Press Room

October 18, 2011

Category: Parenting, Schools, New Jersey

HRC Delivers Petitions to Union Township School Board Calling for Action Against Anti-LGBT Teacher

Over 75,000 HRC members and supporters demand response to teacher’s anti-LGBT Facebook and Twitter rants.

10/18/2011

Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is presenting the Union Township School Board with signatures from the over 75,000 HRC members and supporters who have signed a petition calling for immediate action to be taken against teacher Viki Knox following her public outbursts against LGBT Americans. HRC will deliver the signatures tonight at the Union Township School Board meeting, taking place at 7:00pm at Union High School. School officials have said they are investigating Knox.

Earlier this month, Knox posted anti-LGBT comments on her Facebook wall, including likening being gay to cancer, calling homosexuality “unnatural” and “immoral” and saying it is a choice. On Twitter, she also has blasted the implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, and suggested it was a sign of the end times.

“Thousands of fair-minded equality supporters from across the country are sending a loud and clear message to Union Township School officials – they will not tolerate bigotry from an educator charged with the well-being of our country’s students,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “LGBT youth face a myriad of challenges in school and their local communities. It is imperative their teachers are role models for all youth, sending a message that your self-worth is never impacted negatively by your sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Since Knox’s comments came to light last week, over 75,000 people have signed HRC’s petition calling for immediate action to be taken against Knox. HRC also called on Governor Christie and the state’s Acting Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf to speak out against Knox’s remarks and launch an investigation.

Earlier this year, New Jersey enacted the nation’s toughest anti-bullying law. In HRC’s letter to Acting Commissioner Cerf, Solmonese reminded him of the obligation state officials have to move quickly when school employees prove incapable of carrying out that law:  “It’s time to defend the principles behind that legislation by investigating Ms. Knox’s behavior. Ignoring her dangerous outbursts threatens the very spirit behind the passage of the landmark Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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