Western Hills teacher involved in suspension flap will return to work

Posted Friday, Sep. 30, 2011  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- A Western Hills High School teacher who was accused of sending a student to the office for saying homosexuality is wrong was placed on administrative leave while the matter was investigated but is to return to school today.

Kristopher Franks, 32, who has taught in the Fort Worth school district since 2006, was put on leave Sept. 23.

Interim school Superintendent Walter Dansby notified school trustees late Thursday that the matter had been resolved and that Franks would go back to work, Trustee Carlos Vasquez said.

His attorney, Melissa Mozingo, said earlier that Franks could not comment on the matter.

Mozingo said the teacher has received harassing e-mails about the incident in his classroom.

"He does want his side out there, but he cannot make comments due to the ongoing investigation," said Mozingo, who works for the United Educators Association. "But he's doing great. He's strong, and he has an effective support base that's helping him get through this process."

District spokesman Clint Bond said he could not disclose the scope of the inquiry because it was a personnel matter.

Last week, freshman Dakota Ary said he was sent to the principal's office and suspended for saying that he is a Christian and that homosexuality is wrong. Ary said then that the discussion of homosexuality came up in German class as students discussed religion in that country.

Ary has said he was not discriminating or being a bully when he made the comments.

"I was just expressing my beliefs," he said.

Ary was sent to the office, where an assistant principal punished him with in-school suspension.

The next morning, Ary, his mother and an attorney met with the principal, who reversed the punishment and said the incident would be cleared from the teen's record.

Eva-Marie Ayala, 817-390-7700

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