CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - The Arkansas Department of Education has condemned anti-gay comments made by a local school board member and posted on a social networking site.
Midland School District Vice President Clint McCance wrote on his personal Facebook page that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, according to The Advocate, a newspaper focusing on gay news. McCance used the terms "queer" and "fag" repeatedly, promised to disown his own children if they were gay, and stated that he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] often give each other AIDS and die."
A strongly worded statement signed by Dean Stanley, superintendent of the Midland School District, disavowed the remarks. "The district strives to foster an environment that discourages all forms of bullying," the statement read, "and an environment that encourages a safe and productive educational climate of all of our students. The district is very diligent in pursuing and addressing bullying of any variety on our campuses."
A separate statement sent to CNN by Julie Thompson, director of communications for the Arkansas Department of Education, said the department is "dismayed to see that a school board official would post something of this insensitive nature on a public forum like Facebook."
Because McCance is an elected official, the department cannot deal with him directly, according to the statement. But staff will be monitoring schools to provide a quick response in case students are bullied because of McCance's comments, it said.
The posts were made, according to The Advocate, in response to a bullying awareness campaign sponsored by GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The "Spirit Day" campaign aimed to foster recognition of bullying directed at gays and the effects it can have on young people through a series of events held on October 20
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