Press Room

October 19, 2011

Category: Parenting, Schools, Youth & Campus, Bullying, New Jersey

NJ Gov. Christie Calls Anti-LGBT Teacher’s Remarks “Disturbing”

HRC Applauds Christie for Speaking Out and Supporting Investigation into Viki Knox’s Anti-LGBT Outbursts

10/19/2011

Washington - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, commends New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for speaking out against the public anti-LGBT Facebook and Twitter rants of Union High School teacher Viki Knox. The Governor made the remarks the morning after HRC joined Garden State Equality at a Union Township School Board meeting and delivered the signatures of more than 75,000 HRC members and supporters calling for immediate action to be taken against Knox. Last week, HRC called on Governor Christie to denounce Knox’s remarks and sent a letter to the state’s Acting Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf urging him to open an investigation.

“We applaud Governor Christie for doing the right thing and speaking out against the anti-LGBT vitriol this teacher chose to bring into the classroom,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Governor Christie’s denouncement sends a very strong message that intentionally and publicly spreading malicious rhetoric and falsehoods about LGBT Americans is unacceptable and cannot go ignored. Now, Union Township school officials must take action that adequately addresses the severity of Ms. Knox’s behavior.”

According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Governor Christie said of Knox’s remarks this morning on 770 WABC Radio: “I think that kind of example is not a positive one at all to be setting for folks who have such an important and influential position in our society. I'm really concerned about those kinds of statements being made.” Christie went on to say he would “like to see an examination of how that teacher conducts herself in the classroom.”

The Union Township School Board has opened an investigation into Knox’s behavior, but has yet to reach a decision. In the meantime, Knox is on leave from her position at Union High School. Members and supporters can join HRC in keeping the pressure on the board to take immediate action. Knox’s husband has said she stands by her anti-LGBT views.

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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