USD 251

Editor’s Note: This story was originally posted at 6:01 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2021. It has been updated with new reporting from KSNT.

KSNT reported Wednesday night that 13-year-old USD 251 North Lyon County student Izzy Dieker was suspended from NLC Elementary School bus after saying “I’m a lesbian.”

Late last week, The Emporia Gazette was contacted in regard to this story by an individual who wished to remain anonymous.

Principal Corey Wiltz would not comment on the situation. Superintendent Bob Blair would not speak on this situation specifically, but gave a statement regarding discrimination policies via email.

“As you are aware, USD 251 is unable to discuss confidential student matters in order to protect the privacy rights of our students. Our school district takes all allegations of discrimination of any kind seriously and will respond meaningfully to any report of discrimination. All such complaints are promptly investigated,” he said.

Dieker, who is in eighth grade, told KSNT that the bus driver overheard her comment and issued a written disciplinary notice. Her mother, Tasha Cooper, has tried to communicate with the school administration but has not gotten a satisfactory response.

According to an anonymous source who contacted The Gazette, Principal Corey Wiltz was also involved in the decision to suspend Dieker from the bus.

Fellow students and teachers have expressed their support for Dieker, including Michael Lanzrath, the district’s library aide and a member of the LGBT community, who made pins out of rainbow ribbons because he would have wanted that kind of support when he was Dieker’s age.

The Gazette will continue to report on this story.

(26) comments


EuthanizeEmporia as a person who has seen the video she neither stood nor yelled I didn't even hear her say the word lesbian and the only way I knew it happened was because the driver asked her if she thought "lesbian was appropriate to say infront of the younger kids" but please continue to act like you know what happened.


Let's hope this "teachable moment" doesn't get too expensive.


What bothers me more than anything is that the Gazette printed this story based on 'an anonymous source" THEN published the name of the 13 year old student! Why the disparity? Anyone under the age of 18 should not have their names published unless they are being applauded for something good. An anonymous source and the inability of school officials to comment protect them, why do we not protect children? If this kid stood up on a moving bus it should have been stated at the beginning of the article. Typical Gazette skewed reporting.


So this student being themself and living their best life is not "something good" for which they should be applauded, Observer? How do you know, Observer, that the discipline is for standing on a moving bus...? Because an anonymous source on a discussion board posted so? We have no way of knowing that Euthanize knows this version of the story to be true. I'll trust the Gazette and KSNT over a discussion board poster every day of the week. Twice on Sundays.They hold themselves to journalistic standards. Discussion board posters often do not.


‘The Sky is Blue’………………just checking. EuthanizeEmporia seems hell bent to comment on everything. Why such anger? I’m guessing you must be related to someone involved? North Lyon County, the only place where trees (family trees) have fewer branches is South Lyon County.


Oh, Lordt, this brings back memories. Years ago my son got kicked out for a couple of days when, after the principal made an announcement on the intercom, my son said, “that’s the gayest thing I’ve ever heard.“🤦🏼‍♀️


Settle down. The young woman was removed from the bussing route for the disruption of standing up while bus is in motion (no, no!) and shouting, regardless of the context. Had she stood up and shouted "I'm a straight A student!" or "I'm a snowflake like half the commenters on the the Gazette!" the action would have ended in the same result.


Now, now, EuthanizeEmporia, just settle down yourself. Even if you speak the truth about the bus incident, calling others snowflakes while you yourself have a tag of ‘EuthanizeEmporia’ points to a walking, talking contradiction. Maybe you should take a minute and look up the slang meaning of Snowflake.


You assume I do not include myself among the snowflakes, how dare you!


Just an fyi I actually have seen the video of what happened and she did not stand up and considering the whole bus was loud I didn't even hear her say lesbian the only reason I knew it happened was because the bus driver asked if she thought lesbian was appropriate to say infront of the younger kids and was never disrespectful and listened when the driver told her to move to the front.


"USD 251 is unable to discuss confidential student matters in order to protect the privacy rights of our students" And yet you "out" a thirteen year old in a preliminary report. Stay tuned!!! "I'm a Lesbian" OK "You're a Lesbian" NOT OK!!!

Hollowed Ground

While I understand Wiltz and Blair are prohibited from speaking publicly about the case, there is no prohibition on them publicly speaking "I resign". They should do expeditiously. Friday would be good. Tomorrow would be better. Right now wold be best.


Well 251 won’t have to worry about Wiltz that much longer because Emporia school district is picking him up.


"Friday would be good. Tomorrow would be better." - Hollowed Ground Feb. 10, 2021 (a Thursday). "They're really showing themselves to do really well" - Creepy Joe


Well. First the school board tries to second guess coronavirus policy by the county's experts. Then the district apparently sanctions bigotry and discriminatory actions.

Our little sibling to the north is not setting such a good example these days. Their children deserve better than they are getting.

Hollowed Ground

The little girl should have said, "I'm a Republican and I support the insurrection, reversing the election and killing Pence and Pelosi." Then she would have gotten a pat on the back,a reserved seat on the bus just for herself and an award from Josh Hawley who wold have flown in for the occasion.


Anybody that tries to dispute the above statement is either naïve or just down right stupid. What a sad place the state of Kansas has become.


Horsesense? Apparently you have none or I misinterpret the meaning.


Actually, Horsey's sense on this is accurate. USD 251's behavior on this matter has been willfully ignorant, at best. At worst it is malicious oppression. Sorry, Euth. You're on the wrong side of this argument morally, historically, democratically, and in every other -ally way.


hollow Once again you show how ignorant you are.

An Expatriate Emporian

CropDuster, Hollowed might be using a bit of hyperbole, but the core statement is entirely true. If it was a hard right Trump cultist level statement she'd have made, they wouldn't have blinked an eye.


Very well put, Expat.


No, would've have the same outcome - disciplined for disruption, not declaring her sexuality. Your hate is showing.


Disruption of the bigoted, narrow minded views of small town toxicity. Simply saying "I'm a lesbian" disrupts your day, how? When we justify the unjust we are part of the problem.



Are you Expatriate assigning political preference? Well done.

An Expatriate Emporian

Oh, only that hate is accepted in the region while if you note the story does NOT say disciplined for disruption, it says that the driver overheard a discussion. So don't try to retcon with an excuse for a homophobic bus driver (and district).

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