The issue first arose earlier this month, when Vestal senior Nisha Dalvie called Campfield's sentiments abusive in "Bear Facts," the school newspaper. In a front-page editorial, she noted the administration strives to stand up to discrimination. Her editorial didn't call for his removal from the wall.
Those who wanted Campfield's portrait taken down attended Tuesday's Board of Education meeting. "Cowards!" one woman shouted at the board after President Kim Myers read a statement as to why the picture — hung in the high school lobby — would not be removed.
But the problem appears to be just a little larger. I mean, how exactly did they decide to honor Campfield in this manner in the first place? Yes, they honored him in 2008, which was before he donned a luchador mask and terrorized folks at at UT football game, and certainly before he was accused of being a slum lord, and before he announced that human beings got AIDS from monkey fucking.
But Campfield had a "Don't Say Gay" bill up for consideration in 2008. Did the Vestal school system agree with that? He'd already compared women who have abortions to people who fight dogs. He'd already gone to speak to T-FIRE, a group that was so for immigration reform and education that they considered the hate group TNRIP to be their friends. (Both of these groups have since dissolved, but they were certainly still active when Vestal was vetting Campfield.) He was already busy trying to strip kids of their 14th Amendment rights. He was already mean-spiritedly trying to punish poor people for playing the lottery.
Honestly, if they'd done any sort of vetting of him at all, there's simply no way they could be surprised to discover that he doesn't know enough about animal behavior to understand how difficult and dangerous fucking a monkey would be, or that he likes to say bone-stupid things about the groups he thinks are ruining America.
I mean, that's kind of been his whole schtick for years.
Vestal shouldn't really be asking whether they should keep Campfield on their wall. They should be asking what it was about his extremist positions that seemed OK with the school system back in 2008. Vestal, Campfiled has a blog, and he's not ashamed of the things he believes. He doesn't think they're wrong or misguided or contrary to fact or common sense. All his opinions are available to the public going back to 2005. And they were available to whatever committee vetted him.
To me, this is the most hilarious part. If the Vestal High School didn't know in 2008 that Stacey Campfield was capable of saying something that would cause them to be embarrassed to put him in their Hall of Fame, it was because they didn't look very hard. And that should be the real controversy.