Never should've been suspended in the first place:
Jerry Buell, the Lake County teacher who was suspended after making anti-gay comments on Facebook, will return to the classroom Thursday after being reinstated by Lake County Schools Superintendent Susan Moxley.
"If I did not stand up for my rights after telling my students to stand up for their rights then I would be a hypocrite," the Mount Dora High social studies teacher said as he stood in front the school district offices Wednesday with his attorney and wife. "It's been a lesson. It's been a heck of a lesson."
Buell met with Moxley for about an hour before her decision was announced. A "written directive" was placed in his file, said school district spokesman Chris Patton.
Patton would not elaborate on the directive, or say if Buell had been reprimanded. That information will be available in 10 days.
The school district started investigating Buell last week after receiving copies of a Facebook post in which the teacher said he "almost threw up" when hearing news about New York's legalization of gay marriage. He compared gay unions to a "cesspool" and said they were a "sin."
The case has drawn national attention, with both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ultra-conservative Liberty Counsel backing Buell's right to speak his mind. The Liberty Counsel represented Buell throughout the investigation and at Wednesday's meeting.
"Today is a great day for the Constitution and for the First Amendment," said Buell's attorney, Harry Mihet, of the Liberty Council. "His views were the views of a majority of Americans and certainly of a majority of Floridians."