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October 14, 2011

Category: Campus & Young Adult, Bullying, State Advocacy, New Jersey

Nearly 35,000 People in Under 24 Hours Call for Action Against Anti-LGBT New Jersey Teacher

10/14/11

Governor Christie and Union Township superintendent must act now to show teacher’s anti-LGBT rant is unacceptable

Washington – Nearly 35,000 Human Rights Campaign (HRC) members and supporters from across the country have signed a petition in less than 24 hours calling on New Jersey Union Township Schools Superintendent Patrick Martin to take immediate action against anti-LGBT teacher Viki Knox. Knox recently posted hateful comments on her public Facebook wall in response to a bulletin board in her school commemorating LGBT history month. HRC also is calling on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to order the state Department of Education to open an investigation.

“Viki Knox’s publically posted, hateful remarks throw into question both her ability to carry out the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights in her school and her judgment as an educator,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “It is commendable that Union Township school officials are investigating her – now they must do the right thing, look at her public posts against LGBT Americans on Facebook and Twitter, and take appropriate action.”

Last night, HRC released additional anti-LGBT postings from Knox, this time from her Twitter account. On September 20 – as most Americans celebrated the bi-partisan driven implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal – Knox took to the internet to express her outrage: “DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL!?! ARE THEY SERIOUS? GOD IS NOT PLEASED AND NEITHER AM I!!! THE END IS NEAR!!!” View a screenshot of Knox’s tweet.

Garden State Equality obtained a PDF copy of Knox’s Facebook posts, in which she calls LGBT Americans “unnatural” and “immoral.” In another comment, she says: “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.”

New Jersey has one of the nation’s toughest anti-bullying laws. It mandates specific anti-bullying procedures for schools across the state, including rigorous requirements for schools to thoroughly investigate claims of bullying or harassment.

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.

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