Whoa. Rough week for Richmond Public Schools. Like they don't have enough work to do with, well, everything, but now they've got scandal to deal with too. Let's dispense with the boring one first. The principal of Armstrong High School, Carl S. Vaughan, has been placed on administrative leave because of sexual-harassment accusations
. I am not making light of these serious charges at all, but compared to the scandal on A-1 of the paper today — well, sexual harassment seems so ... '90s.
The bigger story
is that School Board Chairman Stephen B. Johnson (whose face you know from seeing it pretty much every night on the news commenting about some school story) has acknowledged posting an ad for himself on Manhunt.net, described by the paper as a "male-dating" Internet site. The rest of us call that "gay."
Johnson was apparently bare-chested in the photo of himself, which was accompanied by, again quoting from the T-D, "very graphic" text describing himself. His post is already down, but if you check out the site you'll see what they were talking about.
Johnson called it "stupid" to post on the site. Um, stupid is a good start. Completely irresponsible, reckless and without regard to his very public position would be another way to put it. Look, I don't care about the gayness, but this is a community leader we are talking about! School Board member Reginald Malone really summed it up in his almost speechless comment in the newspaper: "This is a shame. ... A person is free to do whatever they want to do, but when you're a public official that's all open to the public ... This just floors me."
And another thing ...
This is exactly the stuff that gives people the ammunition they need to paint all gay people as sex-crazed maniacs who are ushering in the fall of civilization. And truthfully, take a little tour of the site — it's full of sex-crazed maniacs! Meanwhile, here's Johnson, a successful, articulate community leader and owner of an antiques gallery. An antiques gallery! How hard can it be to meet a nice, eligible gay man when you own an antiques gallery? So why post to a site like this unless you're a sex-crazed maniac?
See what I mean by giving people ammunition?
I don't know what the Board is going to do about Johnson but it sure seems like this could be his political end. Hopefully, not because of his apparently being gay, but because of his colossally poor judgment.