Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 17, 2006

Parents, students broiling at Boyd

Teacher shows ‘Brokeback’ to high schoolers

Cannonsburg — An English teacher at Boyd County High School showed part of the movie “Brokeback Mountain” to students in her advanced placement class last week, said one of the students in the class.

The showing has angered some parents in a district already up in arms over anti-harassment training focusing on sexual orientation.

“This is a really bad time for all this to have happened,” said Kelley Smith, whose son Chris, 17, was in the class. “If she wanted to show it in class she should have gotten parents’ permission and if some students wanted to see it, it should have been their choice.”

Teacher Ann Qualls showed about the first 15 to 20 minutes of the Oscar-winning movie about the romantic relationship between two Wyoming sheepherders, Chris Smith said.

Qualls announced her intention to show the movie, handed out some background papers, and then started the movie, he said.

After 15 or 20 minutes Qualls stopped the movie and switched to a documentary on the special features menu of the DVD, he said.

No sexually explicit scenes were shown, he said.

He and some of his classmates would have preferred to leave but no one asked or tried to leave for fear of being labeled homophobic, he said. “It’s against my beliefs. That’s why God made a man and a woman ... It shouldn’t even be allowed in schools,” he said.

On Friday Qualls told the class some parents had complained to superintendent Howard K. Osborne and that she anticipated a possible suspension, Chris Smith said. “She said she didn’t give a s--- about it,” he said.

Qualls didn’t show any more of the movie that day, he said.

Smith didn’t attend school Monday or Wednesday and school was out Tuesday because of the election so he doesn’t know whether Qualls showed parts of the movie this week.

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