Cooper and Others Respond to Suicide Call
Following the outrageous remarks made by Arkansas school board member Clint McCance, the National Voices for Equality, Education, and Enlightenment (NVEEE) and other high profile individuals have called for his resignation.
“We tell them to hold on because things will get better” said Jowharah Sanders, Founder and Executive Director of NVEEE. “How can we promise them that things are going to get better when the very ones we entrust our children to publicly wish them dead? I am deeply saddened and appalled by his comments and can only hope that none of our children take their lives due to his lack of humanity and compassion. This was inhumane. This was disgusting. This was cyber-bullying. This needs to stop.”
McCance is a school board member for the Midland School District in Independence County in Western Arkansas. McCance wrote the following message on his Facebook page: "Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE."
Furthermore, McCance stated, “being a fag doesn't give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them.”
He later added that he "liked the fact that fags can't procreate [and] I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other AIDS and die."
Shortly after the posts went viral, Anderson Cooper ripped into McCance, telling CNN viewers, “We think you should know his name.”
Cooper, whose older brother committed suicide in 1988, spoke in cold tones about McCance. “These are not ‘queers’ or ‘fags,’ as Mr. McCance, calls them,” said Cooper. “They are people. They are human beings. They are our fellow citizens.”
“Families are losing their children because of school bullying and here is a high level school official openly refusing to acknowledge their deaths” said Jessica Saiontz, Director of Operations for NVEEE.
“It is a time of mourning for the teens who felt hopeless and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, and as a result, their lives came to a crashing halt. Spirit Day was a day to celebrate the lives of those we’ve lost due to bullying. My only wish is that McCance would have refrained from cyber-bullying on a national day of remembrance,” she states.
NVEEE recently launched its National ‘Not on My Watch’ Anti-Bullying Campaign as part of the organization’s ongoing ‘Peace for a Day’ Campaign asking communities students, teachers, community leaders, and politicians nationwide to get involved in the efforts to end school violence by not being a bystander.