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October 13, 2011

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

HRC to Gov. Christie: Denounce Teacher’s Hateful Anti-LGBT Rhetoric & Launch State Investigation

Washington – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – is calling on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to denounce the dangerous and hateful anti-LGBT remarks of Union High School teacher Viki Knox immediately. HRC also is calling on Christie to have the New Jersey Department of Education open an investigation into the teacher’s alleged remarks. Knox is alleged to have posted a number of homophobic and transphobic remarks on her public Facebook wall in response to a bulletin board in her school’s hallway commemorating October as LGBT history month.

“Governor Christie recently signed model anti-bullying legislation into law,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “That law requires schools to rigorously report instances of bullying and harassment – exactly the type of behavior Viki Knox’s comments can potentially encourage. In order for the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights to be effective, schools must be staffed by educators who are willing to follow the law.  Governor Christie has an obligation to speak out against behavior that goes against those principles. It’s essential that the State Department of Education launch its own investigation of this matter.”

Earlier this year, New Jersey enacted the toughest anti-bullying legislation in the nation. The law mandates specific anti-bullying procedures for schools across the state and also covers public universities. It requires schools to thoroughly investigate claims of bullying or harassment.

Garden State Equality obtained a PDF copy of Knox’s posts, which include her likening being gay to cancer and calling LGBT Americans “unnatural” and “immoral” -  “Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us? AND YOU ARE WRONG! 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.”

According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, school officials are investigating the incident. HRC members and supporters can take action and tell Union Township Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Martin to take appropriate action against Knox.

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. HRC to Governor Christie: Denounce Teacher’s Dangerous, Hateful Anti-LGBT Rhetoric & Launch State Investigation

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