On Thursday, Western Hills High School sociology teacher Kristopher Franks was cleared of all wrongdoing by interim Fort Worth schools superintendent Walter Dansby in a case that flared up last week when Franks sent a student, Dakota Ary, to the assistant principal’s office following a dust-up in class in which the student allegedly made disparaging remarks about gays. With a new district anti-gay-bashing policy just put into place, the AP suspended the student with the principal’s approval, setting off a controversy that wound up with Franks being suspended with pay and an outside investigation ordered by Dansby. (Curiously, the AP and the principal who actually suspended the student were not punished. Teachers cannot suspend a student; they can only write an infraction, leaving punishment – if called for – to the assistant principal and the principal.)

The student’s mother, charging the district with violating her son’s First Amendment rights, called in a lawyer and the student was soon reinstated.  

Franks said he will be back at school Friday. Whether he will stay at Western Hills has not been decided, he said. He praised Dansby’s quick action that diffused a potentially explosive situation and his even quicker action in clearing Franks of all allegations against him.


Does this mean the controversy is over?  Hardly. Franks has retained an attorney, Stephen Gordon, who will represent him “on any aspects of this whole thing going forward,” including actions he might take against unnamed people who he charges have “lied and made false allegations against me,” Franks told the Dallas Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers issues relating to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Further, the student’s attorney has said that the school owes him not just an apology, but must make efforts to “completely vindicate him and say that he did nothing wrong. …  He should never have been written up for an infraction. He should never have been sent to the office, and he should never have been suspended.”  

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  1. Betty ROCKS! Eva Ayala could take some lessons here. This is where the real true reporting is found= FW WEEKLY! Eva needs to stop listening to Barbara Griffin from the FWISD. SHAMEFUL reporting. Mr. Dansby, you need to uncover all of Griffin’s connections- SABOTAGE. Question: WHO INITIATED THE FRANKS INVESTIGATION??? Was it Reyna? OPS reports to Reyna?


  2. Franks cleared? Cleared of what? Writing up an insolent, interrupting student with a history of harassment?
    Or cleared of the dastardly crime of not being ashamed of and lying about his orientation?
    Speaking as a retired FWISD teacher, I can tell you that Franks is, and has been, going through hell for being open and proud and refusing to let the typical homophobic culture of a high school drive him away.
    Of course FWISD is going to lose the services of a Fulbright Scholar, but that is small price to pay to let these bigoted Christianist thugs run the asylum.

  3. Who needs to be investigated? Clearly, the mother of Dakota Ary and her lawyers, since they have been telling “little” Dakota that his misconduct is ok. They must be investigated.

  4. I’m with Roy. “Cleared” of what is correct. Kris did nothing wrong. Kris did not even suspend this thug. Did you notice however that NO WHERE do you see the name of the Assistant Principal who did. The Principal is made to be a hero he is not. No wonder this school is LOW PERFORMING! Who initiated the investigation is correct. WHO indeed. Sounds like a Reyna thing to me. Look at all of the similarities between this and Palazzolo. File one vague charge, throw things until something sticks. We have cried for over a year for SOMEONE to help us. Judy Needham’s political connections are too strong. Even the person who supposedly filed a complaint with the D.A. – a person several of us met with last year – has given up.

  5. preface: I’m not religious in anyway.

    Does being “open” and “proud” include posting pix of men kissing on the classroom wall? … that is an invitation for trouble. Homosexuals aren’t a “race” nor are they a simple “variation” but an anomaly. Should they be bullied? absolutely not but they should keep it “home.” It’s unfortunate since I have a few close friends who are gay that the militants in the gay community will push and push and push till an inevitable backlash happens. They may mean well but …

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  7. Mr.franks is a good man I think the Fort Worth ISD western hill should look more into the teachers who come to class high or the substitutes that would talk about going to the party’s of the students and buying beer !!!!