Community Bands Together To Get Through Lesbian-Gym-Teacher Crisis

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Vol 35 Issue 13

Clinton Pours Malt Liquor On Ground For Dead Homies

WASHINGTON, DC—At a moving Rose Garden ceremony Monday, President Clinton poured a 40-ounce bottle of King Cobra malt liquor on the ground in honor of his dead homies. "Ron Brown, Vince Foster, James McDougal... y'all be my niggaz, and I will mourn you until I join you," Clinton said. "And to all my other policy advisors, cabinet members and business partners who didn't make it, I will see you at tha crossroads." Clinton then kissed two of his fingertips and extended them outward in a peace gesture.

Despite Claims, Long Story Not Made Short

SCHENECTADY, NY—Contrary to her pre-account vow, area resident Barb Schuyler's long story of how a series of cashier foul-ups at the grocery store Monday made her 25 minutes late for a dental appointment was not made short. "So then, it turns out the stupid woman forgot to ring in my Savers Club discount," Schuyler said to friend Gloria Conlon nine minutes into the non-abbreviated tale. The story is the 1,643rd Schuyler has failed to make short since 1994.

Van's Rocking Motion Discourages Would-Be Knocker

YUMA, AZ—The steady, back-and-forth motions of a 1979 Ford Econoline van sent "a clear message" to local resident Paul Dunne Monday, discouraging him from knocking. "I needed a jump-start for my car, and the closest vehicle was this van," Dunne said. "I was about to knock on the back window, but when I noticed that the van was clearly rocking, I didn't bother." Dunne instead received assistance from an adjacent, non-rocking vehicle.

Salvation Air Force Collecting Used Planes In Your Area

ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Salvation Air Force put out an urgent call to U.S. aviators Monday, urging them to bring any used or unwanted aircraft to their nearest Salvation Air Force location. "We desperately need all manner of jets, biplanes, helicopters, hot-air balloons, zeppelins and autogyros," said Salvation Air Force national commander Denise Puhl, who added that if a building is closed, aircraft can be left in the drop bin outside.

Connect Four-Playing Sis Pretty Sneaky

FRAMINGHAM, MA—Losing Connect Four player Tony Franck denounced his sis as "pretty sneaky" following her diagonal connection of four during a kitchen-table match Tuesday. "I realize that the rules allow for a diagonal arrangement of four checkers, and I fully concede victory to my sis and acknowledge her four-connecting prowess," Franck said following the match. "Still, I maintain that a significant measure of sneakiness was key to her victory." Franck next plans to attend the U.S. Stay Alive™ Championship Tournament in Hilo, HI, vowing, "I will be the sole survivor."
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Community Bands Together To Get Through Lesbian-Gym-Teacher Crisis

BENTON, NE—They say adversity brings people closer together. They say hardship only strengthens the ties that bind.

Just some of the many Benton residents who have leaned on each other for support since the terrible discovery of gym teacher Nancy Kimble's (inset) sexual preference for women.

On April 2, the people of Benton, a tiny farming community of 1,200 in the northwest corner of Nebraska, got the opportunity to find out for themselves. That was the fateful day it was discovered that Nancy Kimble, the new gym teacher at Benton Junior High School, is a lesbian.

The crisis easily could have torn the town apart. But instead, it only made the people of Benton stronger, serving as a precious reminder of what truly matters.

"My first reaction was, 'A lesbian gym teacher? How could this happen here? Maybe somewhere else, but not in Benton,'" said Georgia Ellison, a lifelong resident of the town. "I was devastated. But everyone has been so unbelievably supportive of each other throughout this whole ordeal. In hard times like these, you really find out who your friends are."

Carolyn Marchand, whose daughter Stephanie is in Kimble's sixth-period class, reacted to the news with shock and fear. But even before she could grab her keys and race to school to pick up Stephanie, there was a knock at the door. Leslie North, a neighbor she barely knew, was standing on her porch.

"Leslie said she was just as shaken as I was, and told me that if there was anything at all she could do to help, I shouldn't hesitate to ask," Marchand said. "Then I invited her in, and we had apple pie and just talked for a few hours. It was then that I knew we were going to be all right."

Added Marchand: "Thank God we found out before the swimming unit started."

The crisis began at approximately 10:15 a.m. on April 2, when, before an entire second-period gym class, seventh-grader Jodi Woodring asked Kimble if she was gay. Kimble replied yes, and within an hour, word of the lesbian presence had spread throughout Benton. The school's switchboards were swamped with calls, the city council called an emergency meeting, and the mayor made an impassioned plea for calm, imploring parents to remove their children from school in "as orderly a manner as possible."

But amid the chaos and pain were countless moments of human kindness, of selfless individuals placing the well-being of their fellow Bentonians ahead of their own.

Jeff and Irene McArdle, whose sixth-grade daughter Annie had suffered exposure to lesbianism, were moved by the outpouring of support they felt from the community. "Our neighbors, the Slumans, have three children who were in [Kimble's] class, so they certainly had their own troubles," Irene said. "But when they found out that our Annie had tried out for the volleyball team, which was coached by Kimble, they sent us a bouquet of flowers and a note saying they were glad Annie didn't make the team and was safe again. Knowing people care really helps you get through something terrible like this."

Bob Watters, whose daughter Shannon took gym under the safe tutelage of the aggressively heterosexual Mr. Voorhees, said everyone in the community has a responsibility to do his or her part.

"Our family, thank God, was spared," Watters said. "But we know it easily could have been us instead of the Piatkowskis or the Ryans or the Bettencourts. That's why we all need to do everything we can for each other—especially for the children—during this dark time."

The people of Benton know that only through love, understanding and compassion will they put this painful episode behind them. And slowly but surely, they are beginning to do just that.

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