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former DCSS teacher jailed on sex charge

Former Lamar Reese Elementary Magnet School Teacher Phillip Burns.

Former Lamar Reese Elementary Magnet School Teacher Phillip Burns.

ALBANY, Ga. -- Former Dougherty County teacher Phillip Burns, a 2012 Teacher of the Year finalist, has been charged with child molestation and felony sodomy. He was being held without bond Friday evening in the Dougherty County Jail.

Burns, a former third-grade science teacher at Lamar Reese Elementary Magnet School, was arrested Wednesday in Columbus by Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office deputies on warrants obtained by the Dougherty County School System Police Department.

DCSS Police Chief Troy Conley confirmed Friday afternoon that his department was conducting the investigation.

“The investigation began after we received a complaint from a parent who had concerns about text communications between her son and Mr. Burns,” Conley said. “The son is a high school student. The communications continued after Mr. Burns moved to Columbus. We had more than enough information to secure warrants for his arrest.”

The Muscogee County School District issued a statement late Friday afternoon: “An employee of the Muscogee County School District is arrested on charges involving inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. Phillip Burns was arrested Wednesday, October 31, 2012, by the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department and the Dougherty County School District Police Department.

“Burns was first employed on September 28, 2012, as an Academic Coach at Wesley Heights Elementary in Columbus. None of the allegations involve Muscogee County School District students. Burns is being held without bond in Albany, Georgia. The Muscogee County School District is still in the process of obtaining more information about the criminal allegations.”

Conley said it was possible that Burns may have been involved with more than one student.

“We have had several more people come forward since the arrest, and we have reason to believe there may be multiple victims involved,” Conley said.

The chief added that the initial victim, and possible others, are all high school aged males.

Conley said that the case was still under active investigation and that additional charges could be filed.

Burns was a teacher at Lamar Reese from 2008 until September. He was one of eight finalists for the Dougherty County School System’s 2012 Teacher of the Year.

Comments

herewegoagain 1 year, 10 months ago

String him up by his ____ from a tree in front of the court house, give the date and time and I will have a crowd there. You will eliminate a lot of this simply by punishing the guilty.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

Let's wait for him to be proven guilty first.

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herewegoagain 1 year, 10 months ago

Now that they have written proof, from electronic media. I say they attach a pair of electrodes on each ear and give him a thrill, while hanging form said tree by unsaid parts.

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Mystified94 1 year, 10 months ago

MULTIPLE victims are now coming forward, fry him and hang him by his you know whats!!!

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

Multiple victims means the chances are greater that he did these heinous things, but it's still far from being a "lock." They could be trying to get in on the money train from a potential future lawsuit. People have done worse things for money.

I don't know the man or have any "horse in this race," I just don't like jumping to any conclusions without all the facts in front of me.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 10 months ago

Let me guess how this will play out with the school board... They will probably allow him to keep his job and move him to another school. This crap is getting bad around here and it's time to put a foot up someone's a$$ and get rid of these bad apples. ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!! This is one of the reason's why we cannot keep jobs here. WAKE UP!!!

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 10 months ago

Plus, if I had a child, and I am glad I don't, I would NEVER put my child in this horrible school system in Do. Co.

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GG126 1 year, 10 months ago

Did you read the story? He is a former DCSS employee.

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Albanite 1 year, 10 months ago

Teacher of the year candidate is accused of child molestation. Teachers who teach the art of cheating are given long contracts. Principals who condone cheating are given raises. Teachers who commit child abuse by beating third-graders aren't even terminated, much less arrested and charged with their crimes. What's the point in arresting this guy? Why shouldn't the DCSS treat this case like all the rest of them: give the guy a new contract and put him back in the classroom just like the other bad teachers. That's about the best that can even be expected of this horrible, wretched, ineffective school system.

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stc1993 1 year, 10 months ago

We need to get the governor invold like the other co. did. Plus let the state attorney general find out why the D.A. isn't investigating & indicting these people.

A momentary lack of control. This person doesn't need to be around kids period. How much is this slap going to cost the counties insurance & taxpayers.

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PatrickY2K 1 year, 10 months ago

HE LEFT THE SYSTEM IN SEPTEMBER.

He may have very well done this prior to leaving the DCSS, but since he is no longer employed, the DCSS will not have much to do with his punishment.

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tywebb 1 year, 10 months ago

This was his comment in the interview after chosen lamar reese teacher of the year. Take from it what you may:

Burns’ approach to education is simple.

“I believe that each child needs a secure, caring and stimulating atmosphere in which to mature emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, physically and socially.” he said. “It is my desire as an educator to help students meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking and invites creative ideas.”

I take from it that he is a total P.O.S!!!!!!!

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

Being accused of something and arrested is far from proving he did anything. Let's wait until more facts are given before we ask for his head on a silver platter.

There was a case in central Georgia a few months ago where a child accused a teacher of inappropriately touching and it turned out to be false. The man's life was ruined all for nothing.

If it is proven that he did these despicable things then he deserves a severe punishment, but let's wait for him to be proven guilty first.

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tywebb 1 year, 10 months ago

he's being held without bond, so there must be some strong evidence. but you're right, I might have jumped the gun a "little" bit.

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bubbavet 1 year, 10 months ago

Being held without bond means they have little or no evidence, but to cover their a$$. The charges ruin the accused guilty or not guilty. The cops are just trying to put another feather in their promotion cap at someone else's expense.

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Mystified94 1 year, 10 months ago

READ THE UPDATE!!!! Multiple victims have NOW come forward!!!

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

Multiple victims means the chances are greater that he did these terrible things, but it's still far from being a "lock." They could be trying to get in on the money train from a potential future lawsuit. People have done worse things for money.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree Mr. Sherwood Eagle. This paper is notorious for trying to destroy people's professional careers with accusations. I want proof that he did something wrong before I pass any kind of judgement.

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

Go away coachjohnson42! We don't care what trolls think.

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 10 months ago

VSU, you made my husband laugh!

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

I had Da Corch's eyes popping out of his sockets yesterday. He was trying to convince me that CJ42 & BSR are not the same people, but I was not impressed.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

we dont care what yo moma thinks either since she was dumb enough to have you......

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Bulldawg 1 year, 10 months ago

Oh, that's a good one, not. Third grade called and wants its cut down back.

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tywebb 1 year, 10 months ago

bulldawg.....just one word replies to corch/bsr/rureel.......Troll

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RedEric 1 year, 10 months ago

Hey Bubba, don't stop now say something bad about VSU's daddy too as he knows who his Daddy was.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

his daddy and his moma are cousins......

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

Your mama got inpregnated by a donkey. That explains why you were born a jack@$$.

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PatrickY2K 1 year, 10 months ago

The Herald tries to destroy people's professional careers with accusations? The newspaper is reporting an arrest, not gossip.

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

Another Day In Paradise, better known as the DCSS.!

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CollegeConservative 1 year, 10 months ago

Sherwood Christian Had Baxley Who Molested A Girl....So Im Not Shocked That They Would Be Tentative To Understand This.... =)

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

What exactly are you saying? Why Are You Capitalizing Every Word In The Sentence?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

I can read. I am asking what are you trying to say with your last statement.

So Im Not Shocked That They Would Be Tentative To Understand This.... =)

Who is "they" and why would they be hesitant to understand anything?

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RedEric 1 year, 10 months ago

Oh comon CC, Baxter was just bringing the child into the folds with some of that hands on ministering and old time religion.

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jglass 1 year, 10 months ago

So, if he is no longer employed with the DCSS, why have that in the article or headline? Put his current employer if it is that important. Yes, we need to see how it plays out and not assume anything.

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tywebb 1 year, 10 months ago

probably because it allegedly happened when he was a teacher there. It is totally relevent to the case

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DoctorDorite 1 year, 10 months ago

Teacher of the Year "candidate" and Superintendent of the Year "nominee" ???, if this is any indication of the school systems best it makes one wonder what the others are like that did'nt qualify for anything. Sad to say but maybe its time to close the doors and cut out the lights. I'm sure there's many many good teachers in the DCSS doing the "grunt" work and my heart bleeds for them having to work in that type of environment daily with the possibility of escaping is practically nill.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

The DCSS Police are not competent to handle any aspect of an investigation of this type. It should be transferred to city or county authorities under the supervision of DA. The handling of criminal investigations by DCSS PD has been disastrous! For the sake of child, defendant & county, someone in authority should speak reason to this insanity.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 10 months ago

One cannot hold DCSS accountable for the sins of others. Everyone is required to have a background check before hired. This is an unfourtunate situation. However, we are not sure if it is true. Mr. Burns has only been accused and not convicted. So, who are you to judge?

Every school system has it's share of wrongdoers as with any other employer in the world. DCSS has had its share of negative publicity, delivered largely by folks (like you) in the squawk box. Everything wrong that happens isn't necessarily they system's fault.

No one held the ALbany symphony accountable for what it's conductor, Claire Fox Hilliard did. No one is holding Sherwood Christian Academy accountable for what Baxley did. So give it a rest people.

If we were to dig deeper into your place of employment we would probably find just as much (or more) dirt there. You hypocrites, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to remove the speck from your another's eye.

Remember...For in the way you judge people, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. That's not my word...that's GOD's word!

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ilovealbany 1 year, 10 months ago

So does that mean, have no standards and neither will God???

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tywebb 1 year, 10 months ago

O contraire mon fraire! The DCSS negative publicity is NOT delivered by folks (like me) in the squawk box......it is merely DISCUSSED by us! We don't make the news.....just talk about it.

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

Mr. Burns has only been confused and not convited? That statement makes no sense.

Unless you mean he's been accused and not convicted.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 10 months ago

VSU I meant 'accused' and thanks for your observation.

For future reference...I stand corrected for any and every mistake I will ever make while blogging here. "To err is human....." and I am human.

AND for the record, I just overlooked the mistakes that you've made while blogging. I didn't find it necessary to call your attention to pettiness. I pretty much understood what you were trying to say. :)

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

Pettiness indeed! But the meaning between accused and confused is about as different as night and day.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

EXCELLENT POINTS AUNTIEDEE!!!! I hope people like VSU are reading......(those kinds of folk give our city a bad name) I notice the same double standards you are mentioning. This paper put his picture out there as if he automatically guilty in an obvious attempt to try and discredit him. It reminds me of the ENQUIRER......just gutter style reporting ......

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jglass 1 year, 10 months ago

I wish the Herald would get the entire story, if you will, before they plaster headlines with a minute piece of information. We will watch to see how this unfolds. And, I agree the school police need to turn it over to APD.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

I mean, if he did it....get him like Sandusky!!! But until we have facts, or proof. Leave him alone......

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

By no means am I an expert in criminal law, but should we be reading into the fact that he was not charged with rape but rather with child molestation and felony sodomy?

Since we don't know the ages of the alleged victim is it possible this was a consensual relationship, even if it was with a minor? My logic is that I would view it much differently if it was rape versus a consensual relationship with a minor. It is wrong either way, but there is a big difference between those two scenarios.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

No! No! You are totally wrong. The scenario is defined. It is an issue of control, expectation & dominance. The child is 100 0/0 subordinate. There is no other viable explanation. Children are in a subservient role. No civilized explanation could be possible. If the child were fabricating the the story it would not have advanced by the authorities.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

So there is no difference in your eyes between rape and statutory rape? I agree with you whole-heartedly that a student-teacher relationship is a major problem and not an equal one. Any teacher should be charged with child molestation for having any kind of a sexual relationship with a student. Those charges and consequences, however, should pale in comparison to rape.

The situation that happened in Central GA made it past the authorities and all the way to court. It came to light that it was a fabrication and an attempt to get attention. Don't assume the "boys in blue" are as good in real life as they are on tv.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

What a silly comment, bible schooler. The investigation and arrest resulted from parents reports to school authorities of texting messages between their high school children and the pervert. The charges had nothing to do with statutory rape or somone from Central GA. The pervert was charged with felony sodomy which is actual contact. Adolescents in a school system are protected by law from a teacher, band director, principal, coach, conductor, janitor, cook or secretary sodomizing them. Some magistrate issued a warrant and the perv was jailed without bond. I have trouble with the DCSS Police handling this as they are inept.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

Please refrain from ever attempting to have a conversation or debate with me. By opening your mouth you have left no doubt as to your level of intelligence.

Stay pathetic, my friend.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

Bible schooler, I would not dare to have a conversation or debate with you. That would imply I am expecting an educated/rational response from you which isn't possible. My comments to you are of a corrective nature to scold and force you to think but as usual you react.

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Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

As usual, the sherwood koolaid drinker backpeddles, crawfishes and twists his logic and tries to restate a new position when the folly of his so called logic is pointed out.

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URWrongAgain 1 year, 10 months ago

@themostinterestingmanintheworld. Astute observations Eagle. I swear that when I first read the snippet article, I assumed this gentleman was accused of victimizing those he had possibly taught at the elementary school. If guilty, there is no excuse for his behavior, but the I see the story in an entirely different light now.

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Amazed2 1 year, 10 months ago

When you have a system in disarray like DCSS and no ethics standards and no leadership then stuff like this grows like mushrooms on cow poop.

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TheMember 1 year, 10 months ago

I can't believe this, if he comes back to DCSS he will get at least a 1 yr suspension maybe without pay. Then after he is transferred to another school maybe he will be watched.

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Terry.Lewis 1 year, 10 months ago

He's not returning to the DCSS, he is currently employed by the Muscogee County School District.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

Terry, was I totally off base with my comments earlier?

Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 day, 8 hours ago By no means am I an expert in criminal law, but should we be reading into the fact that he was not charged with rape but rather with child molestation and felony sodomy? Since we don't know the ages of the alleged victim is it possible this was a consensual relationship, even if it was with a minor? My logic is that I would view it much differently if it was rape versus a consensual relationship with a minor. It is wrong either way, but there is a big difference between those two scenarios.

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Terry.Lewis 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm not getting into this. I'll let you and Tuk wallow around with it.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

Bible schooler, there is no such thing as a teacher (adult) having consensual sex with a student (minor).

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 10 months ago

When an adult has a consensual sexual relationship with a minor, it is called statutory rape. When someone has a sexual encounter with another individual that is not consensual, it is called rape.

con·sent   [kuhn-sent]
verb (used without object) 1. to permit, approve, or agree; comply or yield (often followed by to or an infinitive): 2. Archaic . to agree in sentiment, opinion, etc.; be in harmony.

Legally a minor cannot consent to a sexual relationship with an adult. Like I said before, I completely agree with you that the relationship is not an equal one. This relationship, no matter how uneven the level of power is between the two parties, is still not rape or aggravated rape.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

Bible schooler, try refering to Georgia Criminal Code for definitions of teacher, student, (felony) sodomy, minor, adult, consent etc. Every teacher in the state knows the definition. Your comment is irrelevant as usual.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 9 months ago

You are missing the forest for the trees, FT.

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Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

"This relationship, no matter how uneven the level of power is between the two parties, is still not rape or aggravated rape."

See if you feel that way when the gym coach sodomizes your minor son. It won't really matter if your kid liked it or not, I assure you.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 9 months ago

Did I hit a nerve with you, Jacob? Who needs logic when you can debate purely on emotion and homophobia?

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Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

Don't flatter yourself. You don't possess the intellect to hit a nerve with me. You amuse me, at best. BTW, homosexuality and pedophilia are unrelated concepts. Of course, I would expect you to equate the two, considering your sheltered "education."

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 9 months ago

That makes no sense at all, Jake. If had a sheltered education then why would I accuse you of homophobia? Wouldn't you be accusing me of that? SEA 1 Jacob 0

If the man likes other males then he is gay or bisexual. In this case he had a sexual relationship with a young man in high school. I'm not sure if it still qualifies as pedophilia if the minor is that old. It was 100% wrong of him to take advantage of the young man, if he indeed did what he is being accused of doing. SEA 2 Jacob 0

You have no idea what level of education I possess. I can tell you it was far from sheltered. I will tell you I didn't go to that paper mill in Athens. SEA 3 Jacob 0

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Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

"why would I accuse you of homophobia?"

Because you were taught that pedophiles are necessariy gay and vice- versa, like most of your uninformed ilk. Or maybe because you have some unresolved feelings and tendencies. Most likely though, just plain old fashioned ignorance and intolerance would be my guess. Read this next part slowly, though. It will enlighten you. Gay people like to have sex with people of the same gender. Pedophiles like to have sex with children. Its not as complicated as you thought..

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 9 months ago

You are contradicting yourself, Jake.

If I were so sheltered, wouldn't I be the one who is homophobic and not the one accusing you of being homophobic? SEA 4 Jacob 0

Who is taught that being gay and being a pedophile are one in the same? I dont think anyone sees those two as the same. SEA 5 Jacob 0

I challenge you to read the next part carefully. Not all gay people have a sexual relationship with their partner. I know quite a few gay people and they are not how they are portrayed by the media. SEA 6 Jacob 0

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Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

"Who is taught that being gay and being a pedophile are one in the same?"

Apparantly you were. I described a scenario of child molestation and you called me a homophobe. As I stated, one has nothing to do with another. Congrats. Once again, you have succeeded in totally backing away from your original position when proven totally foolish. Thanks for the amusement.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 9 months ago

Unbelievable...well, believable because either you or FT said it. Please, God, I hope you never procreate.

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Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

Right on cue. You resort to childish insults when you are exposed for the bigoted, narrow minded sheep that you are. Don't you get tired of bringing a knife to an intellectual gun fight?

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