N.J. Teacher Under Fire For Alleged Anti-Gay Comments On Facebook

Adviser Viki Knox Under Investigation, Could Face Suspension, Termination

UNION TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The Union Township School District is investigating claims that a public school teacher posted comments on her Facebook page disparaging homosexuality.

School officials escorted Viki Knox, 49, off school property Thursday, citing an ongoing investigation.

The superintendent would not say if Knox was suspended but said she is under investigation and appropriate action has and will be taken, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported earlier Thursday.

Schools officials released a statement Thursday night saying: “This is an ongoing investigation. The school district is taking it very seriously, and is taking all appropriate action.”

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports Knox had nothing to say in her own defense

Over the weekend, Knox, in response to an exhibit at the school celebrating October as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history month, apparently wrote, “Homosexuality is a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation….”

The comment went on to say that homosexuality is a “sin” that “breeds like cancer.”

Knox apparently also wrote, “Union is not South Orange/Maplewood where one out of four families consist of two Mommies or daddies…  Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us?  I/we do not have to accept anything, anyone, any behavior or any choices!  I do not have to tolerate anything others wish to do.”

The exhibit at the school honored famous LGBT Americans, including Harvey Milk, Chaz Bono and actor Neil Patrick Harris.

Former Union Township councilman John Paragano said he brought the alleged anti-gay comments, which have since been removed, to the attention of school officials and called for Knox’s dismissal.

“New Jersey has strongest anti-bullying laws in the United States currently and teachers are at the forefront of that. I question whether a teacher with these views would actually report bullying against a gay or lesbian student,” Paragano told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney: The Comments Have Since Been Deleted

The gay rights group Garden State Equality also said it wants Knox fired.

“It’s hard to believe that anyone would oppose an exhibit of photos of famous LGBT people in history,” Steven Goldstein, the Chair of Garden State Equality, said in a statement. “That’s tantamount to wanting to erase the very existence of LGBT people – an erasure with horrible overtones that would run counter to the diversity of our state and nation.”

“To spew such hatred and to do it publicly in front of your students, she’s not fit to teach. She needs to be removed, now,” Goldstein later told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

At school, students and parents were outraged.

“For somebody who is gay — I have a lot of gay friends — so its like offending to me, too,” sophomore Tahteria Woods told CBS 2’s Brown.

“I feel really disgusted about it,” added senior Andrew Caldas.

“If you have a personal opinion, keep it to yourself,” one parent said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey released a statement defending Knox’s First Amendment right to express herself.

Knox is a faculty adviser to a prayer group at the school. She had no comment for reporters on Thursday, but told Dennis she has retained an attorney.

Knox’s Facebook page has been permanently deleted.

What action do you think should be taken? Let us know below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. J.ADEDEJI says:

    Finding a bullied homosexual in Union High School is very hard. If you find one let me know. Moreover half of them are girls who think it’s cool and last year it was like a freaking epidemic.

  2. Shenanigans says:

    But I suppose Ms Knox supports Black History Month. We are BORN who or what our sexual orientation is, just like our color. I think Free Speech should be protected. And until we have teacher ethics/guidelines in place preventing teachers from expressing their opinions in/on public forums, she did nothing wrong. However, I am happy that the school board is taking steps to remove her. I just think they are going about it the wrong way. She is obviously overcome with religion and needs religion management classes.

  3. ellie says:

    I am still awaiting the reply as to who broke this story. Who reported it to the press?
    Mrs. Knox has been a teacher for how long? Has the Union Board of Education ever had a complaint about this teacher before this event? Have her students reported her for “bad” behavior?
    There is one person who started this battle and it was not Mrs. Knox. It’s the person who took the liberty to report it. Let’s see if the media comes up with this person.

  4. NYGirl says:

    This teacher has every right to express her views. Not everyone on this planet thinks homosexuality is natural or normal. I would say most people don’t. It’s the people who try to make it seem like the natural order of things and that your doing something wrong when you speak out against it that should be stopped. When you start going against the natural order of the Universe, the Universe will eventually start going against you!

  5. Maria CuppyCakes Castellano says:

    that is so true with what you said…i am proud of you, you have grown to be a better brother and individual..there are a lot of people out there in the world who do not like homosexuals , bisexuals, transgenders etc., but it doesn’t give them the right to discriminate us for who we are, it would be the same for them if we didn’t like something about them as James Rosado quotes from the bible “Treat all as you would want to be treated”. We all should be treated equally and not be put down because we are gay , its not a choice for those out there , its born within us to love and to love the same sex shouldnt be hurtful or put out there as this terrible thing…we can not help who we love…as i said its not a choice it is just who we are

  6. James Rosado says:

    yo everyone needs to shut up and let everyone be. im bi and say that she should be fired no because of the comment itself but that she is a teacher and has to show the right example to her students and other ppl around the world. the first amendment should not help her with this cause of her job obligation she should not and cannot publicly show these types of feelings.. this lady most likely put herself in danger by doing this. ppl arent as docile as they use to be, now they are more hostile and the repercussions of this event might make ppl think irrationality and harm her. people really need to learn from this to better protect themselves and other from mental and physical harm.

  7. Tutu says:

    You’re all talking smack. I work with gays and I respect them as people individually not for their lifestyle. I am also a Christian an I know what that woman said was right. It is immoral and the bible tells us we will be persecuted for telling the truth. The Lord will fight this battle for her & what ‘s sad is many of you will find out the truth & only when it is too late. I find it funny that someone can take care of patients who have suffered serious illnesses b/ c of their lifestyle ( whatever it is) and then be accused of hating said group. Many have been privileged to talk to them at the very end of their life and tell them of the love of Jesus and finally see them accept Him & be at peace. It is a spirit & a sin & sin does spread like cancer. That is the truth people…it doesn’t need defending it defends itself.

    1. James Rosado says:

      you have to remember not everyone beleoves in your religion and the bible also states a person can be what they want to be that include what sexuality they want to be even tho most think its not a choice it still applies. If you were truly Christian you would also do what the bible says: “Treat all as you would want to be treated” and according to your religion god sacrificed his son for everyones sins not just straight ppl

      1. James Rosado says:

        Sorry its suppose to read belongs

        1. Maria Castellano says:

          that is so true with what you said…i am proud of you, you have grown to be a better brother and individual..there are a lot of people out there in the world who do not like homosexuals , bisexuals, transgenders etc., but it doesn’t give them the right to discriminate us for who we are, it would be the same for them if we didn’t like something about them as James Rosado quotes from the bible “Treat all as you would want to be treated”. We all should be treated equally and not be put down because we are gay , its not a choice for those out there , its born within us to love and to love the same sex shouldnt be hurtful or put out there as this terrible thing…we can not help who we love…as i said its not a choice it is just who we are

  8. Bill says:

    “Quite frankly I find difficulty in understanding how anyone with a higher education ( particularly in science) would have trouble with an understanding between inherent qualities and choice regardless of what their faith teaches, but this is my own humble opinion.”

    I really wish people would stop using the fallacious argument of inherent qualities giving people some magical legitimacy. Pedophiles and serial killers are “born their way” as well and nobody goes around using that inherent condition as justification.

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