A US high school English teacher has been suspended because he allowed students to read an article about homosexuality in the animal world.

Dan Delong, who teaches at Southwestern High School in Piasa, Illinois, told students that they could read the online article as optional work.

The 2006 article, written by Jonah Lehrer, discusses the issue of Darwinian sexual selection and notes that homosexual behaviour has been documented in more than 450 animal species. It was originally published in the science magazine Seed.

After a special meeting of the Southwestern School Board on Monday night Delong was allowed to keep his job with a warning.

He issued a joint statement with the board saying that school officials were not concerned with issues of “sexual preference” but on “the age appropriateness of the material.”

“I agree with the Board that the material in my class was not age appropriate for my sophomores and for that, I apologise. I understand the Board has decided that I shall receive a Notice of Remedial Warning,” he said.

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