NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A former New Jersey high school teacher suspended for posting anti-gay comments on her Facebook page several years ago has dropped her bid to be reinstated.
An attorney for Viki Knox filed the one-sentence notice with U.S. District Court in Newark on Tuesday.
In 2011, the then-Union High School teacher was embroiled in controversy for anti-gay comments she posted on Facebook, including “Homosexuality is a perverted spirit……..I know sin and it breeds like cancer!” and “Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us? YOU ARE WRONG.”
Knox and her husband, Gene, sat down for a CBS 2 exclusive interview over the firestorm that started it all.
“Everybody’s entitled to an opinion,” Gene Knox told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis back in 2011, citing his wife’s freedom of speech. “They can persecute her, but they can’t prosecute her.”
But following a school investigation, Knox was suspended without pay from her tenured position as a special education teacher. She resigned several months later, citing health problems caused by the suspension.
The school district investigated Knox because along with the comment, she reportedly posted a picture of a display at the school celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender history month.
In 2013 Knox sued the school district in federal court, claiming religious and racial discrimination, free speech and other civil rights violations and denial of due process.
Among other claims, Knox said school officials did not condemn alleged racist online comments posted in response to her Facebook posts.
The suit also contended her comments were an expression of her personal religious beliefs made during non-school hours and not using school equipment.
The lawsuit is continuing in federal court and seeks compensatory and punitive damages and back pay.
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