NJ Teacher Probed by School District for 'Anti-Gay' Messages on Facebook

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By Allison Summers, Christian Post Reporter
October 13, 2011|4:34 pm

New Jersey school officials are currently investigating allegations that high school teacher Viki Knox posted anti-gay comments on her Facebook page, in which she describes homosexuality as "perversion" and complains about exhibits and events going on at the school during its celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history month, according to CBSNewYork.com.

The posts, which sparked a lengthy thread of debate among Facebook users, caught the attention of local attorney and former township councilman John Paragano, who subsequently alerted the school district with a copy of the thread and a letter explaining the need for Knox's dismissal from her position.

In the Facebook thread, Knox, who also serves as the faculty advisor to a prayer group at Union Township High School, posted a picture of a photo display in the hallway of the school of famous LGBT celebrities, commenting that she is "pitching a fit" that the display was still in the school.

At another point in her comments, Knox said, "Homosexuality is a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation. The Word of God refers to it often. That's if you believe the Word to be truly God's intended blueprint for his people."

While some users expressed approval of Knox's views, other Christians spoke out against the teacher's comments.

"You are kidding me!" said user Judy Greco Amorosa. "I heard about this post – What kind of Christian are you? God made each and every one of us – gay, straight, black, white, Christian, Jew, blond, brunette – and we should all love eachother (sic) – that is the Christian way."

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The scandal comes at a time in which suicides as a result of gay-bullying in schools are making national headlines and catching the attention of politicians and celebrities, who agree that action must be taken to end the problem.

Just last month, 14-year-old Buffalo, N.Y., student Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide because of bullying about his sexuality, which was later discovered through Youtube videos the teen posted in which he detailed the daily harassment he endured.

Last year, the death of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi also captured national attention when he jumped off of the George Washington Bridge in New York, reportedly because two fellow students allegedly posted a secretly recorded video showing an intimate encounter taking place between him and another male.

Garden State Equality, New Jersey's largest civil rights organization, said it thinks Knox should lose her job over the comments because it could interfere with a recent New Jersey law put in place to ensure students are taught to treat each other with respect, regardless of backgrounds.

"It is one thing to hold anti-gay views – that's protected in America – but it would be another thing to vow to teach them in the classroom in a public school," said CEO and chair of Garden State Equality Steven Goldstein.

The issue of the possible violation of Knox's 1st Amendment rights also sparking much debate on the Web.

"So she is religious and made a statement that conforms to her beliefs. What's the big deal?" asked one reader on NJ.com. "Listen I am not against gay rights nor am I a religious person, but people saying what's on their mind and then being ridiculed for it has to stop. Why is it OK to speak out in support of gays but not OK to speak out against them?"

Knox noted in one lengthy Facebook comment: "I have friends and loved ones who are practicing/ living as homosexuals. Yes I love can care about them. We hug and exchange gifts. We have family dinners. But how they live and their actions, behaviors – CHOICES are against the nature and character of God!"

 

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