October 29th, 2010
11:59 PM ET

Dr. Phil slams Arkansas official for 'non-apology apology'

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – Outspoken anti-bullying advocate and TV talk show host Dr. Phil is far from satisfied with the apology offered Thursday by an embattled local Arkansas school district official.

Related: Arkansas school board member to resign over anti-gay post

“This is the biggest non-apology – non-apology apology I’ve heard,” Phil McGraw says about Clint McCance in an interview that airs Friday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°. “He did not apologize for what he said. He didn’t apologize for the message that this gives to children, to kids, to parents out there. What he apologized for was saying that suicide was the only out and that he’s sorry for that he said that.”

Clint McCance, the vice president of the Midland School District in Arkansas, took to his personal Facebook page earlier this week and slammed a recent national awareness campaign sparked by a rash of suicides by young people who had been bullied because they were gay or perceived to be gay by their peers.

The local elected official wrote that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, according to The Advocate, a magazine focusing on gay news. McCance promised to disown his own children if they are gay and said he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die."

After his postings sparked national attention, McCance apologized for his comments Thursday in an exclusive interview on Anderson Cooper 360°.

"I'm sorry I've hurt people with my comments," McCance said. "I'm sorry I made those ignorant comments and hurt people on a broad spectrum."

"I would never support suicide for any kids," he also said, adding “I don't support bullying of any kids."

McCance, who was recently re-elected to a new four-year term on the board of the Midland School District, also told Cooper that he intends to resign from his elected office.

Notwithstanding McCance’s efforts to atone, McGraw says McCance should have done more.

“This went beyond just opinion,” McGraw says of McCance’s slur-filled online postings. “So it has to go to a very strong apology if you’re going to try to balance the process here.”

And McGraw offers his own interpretation of McCance’s mea culpa.

“I certainly see his apology as suggesting that he’s sorry that all of this came to light, he’s sorry that somebody called him on it.”

soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Christine

    Apology or not, it's obvious that he hates gay people and wishes them dead. He's certainly not the guy I want leading MY childrens' school district.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
  2. Vince

    Didn't see the apology. However, if you run for office you take on the burden to represent the the entire public that you represent. I joined the military, not that educated, however, I understand my responsiblity as a public servent. I'm afraid this individual, who I believe to be well educated did not, and does not deserve to represent anyone but himself. If your can not expect the honor and burden of public service please don't waste those you are suppose to represent their time.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  3. Dave C.

    I just can't believe the hatred that some people possess for others. They say to hate the sin and love the sinner and this is how i feel about those who support gay bullying. I won't do bullies any harm, but it just goes to show you just how much people fear those who aren't as they are. I feel the same way about those who don't think politically as I do. I feel the same way about those who are simply the way they are. There is no room in this world for those who can't accept others for the way they are. Yes, I hate the sins of bigots. I hate the sins of those who hate. I hate the sins of those who don't believe as i do. But you know what, some people don't have it in them to love others. And for them I am sorry. Peace.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  4. sharon

    I agree with Mr. McCance. Although he should have chosen his words more wisely. Because any person familar with the bible know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, what happend there and why. And the way America is acting nowdays we are heading towards the same demise,

    October 29, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  5. toni

    he did not apologize in any manner what so ever. He never deserves any right ever again to be involved in any childs life in any way,shape or form. What he said was wrong no matter how you look at it. What is he teaching our children? I will tell you...that it is ok to judge and humiliate people for who they are?? Why do people find it necessary to be involved and judgmental for things that do not affect them? I bet he is afraid for his family,and shame on him for putting his family in such a position? He can't run,he can't move...no matter where he goes this shall follow him. This was completely out of line and unforgiven to our society. Shame on him....

    October 29, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
  6. Jason

    @Gary Warren The same Democracy you are ranting about, also gives room for Dr Phil or anyone for that matter, to tell this guy that his opinion is wrong.

    He apologized for saying what he said, when in reality, he should apologize for THINKING it in the first place, as it is wrong, sir.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:10 pm |
  7. Carl Juneau

    At the very root of Mr. McCance's views and those of people like him, are faith-based ideologies that have foisted their views on society for centuries. It is time that religious leaders take responsibility for the exclusion, the hatred and the bigotry that their teachings promote, whether they do so directly or indirectly.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  8. Ann

    I think another "wear purple day" should be scheduled, with a shower of purple shirts going out to McCance. Challenge him to wear purple for a week–if he did, I just might begin to think he was actually a little sorry for what he said, not just for getting caught! Phil's comments, so sincerely stated and so right in my opinion, brought tears to my eyes.

    Keep talking about this problem, Anderson, and tell us what we can do to help stop the agony of people who are being persecuted for being different.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  9. sara

    Well – I agree with Dr. Phil.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  10. J. Vincent

    Thank you, Dr. Phil. Those were my very words. "He's sorry he got caught, not sorry for what he said." We must stop this war of hatred in America. This is a war that is killing our children.
    Anderson, please follow up on the election on Tuesday. I wager that he will not resign, but either say he was elected to this position or let his wife serve out his term. Keep the eyes of the world on this situation in my home state.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  11. John Smith

    You can dislike gay and their lifestyle, and you can even say you don't care for it, but really people, he said he wished all gays to die. He basically wished all gay teens would kill themselves. This isn't a Christian. This is simply a man full of hate. How many more in the education system are like him, but keeping silent? How many teachers and counselors and secretly despising gays or minorities and women? Is this why schools are doing little or nothing to curb bully other than fancy talk? Because they are secretly hateful of any non-white or gay people?

    October 29, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  12. Sandra

    You go Dr Phil! I watched the "apology" this man made last night and it was ridiculous. It was obvious he was doing what he needed to do to try to make the publicity go away. I would be ashamed to call this man a friend. I feel sorry for his family.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  13. susan powers

    I read this yesterday and felt so much pain spewed from this man. It still amazes me in this day and age that we deal with this kind of hate from people who are believers in God.

    Suzi Powers

    October 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  14. Yolanda

    I do not as a member of the homosexual community accept this supposed "apology" from this man. He has no room to go around flapping his jaws about homosexuality and hoping that they would commit suicide. How would he feel if someone posted on FB that all people from Arkansas are ignorant inbreed freaks and that they should all die? I don't think the people of Arkansas would like that just like the homosexuality community does not appreciate those unkind words. Maybe next time he will stick is foot in his mouth before opening it...

    October 29, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  15. Brian

    OK. School officials (meaning officials IN the school) should go through diversity training. BUT, what about the elected officials? This guy shows that the system does not work unless everyone is training in diversity.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  16. Austin B

    What is really frightening, aside from the blatantly bigoted remarks by this so-called "professional, is the lack of any sense this "man" knows any knowledge of grammar or facts regarding what he said about gay men....obviously a very stupid, uneducated educator.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  17. kelley

    thank you dr. phil for stepping up to the plate when we desperately need someone to do so.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  18. kris

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion and the right of freedom of speech.

    But, that right doesn't include pushing others towards harming themselves, having others potentially harm them, or making them feel unwanted in this universe.

    That apology, though it started out fine... ended in a train wreck of Mr. McCance doubling back and essentially recanting his apology (my opinion).

    To those so against homosexuality – I challenge you to take time to learn more about it – you don't have to love me for my sexuality, but I resent that you hate me for something... uhm, because a book told you to hate. Please form your own opinion, which requires learning from multiple sources, and then I'll respect and support your opinion.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  19. Chris

    I don't know how many times this guy has to apologize to appease people. He's resigning his position with the school. He profusely apologized to anyone whom he may have offended. He denounced the notion that kids with a different sexual orientation should commit suicide. I darn near thought that he was going to start crying while being interviewed by A.C. He made a mistake. He's owning up to it. He certainly didn't have to go on national television to say he's sorry. Now the real scary people are coming out of the woodwork to threaten his life as well as the lives of his family. No rational being can possibly agree with what he wrote on his facebook but for all the supposedly tolerant people out there spouting your own hatred towards him, you really need to learn what forgiveness is.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  20. Sarah

    Glad to hear he is resigning. When you are in an elected office, school board or city council and so on, you can have your opinion, but keep the hate opinions to yourself. You shine your behind when you think you can run your mouth like that. It's one thing to say something like, but to post it on Facebook for everyone to see? Who wants an idiot like that having any say when it comes to children? I agree too...he has to be in the closet.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  21. Tara Berne

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But if you are a public official, especially representing the school system, you are there to protect and educate ALL children. And for this idiot to spew his hatred on FB shows not only poor judgment but an ego overblown. I wouldn't trust him to make policy for ANY child. He is a role model for children and should be reprimanded and fired so our children don't grow up to think that hatred toward other human beings. I hope he never works for any school in the WORLD.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  22. todd

    Autom, did you hear him speak? He is (or was) on the school board. He didn't just go to a bar and speak to his buddies and someone overheard him.

    He posted it on a Facebook page in his official capacity, for all others (including said gay children) to read.

    He needs to donate half his income to the Trevor project, and volunteer on a suicide hotline.

    A non-apology just doesn't cut it.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  23. Glen Lincoln

    This Mr. Cance is a fine example of a probably pretty ordinary man, except for his obvious issues with people. This time it's gays, but I imagine his difficulties are actually more personal and complicated.
    I suppose many of us have emotional or sociopathic problems which we may OR MAY NOT make public. By posting on Facebook, it seems he must have a need to "announce" this as a way of being forced to get the attention he needs.
    I think he's in the wrong occupational field though. Isn't the profession of helping others through the instutes of education self-selective for people that are kind, and good-hearted? Why would he go into this field in the first place and yet harbor contempt for his fellow humans?
    Apology or no, it's simply better that he is resigning.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  24. bob

    When a school official takes the opinion that students should die, yes that is an opinion you have to apologize for, sorry but not every opinion is free speech.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  25. Kim

    Accept the man's apology and he sounded sincere but his remarks highly offensive and horrible. He is also going to resign from the school board.He and his family are now in danger and being threatened in view of his remarks and think this story needs to chill and we don't need his life or his families life in danger.I felt like he knew he'd totally screwed up in his communications and was sincerely sorry.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  26. james

    This idiot is just sorry he got caught. He should be charged with a crime for these kids death/ I am so sick of hearing about free speach.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  27. Dave

    Bullies should be expelled from school. Bully bosses should be fired. Society must evolve to at least these two positions or the bully will always win. Thanks to the millions who sit by and watch as someone else gets bullied.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  28. JoAnn

    Wishing anyones way of life as a reason to kill themselves is insane. People voted for this man and trusted him to protect kids, not tell them to commit suicide. Horrible individual indeed.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
  29. Mike

    Freedom of speech in this country is a great thing – sharings one's opinion is a great thing, but an important thing to remember is that freedom of speech is not freedom FROM consequence.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  30. Ryan

    A man full of hate and insecurities. Anyone, whom promotes hate especially that of suicide should be removed from a position of power and responsibility. Yes, one is allowed to have their own opinion even if it is wrong, however, when one uses their opinion against another to make ones life miserable they should be immediately removed from any public responsibility. I believe "this man" should be forced by law, to talk to the families of victims of hate crimes, especially that of homosexuality hate crimes to better understand the humanity of mankind and to better understand himself.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
  31. Tory

    While I agree that that what Mc Cance said wasn't the brightest statement for an elected official to post on fb, it was his opinion. Why should he appologize for how he feels? I certainly can't say I agree with Dr. Phil much of the time, his entire agenda is being pc. Maybe HE should appologize to me!

    October 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
  32. Erin

    Maybe instead of slamming his apology, Dr. Phil could have invited him on the show and created a learning opportunity for all of us. Maybe he still will.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  33. Erin

    Well, we do have freedom of speech- right or wrong the speech may be. If we truly believe in freedom of speech- then we use our own freedom of speech to express our own views and recognize that everyone else has that right, too. No matter what they believe.

    And he DID apologize. And he IS resigning.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
  34. Jake

    This man is a public official. He was elected in a democratic system. Clearly not a very intelligent politician, but as a public figure he has to realize that his opinions and comments can have a bigger effect than a regular citizen's. His comments were the epitome of hateful, and they were irresponsible. It is a good thing he is resigning. We don't need any more hateful bigots in public office. Especially someone working in our childrens education system. He will live to regret his comments. It's time people realize that there is such a thing as responsibility when it comes to freedom of speech.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
  35. Fred

    Roger Carrier hit the nail(s) on the head !

    October 29, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  36. Karen Colarusso

    The audacity of an elected official to show such verbal insolent abuse, lack of morals for fellow mortals. Simply intentional and the apology is unworthy of merit. As an adult he should of chosen his words carefully as well as who he says them too. This folks is a homophobic in the flesh. No place for that in this world and in this society today. There are LAWS proctecting others right to live the way they choose. However its Freedom of speech is obviously his favorite.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
  37. Steve

    McCance may have right to his opinion, but he is an ELECTED official in position to influence kids. To express such views is to show careless disregard for the kids he has a duty to protect.

    People talk about the fact that it was on Facebook for friends to see. Have you considered the possibility that one of his friends may have a homosexual child?

    I have to agree with Dr. Phil on this one. McCance's apology was a blanket one where you are sorry for choice of words and any hurt that he might have caused. Like my parents always say, it's real easy to say sorry. But you can only ask for forgiveness if you mean it and act on it. McCance falls way short there.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
  38. Robert Brown

    I was appalled to learn of the treatment of the children regarding the remarks by Clint McCance! Apology my rear end! This person was trying to get out of losing his job! He should never hold another position where children become souls who are driven to their deaths by such a person! Redemption? Not in this lifetime!

    October 29, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
  39. wilson

    This used to be a country where free speech was protected. He said some stupid things, and he probably would not get re-elected if he didn't resign, but he has the right to say it. As for the guy who said "this went beyond just opinion"...huh? He took no action, so it is an OPINION.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
  40. jack

    A good reason to keep the Death Penalty!

    October 29, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
  41. Carolyn

    This whole situation is very sad. Roller coaster of emotions for sure. One minute very angry, the next minute deeply saddened. I hope that this ignorant mans family remains safe. People should really leave the family of this man alone.
    I believe enough people have been hurt from this ordeal.
    My heart goes out to the families of the teens that had to relive their pain by hearing his comments. Pe@ce

    October 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm |
  42. autom

    I feel dirty defending the guy, but with his apology, I think he DOES realize he was wrong, hateful, and a bully. If Dr. Phil calls it a "non-apology", I doubt any apology would suffice for him.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
  43. Dee

    What Clint McCance said was deeply, profoundly hateful. Wishing someone would commit suicide, simply because you do not like them, is morally reprehensible. Research suggests that LGBT teens already have a propensity toward suicide, saying and doing things to help them along is both cruel and utterly self absorbed. Homophobics live in a hypothetical world, hating a "concept" from afar and vocalizing it. In the real world, real people are hurt by their comments.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
  44. NicoleE

    Right on, Dr. Phil!

    This apology was ridiculous. He basically said "I still hate gays and want them to go away, but I should have used softer words to express it"

    October 29, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  45. Roger Carrier

    Clint McCance should be ashamed. What a horriable thing to say to young people.

    As a straight male who has been married more than forty years, I say with all sincerity that I believe that so-called straights who are anti-gay have strong hidden gay sexual urges. They surpress these urges by the old-fashioned method of hate.

    These preachers and other who make anti-gay remarks are actually not straight but secretely gay. It's time for real straight to stand up and make that point.

    The normal straight reaction to gays is indifference. It is not hatred.

    October 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  46. Lisa Mitchell

    Just because it is legal, doesn't mean we all have to approve of it. I am completely against homosexuality, but I am not a public official, who goes around talking smack about it either. The point being, yes the guy is an idiot for running his mouth, but he shouldn't have to apologize for his opinion!

    October 29, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  47. Nancy

    Maybe he was forced into it, but it seems to me he DID apologize.

    October 29, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  48. Lynn N.

    What happened in the Midland school board makes me ashamed to call Arkansas my retirement home. But children aren't the only ones bullied. Ask some employees if a boss has ever bullied them. I was bullied in my neighborhood when a group wanted to erect something I thought looked awful. I stood my ground, the town officials agreed with me, but the neighbors have never gotten over I stood up against the bullies. And that was when I was in my late 60's. Bullies can be any age.

    October 29, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  49. Ann N Ray,West Hartford, CT

    While watching this man "apologize", he wasn't sorry, nor was he talking 2 you Anderson. I'm straight, hate bigotry of any kind & he never appeared or sounded sincere-not if he still couldn't say he would not now about his children should he be gay, nor look straight into ur eyes even once. Who r these people that believe it all? Proud of u 4 keeping ur cool.I don't accept his apology.

    October 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  50. nicole

    This just shows you that how big ignorace is and how far it gets. I would think someone of that age and with that position would know what the consequenses of those words may do. little did he know that it will hunt him back for the rest of his life. Any school teacher or official with common sense would have restrained him/herself from sharing those strong thoughts and feelings. It is very sad that a man ruined his life aswell as his entire family because he just had to share what was on his mind. I still dont understand why people don't like to have privacy. The one precious thing all human beings can choose or demand.

    October 29, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
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