Press Room

October 14, 2011

Category: State Advocacy, Youth & Campus, Bullying, New Jersey

HRC Sends Letter to NJ Acting Commissioner of Education Urging Investigation into Anti-LGBT Teacher

10/14/2011

Washington – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization – today submitted a letter to New Jersey Acting Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf, urging him to open an investigation into the public anti-LGBT outbursts of Union High School teacher Viki Knox. Knox has made viciously anti-LGBT remarks on both her Facebook and Twitter accounts, calling LGBT Americans “unnatural” and “immoral,” likening being gay to cancer, and insinuating the implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal signaled the end times.

In the letter to Commissioner Cerf, HRC President Joe Solmonese cites Knox’s now-damaged credibility to act as a trusted and caring advisor to LGBT students in her school, and the dangerous message her behavior sends to those who seek to bully or harass LGBT youth:

“We respect Ms. Knox’s right to hold her own personal views – even when we vehemently disagree. However, to disseminate such vitriol in an angry and public fashion crosses the line. Ms. Knox’s actions have damaged her credibility with LGBT students who now will no longer feel comfortable turning to her if they themselves are bullied or face harassment in school or their community. Furthermore, her actions send a message to other students that it’s acceptable to lash out against LGBT students and those who support them.

“Regardless of her personal views, Ms. Knox’s first and foremost responsibility as an educator is to look out for the best interests of her students – whether it’s their educational development, their ability to feel welcome and respected in their school environment, or their safety. Her remarks make it clear she can’t perform that task.”

View the full letter.

As of Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after launching a petition, over 40,000 HRC members and supporters had signed up urging Union Township Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Martin to take appropriate action against Knox. Those looking to sign the petition can act here. For the latest, please visit www.hrc.org/callitout.


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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