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Lenoir City Teacher: Article on Gay Teen Part of Covering Student Life

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Knoxville News Sentinel
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May 8, 2012

A high school journalism teacher at the eye of the recent storm over articles in the student newspaper and yearbook said he loves to teach and he’s proud of his students.

“If you are doing it right, teaching isn’t an easy career. You have to love it and love what you teach. If you do, and your students can see that, they will buy into the process and then there’s no limit to what they can accomplish,” James Yoakley said Monday at Lenoir City High School.

Some community members object to a student-written article in the new yearbook that describes the experiences of a gay student. The issue gained national attention after a Loudon County school board member suggested Yoakley be investigated for unduly influencing his students.