being excepted for who they are and not who there parents and teachers want them to be.
  • SE, Columbia
    Yes, the mission of a Gay/Straight Alliance club is to promote and foster tolerant relationships between 'gays' and 'straights.' Unlike other clubs at IHS such as the "Black Student Union," the club would not be exclusive to a single group. By not allowing the formation of the club, Walker would reinforce an intolerant social policy.
  • VG, Irmo
    Sex or "sexual peferance" or anything of such an adult nature does not belong in school. We send kids such mixed signals... not that sex education has worked but even there we tell them the best thing to do is wait; and now we want to have a club were the primary underlining theme is sexual in nature.
  • A , Pelion
    I have know Mr. Walker and he was my principle in elementary school, I agree that he should do what he believes is right in his eyes. I also agree that the club should be allowed it is called GAY/Straight Alliance no just GAY! It will help teens who aren't accepted for most anything that they aren't accepted for. I thought that the schools are there to help and teach children not to judge. We were always stressed the GOLDEN RULE in school why has that changed these days???
  • LM, Auburndale
    yes they should be allowed for many reasons, 1st and least important is the law allows it and suports it. 2nd it is an ALLIENCE and includes every one, it is about respect for one another. while it maybe about sexual orientation it is not about sexual activeity and even less about promiscuity. orientation is unrelated to activity.Lastly if you think that heterosexual kids are not sexualy active weather they are in a club or athletics or not you are in denial. I think the principal should step down now.
  • CM, Irmo, SC
    I can hardly believe that this topic can even be considered! Why would a HS ever consider a club/group/alliance specifically recognizing sexual orientation?? What does this have to do with HS education? The principal is a hero for standing up for his values!!
  • AM, Lexington
    Yes, I support the formation of this club and, yes, I definately support the principal's resignation. Unfortunately, this bigot will be allowed to remain throughout the 2008-09 school year. If he is offended and 'personally' and 'professionally' opposed, perhaps he needs to remove himself from the education/school administration profession. As the poll on wistv.com shows, bigotry and ignorance are still much alive in SC. That just shows the intelligence of the residents of this state. These are the same people that drive large pick 'em up trucks and SUVs - getting less than 15 mpg - and still complaining about high gas prices. They claim to support the military yet drive gas guzzling vehicles, buying more and more gas - and funding the same terrorists our country is fighting. Ignorance and stupidity is widespread in this state.
  • JC, columbia
    I hate answer a question with a question but...Why is it that this day in time in America 5% beats 95%? My point is if you were to hold a vote on this matter it would be a landslide victory for Mr. Walker. If you were to have vote on putting prayer back in school it would be a landslide victory for prayer. Yet neither will ever win. It all starts in Washington DC where all the idiots congregate and run our country. The founders of our country have rolled over in their grave once again.
  • PG, Columbia
    America is a country that respects the basic rights of individuals, but it is not a country of unlimited rights. We have stop signs rather than allowing one the "right" to drive however he chooses. We have laws against libel and slander rather than allowing one to say anything he wants to. Not wanting Irmo High School to have a Gay/Straight Alliance club is justified because it is an issue of right and wrong, which trumps anyone's claim to certain "rights." Humans are moral creatures, not amoral robots. There are lifestyles such as homosexuality that have been recognized as being morally wrong for centuries by the majority of people who recognize the validity of natural law and conscience. Irmo High School's principal has made a statement about what's right, rather than following the easier route of allowing the expression of someone's sincere but wrong "rights," and I commend him for it.
  • CL, Lexington
    In my "personal" opinion, you are not born "gay"! It's a matter of choice. It's not natural and it's just gross! God created "man" out of his likeness and gave him a woman! God did not give Adam another man? I have a middle school aged child and would be very upset if gay values/clubs were part of what he had to see everyday at school! I would not accept it at all and would put him in a Christian based school that values the sanctity of a man and a woman!
  • BE, Charleston
    This is a real tragedy for all the gay and lesbian students in this school. Instead of being concerned about the implication of sexuality, perhaps he should be more concerned with the high suicide rates of homosexual teens. This and other high schools should be interested in supporting and accepting teens as they are, instead of ostracizing those that do not fit an idealized mold.
  • VW, Bishopville
    I think that the principal is doing the right thing; would you really want to touch your child that it's alright to be gay. If a child wants to learn more about that then he or she should learn that from their parent/or parents. I feel it's not the fact of the religion issue, but at the same time it's about teaching the kids what's right and what's wrong. And, we as parents should want the best for our kids. We should not just accept anything for our kids, because kids are our future and they should be treat as children. As parent's we should called the shots and not the kids themselves. If you want to teach them something teach them that God made a Woman as helpmate for the Man and not a Man for a Man, nor a Woman for a Woman. I don't hate gays but at the same time is that a good example to set for our kids.
  • MS, Irmo
    It is a sad commentary when 1 or 2 kids can destroy a school. 99% of the students do not want a Gay Club. This is just an attempt to put their agenda in the faces that are at school to learn. they won, we lost...Irmo will not recover, between Coble slamming us with the gov. subs. apts. and now this....I guess we need a good privte school in Irmo.....
  • SF, Columbia
    We are really allowing the devil to take over our system. We can stand and pray but we can allow the children to form gay club and worry about children having children. Thanks to the principle. it's time somebody stand for sometthing.
  • NG, Columbia
    , Homosexuality is a behavior, not a civil right. Skin color is a benign, nonbehavioral characteristic. Sexual orientation is perhaps the most profound of human behavioral characteristics. Comparison of the two is a convenient but invalid argument." Skin color is morally neutral and tells nothing about the character of the person. Sexual behavior, on the other hand, has everything to do with character and morality. Our schools should be emphasizing bahaviors that are productive and not harmful, developing character and promoting marraige between a man and a woman. Over the past twenty years homosexuals have waged a relentless campaign to focus the debate on "rights" instead of "behavior." In the age of civil rights they understood that their chances of misleading the nation and winning public acceptance would be much better if they appeared to be an oppressed minority than if they revealed what they actually do behind closed doors. A high school principle should do what is best for his community and to protect his students from damaging behaviors not bowing those who are trying to get their behavior normalized.
  • JA, Columbia
    Good riddance. Intolerance and discrimination are not something we need to be teaching our children. We live in a complex world that requires complex thought and ideals. Such a man is incapable of fostering a realistic world view and would only be a hindrance to bright minds.
  • TT, Chapin
    I guess I do not understand how a gay and lesbian club would benefit a high school in any way. If they can develop a gay and lesbian club at the high school than they might as well go ahead and develop a sexually active heterosexual club as well. If I have to have someone's sexual orientation shoved in my face all the time I guess we might as well do the same back, but by golly how does that benefit a high school. What does a gay and lesbian club talk about? Is it really a benefit to the school? Is it a benefit to learning? Is it something that society really needs? Why????
  • TA, Irmo
    Out of concern for the students' health, I support Mr. Walker's position on the gay/straight alliance. "Gay" is a misnomer as the homosexual lifestyle leads to health problems and shortened life expectancies. Research has shown that half of all 20-year-old homosexual males will not see their 65th birthday. Their life expectancy is the same as if they lived in 1871. Smoking bans in schools and other public buildings are based on health concerns. We should be consistent in promoting healthy lifestyles to our children.
  • HR, West Columbia
    I think it's a shame that a role model like the principal of one of the area's top schools has resigned over a student club that promotes, of all things, tolerance. "Gay-Straight Alliance" does not mean you join because you are homosexual or would like to be.. it means finding common ground no matter how you identify yourself sexually. And like it or not, high schoolers do identify themselves sexually. We can't stop that either! That's why I was really surprised to see that the district only teaches sex education in the form of abstinence. How can we teach our children to make good choices when we don't even teach them what those choices (and their alternatives) are?
  • ac, lexington
    I totally agree with Principal Eddie Walker at Irmo High. Allowing such clubs into a public school insinuates that we approve of teen sex among high school students. Mr. Walker is one of the finest principals in this nation. I am proud that he also has convictions to lead in a society where convictions do not mean much. I am a teacher; I have known Mr. Walker for 18 years. He is 100% for the growth potential of young people, and I applaud his stand! Too bad that we are so afraid of a few that everyone has to be influenced by the decisions made by a school board. If only school boards witnessed the distractions already in our schools every single day!
  • PB, irmo
    Childish. Immature. Irresponsible. Moronic. He certainly has a right to believe in his faith and even to resign. The legality of the group isn't a question. Anyone who argues that this group promotes sexual intercourse is ill-informed. The resignation isn't as problematic as his method of delivering this information. As a former student, I respect him as an administrator. I cannot respect his decision to publicize himself and his beliefs, however backwards they may be. The students who need this club are now to be subjected to even more scrutiny and guilt for his conflict of religion? He handled this decision poorly. Shame on Eddie Walker. I recommend he edit his letter of resignation to 2008, not 2009. I would not feel comfortable as a gay student with Eddie Walker still in charge. Smart people make moronic mistakes.
  • jp, nyc
    Let's stop this with a national amendment banning homosexual and their sick encroachment into American society. Homosexual are sick mentally and should not be married, adopt children or have clubs in public schools. I am sick of the homosexucal agenda being push across public and cable tv like it's normal behavior. Where are the decent civil law and natural law abiding citizens hiding under rocks. America is eroding daily. My God what is wrong with the men and women in this country. Why are they not speaking out like the excellent high school principle? Are they afraid of being call homophobic. You can call me whatever you want. I do not want any homosexual anything. I want the homosexual to go away quickly and leave the good citizens alone. Aids and other diseases should occupy their sick minds but their preoccupied with making everyone believe homosexuality is healthy. It's not and I will tell my children and grandchildren that is sick and a sin. Stand up before it too late the homosexuals are evading every institution and their creating a group of immoral citizens for within the borders of the USA. Their are homegrown terrorist. We're being crushed from within. The muslims terrorist just have to wait a few generations and attack the homosexuals are only interest in corrupted decent humans into their way of life and same sex .Shameless sex up homosexuals I do want them in the military, in schools or hosiptals most are infected with AIDS.
  • DC, West Columbia
    Eddie Walker should be commended for teaching integrity. Teaching reproducation and about STD contraction should continue to be taught in public school. As soon as teen suicide rates go down and graduation rates are in the 90's, should the School Board search for additional objectives to spend their time making decisions on.
  • ps,
    The purpose of a Gay/Straight alliance is to promote TOLERANCE in schools and to provide SUPPORT and a "safe-zone" for bullied kids to talk and meet other kids dealing with similar issues. Gay/Straight alliances ARE NOT about sex or sexual activity.
  • T , Irmo
    This club shouldnt be in existance at all after they protested a Fraternity blood drive at Francis Marion University and caused a low count in units of blood because they were standing in front of the blood mobile this organization is nothing but trouble, were straight and were quiet about it, you can be gay and be quiet about it too. good move Mr Walker
  • , Irmo
    This club shouldnt be in existance at all the protested a Fraternity blood drive at Francis Marion University and caused a low number of units of blood because they were standing in front of the blood mobile this organization is nothing but trouble, were straight and were quirt about it you can be gay and be quiet about it too. good move Mr Walker
  • PV, Lexington
    It's an "alliance", a way to build understanding. It's not a threat to anyone's sexual orientation. Since there are over 600 Levitical Laws, I'm guessing that the Principal has chosen only 1 to oppose or he would have outlawed female students wearing slacks, anyone wearing mixed fabrics, would have stoned students who sassed teachers and so on. Not one heterosexual person will "become" gay through this association but some gay students might escape physical, mental and emotional harm because this group exists.
  • RW, Irmo
    Gay and lesbian relationships are not only biblically immoral, they are also unnatural relationships in accord with the design of nature for procreation of the species.
  • , Columbia
    If this leads to learning against what The Bible was written we should not do then we will suffer for what bad thing we done. Leviticus 20:12
  • EL, Chapin
    First, my understanding is that such clubs are legal. Second, I would argue that given the negative attitudes within our society, gay and lesbian persons (who, I would argue, are part of God's creation) need communities in which they can be accepted and find support. Third, I would argue that while promiscuity is an important social problem there is no necessary connection between such clubs and promiscuity.
  • BM, Columbia
    I, wholeheartedly, agree with Irmo High School's principal for standing by his convictions, and also for honoring his contractual agreement with District Five. A major concern that I would have with such a "club" in any school system would be: "Who will lead this 'club'?" Will that person be qualified to deal with the questions that the members will present? Will that person be a teacher on faculty or a qualified counselor brought in specifically to lead the obvious discussions that this 'club' will present? Will the potential members need parental permission to join such 'club?' I feel that our children are faced with enough issues and do not need 'clubs' which promote behavior that is contrary to the school's system of educating them on sexual matters; and also contrary to the way such issues are dealt with within the students' homes. The decision to implement this 'club' in the schools is just one more horrible mistake that our children are subjected to. It is NOT the school's responsibility to provide a forum for sexual preference. I strongly believe this 'club' will encourage stronger bias among students. It is a shame that District Five will lose a fine principal that has dedicated his career to educating our children. District Five should stand up for its staff and not allow the threat of a lawsuit guide how our children are instructed. Anyone can sue anyone....who's to say District Five won't be sued BECAUSE the 'club' is implemented? Shame on District Five for accepting Principal Walker's resignation!
  • SB, Columbia
    NO! I don't agree with the alliance. If more people would uphold the value of the scriptures/bible's content rather than being concern with making people feel good the world would be a better place. There are so many other ways to rectify the issues...here is a suggestion tell them they can start by putting prayer back into the schools. We are so busy catering to those who don't believe in Elohim(God)we offend those that believe!
  • AO, North Bend WA
    I am a student leader at my highschool's GSA and I am quite insulted by the principal's actions. Gay-Straight Alliance is not a sex club. In fact the topic of sex never even comes up. It is a club about the civil rights, and Principal Walker is sending a clear message to the LGBT students that they are not wanted.
  • SN, Columbia
    As a student of Irmo, I didn't like the fact Mr. Walker made his decision based off of his beliefs. Mr. Walker is a good man and a good principal to us, I wouldn't think less of him he agreed. He wasn't asked to join, they just wanted his approval. All day I've heard, "What can you learn from gay people?" My response was, "you learn how to accept people for who they are." His belief stresses forgiveness & acceptance, so why is it hard for him. I am for the Gay Straight Alliance.
  • kl, pelion
    Outrageous!! Eddie Walker was a respectable and appreciated principal at Pelion Elem. School. If the current school system refuses to allow moral and religious beliefs to help mold our children, then why not allow satanic worship ceremonies on school grounds, disallow censorship of graphic language...where does this end? We are no longer living in a society where we can trust our fellow leaders to uphold christian beliefs. Gay/Lesbian alliances have NO place in our school system. Parents who support this...let your children partake of this in YOUR home...THANK YOU EDDIE WALKER...COME ON BACK TO WHERE YOU ARE APPRECIATED.
  • AT, conway
    they teach us not to racist, or politically correct, these are our children of the future do you want them growing up hating every one because of there sexual orientation. if you teach them that they have feelings just like any one else and they have the right to who they are straight lgbt...
  • CS, columbia
    Irmo High School (students, teachers - present and future) will be the losers if we lose Eddie Walker. To gain a gay/straight alliance club?!?! School is not the place for sexual based clubs. That is his point, not that he is against gays. If a club is needed, they can meet off campus . . . and for that matter all non-curuiculum based clubs can, too. According to the district website, that is what opens us up to allowing any club that is not illeagal. We should focus on academics in school. There is plenty of fun to be had by joining a curriculum based club and many to choose from.
  • RC, Irmo
    "No" for several reasons. First, desite assertions by some that allowing such a club is analogous to permitting religious clubs, this is distinct because it is focused on sexual preference. Can you name another club that is so based? So we should encourage clubs that promote heterosexuality? What about heterosexuality amongst black females or white males only? District Five opted for abstinence-based curriculum. So this club is going to promote "unity" or "understanding" about sexual preference and promote abstinence at the same time? I highly doubt that. Second, let us not forget that clubs are for children. The clubs--like schools--should be a supplement to parental instruction. If it's such an important issue to parents, then parents should encourage the students to get involved in other grassroots efforts. People who argue students/minors have the same "rights" as adults read too much into constitutional law. Third, "tolerance" of this kind is a dominant term in postmodernistic thinking that promotes an "anything goes" mentality because there is no absolute truth. I'm not "intolerant" because I'm not discriminating based on age, race, gender, creed, national origin, familial status--or even sexual preference. But I'm not naive enough to believe there's no absolute truth. To preach "tolerance" in this situation as a requirement begs the argument that absolute truth must exist because "tolerance" is a requirement. It is very possible to disagree and be tolerant. To mock Christians (or others who take an ethical position based upon professional and/or religious beliefs) or call them bigots is an unfortunate expression of bigotry itself. Come on--we're more educated than that! Whether we agree or disagree on the gay/straight alliance club, District Five made the decision and I'll unfortunately have to live with it. I'll do my part to make sure my children learn from me the "Golden Rule" without the necessity of joining a club. But one thing is for sure: we don't have to throw stones at someone who is making an educated decision and has a track record of doing the same.
  • LL, Seattle
    I believe all should. Why shouldn't they? Our country is built on the first words of the Declaration of Independence. "All men are created equally." If you don't want gay marriage, don't have one. Why should you care what other people do in their bedrooms.
  • SF, Columbia
    As a masters-level health educator who has worked with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) youth, I applaud the Irmo students' efforts to form a Gay Straight Alliance. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (not "preference") is often believed to be an "acceptable" type of discrimination. I believe that sexual orientation is like eye color or height, something that just IS. Some people choose to disguise or hide their sexual orientation due to their fear of harassment, violence, and rejection from family, the church, and society. Gay Straight Alliances help to increase awareness of the problems faced by GLBTQ youth and decrease the negative environment found in many schools. Young people have enough struggles as it is - and they don't need additional oppression and rejection based on their real or perceived sexual orientation. For more information, please go to http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/glbtq.htm . I applaud the principal's resignation - the damage that he could do to these youth by his action or inaction could outweigh his other positive qualities and accomplishments. I am a Christian and I believe a loving and caring God created us all - including those who are gay, lesbian, or transgender.
  • KD, Irmo
    "A Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a student-run club, typically in a high school, which provides a safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation, and work to end homophobia and transphobia. Many GSAs function as a support group and provide safety and confidentiality to students who are struggling with their identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning."....This in no form promotes sexual activities, or "disruptive children". The club merely gives students of ANY sexual orientation a place to be themselves FREE OF PREJUDICE...The beliefs of the club are no different than the "Young Repulicans/Democrats" clubs that meet on school grounds as a school club...and lets make it clear it is a Gay/STRAIGHT Alliance, it does NOT promote being Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgenger... Let the kids be...I respect Mr. Walkers stance to resign and hate to see such a good principal leave over this.
  • RS, Lugoff
    I don't think that students need ANYTHING ELSE to distract them from learning. This is just one more thing to take their time away from studying. It's not enough that they have Nintendo hand held games at school, cell phones, etc Let's just back to the basics....period
  • CT, Lexington
    It is easy to see the disconnect between generations and their respective moral values. I remember Mark Twain writing that "It's not what we know for sure that gets us into trouble, it's what we know for sure that just aint so." When we allow religious beliefs that may not be shared equally among the population to guide our judgment we may be making a bad decision for everyone. The best way to treat society is as equal citizens and not try to force people to take sides against each other based on superstition or other non fact based reasoning. We will all be better off once we stop finding ways to hate each other.
  • BR, Columbia
    No, schools should not allow this type of club/alliance. Our kids should be there to learn what they need to learn to graduate and succeed in the world,not to learn this type of behavior and views that a gay club would probably propose on them. And it would appear the school is endorsing what they allow.
  • SN, Columbia
    As a student of Irmo, I didn't like the fact Mr. Walker made his decision based off of his beliefs. Mr. Walker is a good man and a good principal to us, I wouldn't think less of him he agreed. He wasn't asked to join, they just wanted his approval. All day I've heard, "What can you learn from gay people?" My response was, "you learn how to accept people for who they are." His belief stresses forgiveness & acceptance, so why is it hard for him. I am for the Gay Straight Alliance.
  • TM, Manning
    I have read most of your responses and would have to say that I have never seen so many closed minded people in on place. This club first off has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with accepting people and letting them love who they love. Who are we to choose who someone can and cant love. I dont want to see public affection with gay or straight people but loving one another should never be frowned apon. Who are you to judge someone else. Im sure most of you contrary to your personal oppinions are not all that peachy behind those closed doors. I think they should have these clubs in schools without question and if you think someone is going to be a target for a crime because of it then its not us gay people who have done a poor job of raising our children. As for those of you who say yes... cudos to you for thinking outside the box.
  • TN, Hopkins
    I think gay/straight alliances in schools is wrong. I think is revelious. If prayer is not permited in schools, why this type of club should be? It is agains moral concepts, I think it is opposite to educational concepts.
  • SH, Columbia
    There is absolutely no place in our schools for sexual orientation clubs or for that, matter any clubs that are not academically related. If our district superintendent is afraid of lawsuits then all clubs that are not academically , related should be banned. There would be no discrimination if the situation were handled this way. We should never cave to threats of lawsuits that force a man of Eddie Walker's caliber to resign his position.
  • KD, Irmo
    I, along with a few friends, tried this exact thing while I was at Irmo High School 3 years ago when Mr. Walker first arrived at Irmo. I compiled a list of over 500 schools (if my memory serves me correctly) in the United states with GSA's, roughly 7 of which where in South Carolina. An assistant administrator at the time in charge of formation of clubs approved it once we had a sponsor all that was left was approval from Mr. Walker. He as he I assume tried this time said no. Shortly after the death of Danielle Lawler, whom was also involved in helping me get the club together, distracted the entire student body and we never thought about it again until I heard this story this morning. I am proud of the Irmo students for not giving up on something they believed in when faced with an injustice. Mr. Walker has every right to leave; however,I hate to see a great principal leave over such a topic.
  • SB, Columbia
    NO! I don't agree with the alliance. If more people would uphold the value of the scriptures/bible's content rather than being concern with making people feel good the world would be a better place. There are so many other ways to rectify the issues...here is a suggestion tell them they can start by putting prayer back into the schools. We are so busy catering to those who don't believe in Elohim(God)we offend those that believe!
  • TM, Manning
    I have read most of your responses and would have to say that I have never seen so many closed minded people in on place. This club first off has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with accepting people and letting them love who they love. Who are we to choose who someone can and cant love. I dont want to see public affection with gay or straight people but loving one another should never be frowned apon. Who are you to judge someone else. Im sure most of you contrary to your personal oppinions are not all that peachy behind those closed doors. I think they should have these clubs in schools without question and if you think someone is going to be a target for a crime because of it then its not us gay people who have done a poor job of raising our children. As for those of you who say yes... cudos to you for thinking outside the box.
  • KL, Columbia
    Absolutely! We need to support appreciation of differences, strive to end bigo, try, and ensure that every student feels safe so that they can be academically successful. Gay students and their allies can feel marginalized, invisible, unsafe and unsure about who they can seek for support. Organizations such as gay-straight alliances not only provide a safe space for students to get support and feel welcomed, but also provide opportunities to educate others about misconceptions and myths about gay students.
  • aw, orangeburg
    I think that guys should date and marry girls and blacks shoul date blacks and whites should date whites. If we were created to date the same sex we would be like seahorses and the men would have the babies instead of the women. the Straight Alliances i am all for that one all the gays should move to another country. atleast right now in south carolina they will not beable to get married here.
  • CM, Columbia
    This is yet another example of someone trying to force their belief system on others. What kind of example does it set for our future leaders when the current ones take their toys and go home when they don't get their way? Wouldn't it have been a better example to try to work with people whose views don't necessarily agree with your own? Isn't teaching tolerence better than teaching bigotry?
  • AK, Sumter
    I think the principal made the right decision in resigning. Since the formation of the Gay/Straight Alliance Club isn't going to change the make up of students at all. It indicates to me that he doesn't think all students should be treated the same. The school and especially the s, tudents are better off without him.
  • EB, Irmo
    My religion teaches tolerance, understanding and non-discrimination- what religion is he following? I strongly believe that the principal needs to resign as soon as this school year is over. Every student needs to know his/her principal supports them and respects them. The school district needs to end his contract to demonstrate that discrimination, for any reason, will not be tolerated. If we allow the principal to remain, it sends a message to every student in that school that discrimination is acceptable. I'd also suggest that the principal look at the website for this club. The objectives, as stated on their website, http://www.gaystraightalliance.org/, talk about human rights.
  • ED, West Columbia
    These are children that should not even be exposed to this type of controversy. When they graduate high school and start making choices on their own, I believe that they can choose to experiment with these types of issues. If they feel called to make a choice to become homosexual before they graduate from high school, their immediate family should be the entity to handle any questions and decisions they need to make. All students should be taught to abstain from any kind of sexual relations, gay or straight until they are old enough to handle the emotional repercussions of those types of relations. I, personally am teaching my children to abstain from sex until they are married because of my Lutheran religous beliefs. Everyone is different and each family must make their own decisions. But, I must say that it is legal to take prayer out of schools, but is okay to hold gay clubs in a public school?!!! I think not. Right now the voting is against this move. I hope it stays that way and I admire the principal for taking the action he had to, to stand up for his beliefs. I applaud his example.
  • JL, chapin
    Thank God my children have already graduated from Irmo. If they were still in school, next year they would be in private school. This is another reason for school choice, the voucher system, home schooling and private school. It was bad enough when Irmo was promoting Teen pregnancy (check out the 2001 Annual centerfold). Now they are promoting 'alternative lifestyles'. What next, Misunderstood nymphomaniacs club?
  • DH, Santee
    I admire the principal for standing up for what he thinks is morally right for the children whose lives he influences.Would like to see him as governor or president
  • JC, Columbia
    This is a sad day in Irmo High School history. Mr. Walker is beyond reproach, he is at every athletic event welcoming people to his school and thanking them for attending the function. We feel that the school district has made a terrible mistake in allowing this. A good example is the dress code and not allowing inappropriate clothing. Obliviously certain things do not belong in public schools! If you look at all other high schools in Columbia and through the state, I am sure you will find a club like this does not exist. As parents having the same convictions as Mr. Walker, how can we allow our children to attend Irmo High School? Mr. Walker should be head of the school district since he is resigning, and maybe his view and values, which are beyond reproach, would be instituted through out the entire district.
  • CJ, Columbia
    We select principals to lead our high schools because they are people of high character and ability. If this principal determined that the club was inappropriate because it violated his moral beliefs as well as those of a majority of his students, then the club should not be allowed. As someone who shares the principal's christian beliefs,I applaud his stand.
  • PM, Prosperity
    I applaud the principal for standing up for moral values; although I don't feel he should have to resign in order to stress his convictions. A club such as this shouldn't be allowed in the first place. We should NOT be teaching, condoning or encouraging homesexual or ANY sexual behavoriors in the schools. What ever happened to obstanance?? That's what the children need to be taught. Self control. Perhaps a lesson on procreation is in order as well. Do these people not realize we would not exist if homesexuality was the norm? Homosexulatity a "chosen" lifestyle--not the norm. Those that chose this lifestyle should keep it to themselves and not expect to be accepted by everyone. What will be next?
  • SS, Columbia
    I attend IHS and I don't think there should be such a club. It is not because I have a fear or dislike of gays or lesbians but I do not think that school is a place to discuss sexual orientation. IHS promotes abbstinance for students and if they added the club it would be a contradiction in the eyes of some. And knowing some students, they might try to target some of the club members creating a safety issue. The club might just do more harm than good.
  • JW, Pontiac
    I beleave that alowing this club is giving our young people the wrong idea. If they let this club in its like telling our youth that its ok to live that lifestyle, when the Bible tells us that is not so.
  • r , west columbia sc
    I dont believe any group or organization should be able to use any state or county funded school as a jumping off place for personal rights in matters like this. this is a decision made by individuals evreryday to be gay or straight and it should be left outside of the education system in sc, our public school system is already bad and to let personal veiws and beliefs of a handful of individual drive a teacher or a principle out of office is a shame its hard enough to find people that really actually care enough about public education to have to put up with meager wages and gang violence and other problems than to have to deal with the sexuality issues of misguided students. i hear these problems and see them everyday my wife has been a teacher for 16 years and my mother has also been at the same school for over 35 years and they both have seen good people come and go over stupid issues just like this one. they need to set up their little group at the malls where most of them hang out any way. thanks
  • BS, west columbia
    Having worked with gay young men and women, I know this is not a choice for them. They already have enough pressure from bullies, families, etc. The alliances should be allowed and supported.
  • ra, columbia
    Thank God this bigot is leaving the school system.Hopefully all the other bigots will follow suit.I'm glad to see the progressive change in the system,it's time all the narrow,little minded people get out of the way of progress.
  • DB, North
    I was a former student when Mr. Eddie Walker was principle at Pelion Elementary School and we also attended the same Church. Mr. Walker was an excellent educator and I have never seen a school administrator care more for his students or community. He was committed to providing excellent educational instruction to his students and is steadfast in his beliefs. I applaud him for his action and I believe that it is a personal right to speak out on this issue. It is a disgrace when we do not allow the word of God in our schools and yet promote the rights of alternative lifestyles. We do want to acknowledge diversity in our schools to prepare students for future environments but we should not shun out the right to talk about Christian beliefs and compare Godâ€TMs word to bigotry.
  • jw, columbia
    It seems like Principal Eddie Walker still has much to learn about his students. These students should be applauded for their courage to initiate such an organization in a public school in South Carolina; they are setting a great example for other students by standing up against discrimination.
  • MD, Columbia, SC
    In America, freedom is our greatest asset, but that gift can create problems if taken too far. A person should have the right to decide their sexual orientation granted to all of us under America's Bill of Rights. But, high school clubs that reflect sexual orientation whether it be hetrosexual, bi-sexual, homosexual, etc. should not be promoted. We should not premier sex of any kind in our schools! Where will it end? Will the tranvestites be next?
  • RK, Eastover
    Schools are a place for scholastic achievement, not a place for students or faculty members to extend their agendas of gay or straight issues. Lets get back to educational principles and not allow it to be place of socialization for people to express their beliefs or lifestyles.
  • JR, Columbia
    Our children are not yet old enough to vote for the leader of our country. yes ,we need to be tolerant of all peoples view points of these United States. However our children continue to need the example that we as adults and their parents set for them. Without us they will have no responsible direction to follow.
  • MW, Columbia
    The districts response to this situation and there reason for allowing it is crazy. With a position such as this, White Supremeist Clubs must be allowed on campuses. The line must be drawn somewhere and a sexually oriented club is one of those lines that need to drawn and stood by. The Principal should be supported and allowed to stay and the club prevented from being on a High School Campus. Let them form their club when they get to college.
  • LB, Columbia
    It is a shame that our country has come to this! These students are still underage/dependent kids and have NO rights yet--they are still in their formative years. Do we now allow the gangs to meet on school grounds? Where is the limit? It is a shame when a respected educator has to resign-nobody wins in this case and we are left without valued person to teach our kids. District 5 should be ashamed!
  • CS, Irmo
    As an Irmo High School student, I'm glad Mr. Walker stood up for this. I don't think we should be going to a school with a gay club. It goes against my religion as well. God made man and woman for a purpose. Don't mess with God.
  • RH, Columbia
    We dont need this stuff in school. Sexual preferences should be private and off topic at school! I can tell you that as a taxpayer and voter in School District Five, that I will work to defeat any school board member who allows this to go forward. If it take banning all these extra activities, then so be it. This lunacy has got to stop! We have enough problems without this new stain on our schools.
  • LD, Pelion
    I know Eddie Walker from his time here in Pelion as Principal. I back him in his decision to resign. It has nothing to with him being a bigot. I you read your bible homosexually is wrong and if more people would read their bible, they would understand his decision. The world wouldn't be in the shape that is in now if people would stand up for what they believe in. Eddie I think you are doing the right thing. You can come back to Pelion anytime you want.
  • KG, Greenville
    I think most of the people against the club don't know the facts about the club or about homosexuality in general. Its not a choice (proven by science) it is genetic( again proven by science). People need to grow up and learn tolerance, weither it is the color of skin, nationality, or sexuality not everyone is the same. If kids in school are gay they need some where to go to help them understand why people pick on them, why they get hit or beat on, and why other people are mean to them. It doesn't stop when you leave school so why not let them have a club that can teach them how to deal with the hate and learn to grow from it. I wish other would grow here in SC.
  • mr, lexington
    NO, Children in school are not old enough to make those kind of choices. I applaud the principal for stepping down and standing by his beliefs. That district needs to rethink their decision. This is a great example of why good families are turning to homeschooling their children.
  • vs, lexington
    As a christian I stand with Eddie Walker. If someone doesn't start standing for what this nation was founded on we will loose all our freedoms. The Bible tells us plainly that homosexuality is an abomination to God. Read what God did to Sodom and Gomorroh and He will judge us accordingly. We need more principals like Eddie Walker.
  • PD,
    Homosexuality is a sin. By allowing a gay club in the schools we are accepting that it is okay. It is not okay and we should do everything in our power to deter people from choosing to practice homosexuality not encourage it!
  • MN, Columbia SC
    No. They are children % young adults. Why influence them in that direction. Its bad enough that aldults fine this action ok. Quite frankly it's SIN. Mr. Walker is right to walk away.
  • PB, Lexington
    Absolutely not! The homosexual movement is attempting to indoctrinate impressionable teenagers into their deviant lifestyle. When the public school system is pushing to eliminate family values from the curriculum, the last thing we need is to begin promoting indecency.
  • st, lexington
    I ammend the principal for standing up for his belief's. He is not displaying bigotry, he is simply standing up for what he believes in. He feels that he can not work for a place that is supportive in this matter and that it is in his best interset and the schools that he steps down. I agree with him in that we have now become a society of acceptance and not a society of our religious beliefs and what our nation was built on. We are to love our neighbors no matter what but we do not have to accept or s, upport their life style. We all need to get back to our core of values and beliefs.
  • CC, Columbia
    I am a student at Irmo High. I believe that Mr. Walks step down to the new club is being not loyal to his students. He told us that we are the "Irmo Nation". So as my understanding that we are a "Irmo Nation" should stand together no matter what we are or believe in. I think he is going back on his words as a principal of the "Irmo Nation".
  • ML, Bishopville
    How are we suppose to teach our children good morals; if we are allowing things like this to come into the schools to destroy the good that we are teaching our kids. Prayer was taking out of the schools and that was part of teaching our kids something positive. So, what are we really trying to teach our kids? It's alright to be gay, but it's not okay to pray. Please think about what we are really teaching our kids.
  • DH, West Columbia SC
    Granted that homosexuals themselves shouldn't be hated or abused; however the lifestyle ought never be supported or legally protected. The principal does not need to resign---it's the district committee that allowed the pro-homosexual club are the ones that need to resign.
  • LE, Pelion
    I support the principal in his decision. I would have done the same. What has happen to our education leaders in this state allowing this to creep into schools that our children attend?
  • DM, Pomaria
    I agree with the person who said we all have rights and therefore I respect the principal for sticking to his beliefs and acting on his right of leaving his job position. I feel this is just an encouragement to children who have mixed feelings to pursue something they otherwise would not pursue at this age. What's next?
  • RC, West Columbia,SC
    Now don`t get me wrong, because i have a brother-in-law who is gay and worked with a person who was also gay and neither one of them flaunted it. That said i do have a problem with gay`s working around young children or teens. If this happens all heck is going to break loose from parents, etc. It just will not work.
  • rs, irmo
    being gay is mostly all about sexual preference and acting on that preferenc so the school should also allow oral sex clubs maybe just straight sex clubs fair is fair
  • CP,
    Yes, schools should allow a gay-straight alliance club. This would be beneficial in all schools. These students have a constitutional right to express theirself. It would also help to promote tolorence of other people who are different.
  • M , Columbia
    Kids are too impressionable during the jr/high school years. This promotes a behavior that might not be in the child's best interest. I support/admire Mr. Walker in standing up for what he believes.
  • CW, Lexington
    I can't think of any reason to allow this type of club because I don't think it will benefit the members as far as their education is concerned. Being in that type of a club won't help them get a job when they graduate.
  • JS, Sumter
    I think it's very important to teach our children tolerance. It's not a good idea to teach bigotry in any way shape or form. If this club will help our children (and maybe even a few adults) to understand this orientation better, they are less likely to fear or hate people who live this lifestyle.
  • GS, Cayce
    If the schools were to open up to clubs or organizations such as the Gay/Straight Alliance, would they open themselves up to open recruitment of both Cub and Boy Scouts? Would they sponsor or charter a pack or troop and give these groups a place to meet? Both of these scouting organizations teach wholesome, leadership values for ALL interested kids. If you support one group then you should and need to support other groups.
  • JM, columbia
    I agree totally with the principal. They should teach and support no sex. I could not imagine if this group gets started how much trouble it would cause.
  • ah, columbia,sc
    there is no place in any public school for this type of club and to see a princable leaf because of this is a discrase.our public schools are falling apart because of the threat of law suits.there is no control over disruptive children in the classroom and the majarity of the students are suffering.the teachers are not backed up by there supperiors and the parents are not held resposable for there childrens actions.the students that disruptive are controling the schools not the teachers.
  • KC, Columbia
    Some people don't seem to understand the world of difference between knowing your sexual orientation and being sexually active. I knew I was straight many years before I became sexually active, and it is the same way with homosexuals. If you're going to rail against something, at least be accurate about it.
  • SB, Irmo
    What exactly is Gay/Straight Alliances? Sexual orientation? Our schools are told to teach abstinence in their sex education classes. Allowing this club totally goes against that teaching. I admire the Principal of Irmo High School for sticking to his commitment to his contract but letting it be known allowing this club in a school that he's in charge of is against his beliefs. This club does not belong in a school setting.
  • am, columbia
    there is nothing wrong with gay/straight alliances. they do not lead to children having sex. they allow lgbt children to not feel alone and isolated. and more to the point, as long as the equal access amendment is in place, they are perfectly legal.
  • cs, columbia
    It should not matter if a child is gay or straight the school should be supportive of either decision. They should be there for the kids. There is already enough hate crime in society today they need to tackle the problem while students are reaching out. What if it was one of their own kids, then how would they feel. Right is right. Let the kids be who they are. They should not have to hide their idenity from anyone.
  • JS, Columbia
    Kudos to Irmo Principal Walker for sticking to his beliefs. Too many non-educational activities in the public schools tend to take the attention away from the purpose--educating and preparing our children for their futures in furthering their education or in the work, place. Forming clubs that center around the sexual orientation of individuals becomes a distraction in the system that is not necessary. SC schools suffer enough as it is. I have no problem with people choosing whatever lifestyle they wish, but this kind of club really has no place in our schools if we plan to improve the quality of education in our state.
  • CD, Irmo
    I agree wtih Principal Walker in that the schools are teaching abstinence yet to allow a club based on sexual orientation is saying the school district condones the sexual behavior of teens. This is not a "civic" group that will promote anything morale and wholesome to the community or state. Will those students actually include on a resume that they were a part of a gay/straight club in high school? I doubt it.
  • ph, baltimore
    No i do not feel schools are the/a proper forum to educate or highlight -via clubs - children's sexual preferences. There are no clubs in schools that highlight 'straight' students based upon preferences. If students are gay thats thier choice but we should not accentuate it.
  • LC, Camden
    Would a school also then allow a swingers club? Why would it sponsor any club that would cover something that we hope that our children don't get involved in until they are mature enough to handle (sex)?
  • DP, Colfax, NC
    First, because it is required by law. Second, because such clubs can help support students who are perceived as different. All young people need opportunities to meet safely with others similar to themselves.
  • LG, Columbia.
    As a student in one of the schools in question, I can personally say that the majority of the student population is against this outrage. If these students want to have said club, they can meet without the backing of schools. But blackmailing principals and staff into submission is ruthless and utterly wrong. As for the equal human rights law, it's good in theory, but homosexuality is wrong, grotesque, and I won't stand for it. If they wish to pursue such twisted desires, they can go to a state where that's welcome.
  • DT, West Columbia
    Any organization that promotes self affirmation and mutual acceptance would seem to be worthwhile. Many such organizations already exist in the schools. A gay / straight alliances would seem to be such an organization. And if enough students have interest in forming or joining such a group the Administration shouldn't stand in their way.
  • CS, Lexington
    Yes they should be allowed to have this group. There is nothing illegal going on by having a support group for gay and straight students. This isn't a group to form in order to have sex or orgies. It is a group for gay students and straight students to meet and support one another.
  • PW, Hopkins
    Principal Eddie Walker, Please resign at the end of this school year. He has made hinself clear on how he feels, and to stay another year to fulfill his written contract, ...Please. The school should have a Gay-Straight Alliance club.
  • S , irmo
    I think schools should allow students to have Gay-Straight alliance clubs because the goal and mission of the club is to promote unity and peace, not to promote sex like principal eddie walker believes. This club is going to help students deal with the demands of the 21st century and learn to get along with people that are gay. I think this club is actually needed in schools because its only there to help not to hurt. I believe Mr. Walker and other teachers that are quitting because of the club should not quit. They should not mix their personal beliefs with their jobs.
  • RS, Pelion
    I have known Eddie Walker for years and I am glad that he is making a stand for his belief. I think that if more Christians would stand up for what they truely believe then our schools and communities wouldn't be in the shape they are now. Yes, I am a Christian and believe it is wrong.
  • RL, Columbia
    As a professional public-school educator with 26 years of full-time teaching experience, I have to tell you how appalled I am that the principal of Irmo High would resign over the formation of a student organization that conflicts with his religious values. If it is okay for students to form religiously oriented groups such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, then it must be equally acceptable for the small, often silent minority of gay students in any school to form an alliance with sympathetic straight students and cope with the problems and challenges of gender diversity and sexual orientation in the schools. It is unconstitutional for conservative religious believers to deny those with whom they disagree the opportunity to utilize their constitutional right to self-expression. Unfortunately, conservative religious believers are often all about denying others with whom they disagree the opportunity to express themselves and be whoever they are. The constitution of this country specifically forbids any religious test for office and, blessedly, God is nowhere mentioned in our founding document. The United States is a secular, democratic republic that must keep its arms wide open to all manner of diversity, whether that be gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Mormon, atheist--whatever. And the schools must teach tolerance and respect for diversity--something the principal at Irmo High manifestly fails to do! As a citizen and as an educator, I say "good riddance" to this bigoted principal and his terrible example of faith-based intolerance. Let's not forget that faith is not an excuse to oppress people with whom one might disagree. Look at Iraq!! Clearly, it's a lesson they have yet to learn. Their society is in open civil war over religious intolerance, bigotry, and ancient hatreds. America must stand as a beacon of tolerance for diversity and respect for difference. God bless the newly founded Gay-Straight Alliance of Irmo High School!!
  • ,
    Kids today are confused and a club to futher that confusion is not what's needed. Not to mention that children will become targets once they join the club.
  • CG, Woodbridge, VA
    I agree because the club is based on sexual orientation/preference and is in direct conflict with abstinence-based sexual education policies of the school district. To allow formation of this club and endorsement by the school shows a blatant double standard. This is not a religious issue at all. It is one of consistent adherence to rules and regulations as set forth in the school district policies.