Teacher Posts Anti-Gay Messages On Facebook
A New Jersey public school teacher is in hot water after writing anti-gay comments on her personal Facebook page. Viki Knox, who teaches special education classes at Union High School, wrote that “homosexuality is a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation” and that it “breeds like cancer.” She also posted – and criticized – a photo of a school display that recognizes October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History month.
Knox’s Facebook page has been removed, but reports say that subsequent posts defend her views and refer to God and Christianity. And although she claims to have friends and loved ones who are gay, she believes the way they live goes “against the nature and character of God.” Oh, and that high school is “not the setting to promote, encourage, support and foster homosexuality,” according to the New York Times.
This is just plain sad. Look, people are entitled to their own point of view and certainly to their own religious beliefs. But when you’re a teacher and in a position of authority, you should be acting as a role model. Posting homophobic remarks on your Facebook page – or any public forum, for that matter – is wrong. It’s actually despicable, and I’d be horrified to know that my own child’s teacher felt this way (whether it was made public or not).
The really sad part is that Knox and her remarks are protected by the First Amendment. Bust Edward Barocas, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in New Jersey, explained in a statement, “Because her postings raised questions about her conduct within the school, the school district can and should investigate whether she is performing her job in accordance with the school policies and the state’s Law Against Discrimination.”
We can only hope that Knox, 49, is dismissed from the school immediately. There is no excuse for such behavior, not ever and especially not now, when bullying is at an all-time high. In fact, a former member of the Union Township Committee questioned her ability to enforce the state’s tough new anti-bulling law. “Teachers are the forefront of that, enforcing that,” John Paragano, a lawyer, told the New York Times. “My concern is that if this teacher has these feelings, is she going to call out the bullying of a gay, lesbian and transgender person?”
I couldn’t agree more. Hate and intolerance have no place in a classroom, and this woman has no right to teach. Period.