Thursday, October 13, 2011
A teacher chooses her "enemies"
Union Township school officials investigate teacher who allegedly made anti-gay remarks on Facebook
School officials in Union Township are investigating allegations that a teacher at Union High School posted comments on her Facebook site criticizing a school display recognizing Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender History Month and calling homosexuality "perverted."
On Saturday, a local attorney who said he had initially been contacted by a parent, wrote to the district calling for the teacher’s dismissal.
The lawyer, John Paragano, a former township councilman, provided the district with what he said was a copy of the Facebook thread that included the offending remarks.
A copy was also provided to The Star-Ledger, in which the teacher, Viki Knox, allegedly referred to homosexuality as, "a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation," and a "sin" that "breeds like cancer."
"Hateful public comments from a teacher cannot be tolerated," wrote Paragano, also a former Union Township Municipal Court judge. "She has a right to say it. But she does not have a right to keep her job after saying it."
Important to remember these remarks were not made in the classroom or as part of school duties. On his FB page, Jersey gay activist Richard Goldstein vows "not to rest" until she is dismissed. This puts him at odds with the ACLU, which defends her remarks in the context she made them, on a personal Facebook page.
The only possibly legit argument for dismissing her is that her attitudes would prevent her from enforcing an anti-bullying law passed after the suicide of gay Rutgers student Tyler Clementi. But I don't see the logic in it, unless a connection made from remarks directly to an incident of bias bullying. It's awful that this woman is a public school teacher.