Who Walked Out and Why? Dan Savage at National High School Journalist Conference

It would appear as though teenage members of an Evangelical cult group had travelled over 700 miles from Sutter, California for the express purpose of staging a walkout as soon as Dan Savage began speaking at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalist Conference in Seattle, Washington 1.

Savage began his talk with the words “The Bible. Let’s talk about the Bible for a second.” 2

Before Savage could speak a dozen additional words and before they could get the chance to hear Savage skewer the Republican Party and Callista Gingrich, utter the word “bullshit”, or list several of the commonly ignored moral issues highlighted by the Bible, a group of students began standing up and walking out in an orchestrated manner, some with broad smiles. It appeared to have been a pre-arranged display, supervised by Sutter Union High School teacher, Rick Tuttle.

On the 30 April 2012 episode of the Fox News show, “Fox & Friends”, 3 Tuttle claims that students had simply asked to leave. He did not then indicate how permission was granted on the spot to so many students, so quickly, and why this was done before Savage was able to say anything for which he was later criticized. Where they pre-offended? What role did Tuttle play in interfacing with various media outlets to give the impression that this was a spontaneous protest in response to purportedly offensive remarks?


  1. JEA/NSPA National High School Journalist Conference. Seattle, Washington (http://www.studentpress.org/nspa/conventions.html
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao0k9qDsOvs 
  3. “Dan Savage is Wrong for Anti-bullying Campaign Following Controversial Comments”_. [see also Fox & Friends (30 April 2012)] (retrieved: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/30/dan-savage-is-wrong-for-anti-bullying-campaign-following-controversial-comments/
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