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NJ Teacher Under Investigation for Facebook Remarks Calling Homosexuality a 'Perverted' Sin That 'Breeds Like Cancer'

The Star Ledger reports that a parent in Union Township, New Jersey has called for a teacher's dismissal after the teacher, Viki Knox, posted remarks on her Facebook site attacking a school display recognizing Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender History Month and calling homosexuality "perverted".

KnoxWrote Knox in some of her comments:

"Homosexuality is a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation. The word of God refers to it often. That's if you believe the Word to be truly God's intended blueprint for his people. I have friends and loved ones who are practicing/ living as homosexuals. Yes I love can care about them. We hug and exchange gifts. We have family dinners. But how they live and their actions, behaviors -CHOICES are against the nature and character of God! Do I tell me so? Yes, of course. Do I treat them bad? If course not! Jesus never did that to ANYONE he meant. He spoke to them of their situation and offered them life eternal. He didn't say it was okay but we've all sinned and come short if God's will for us daily. That's why we Christians true followers pray, repent, and spend time with Christ daily. The Word of God instructs us to die daily to our flesh-meaning our will. What we want; what feels good to us; what we like; what we can rationalize and justify. I do not pretend to know ALL things. Nor do I pretend not to have biases, failings and faults. But I know sin and it breeds like cancer!"

Read a PDF of the Facebook thread, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Star-Ledger reports:

"Hateful public comments from a teacher cannot be tolerated," wrote Paragano, also a former Union Township Municipal Court judge. "She has a right to say it. But she does not have a right to keep her job after saying it."

Union Chief School Administrator Patrick Martin said the district is investigating the incident.
Knox, 49, of Union Township, is also the faculty adviser to the high school’s student prayer group, The Seekers Fellowship, the local chapter of a nationwide organization.

Knox did not respond to requests for comment. But two other people who wrote comments on the thread said Paragano’s copy was authentic.

Read a PDF of the Facebook thread, AFTER THE JUMP...

The case bears a striking resemblance to that of Florida teacher Jerry Buell, who was suspended last month for anti-gay Facebook comments (and later teamed up with NOM). As they did for Buell, the ACLU is defending Knox, according to Gothamist:

Knox has yet to comment, but the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey released a statement defending Knox’s First Amendment right to make the comments: "Although we do not agree with the sentiments expressed on Ms. Knox’s personal Facebook page, her comments are protected by the First Amendment," said representative Ed Barocas.

PDF via Garden State Equality.

Knox

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Comments

  1. If for no other reason, she should be dismissed from her teaching job for her horrible grammar.

    Posted by: Rich | Oct 13, 2011 2:43:28 PM


  2. And the best part is that the woman possesses the literacy skills of a third grader.

    Of course she shouldn't be a teacher. The question is how she got to be one in the first place.

    Posted by: ohplease | Oct 13, 2011 2:44:28 PM


  3. Hatred is a sin that breeds like cancer too.

    Posted by: Jack M | Oct 13, 2011 2:44:28 PM


  4. would she be defended had she spewed venom about "Jews being Chirst-Killers whose greed for money is a cancer on society"?

    because she likely believes that, too.

    you show me an anti-gay bigoted Christian and I'll show you an anti-Semite.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Oct 13, 2011 2:44:52 PM


  5. while I don't always agree with the ACLU...I agree with them 80% of the time....Id rather live in an America, WITH an ACLU..then an America without one.

    ...shoudl she be fired, No.....ie: free speech....bbut should her behavior be Noted, and KNOWN - yes....let kids Opt out of her classes...hmmm, now I wonder IF I went and said that My religion doesn't think Black people are Equal to whites,and they are like a Cancer,,,,wonder how Ms Knox would feel???

    Posted by: Gay American | Oct 13, 2011 2:47:45 PM


  6. This is really, really wrong and the ACLU is right. This woman's schtick about homosexuality is really, really sick but she has the right to put it on her FB without fear of retaliation - unless she were to advocate violence against gay people.

    of course, people like her are the kind of "christians" who blame gay people for their own bashing because of their "perverted choices." And, of course, they deny that their words contribute to the ethos of violence against gay people.

    Meanwhile, I don't see how a person with her views got through an accredited education curriculum and licensed to teach in a civilized country.

    Posted by: Danny | Oct 13, 2011 2:48:42 PM


  7. She's a TEACHER? What was she on when she wrote that marginally comprehensible mess!?
    Mushrooms? God help this country if this woman is a "teacher"! She could do her race and her students a favor by quitting her job and becoming a custodian or hairdresser!

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Oct 13, 2011 2:50:33 PM


  8. meanwhile one of the interesting things about her posting is that she seems inadvertently to cop to having same sex desires herself:

    "The Word of God instructs us to die daily to our flesh-meaning our will. What we want; what feels good to us; what we like; what we can rationalize and justify."


    Posted by: Danny | Oct 13, 2011 2:52:38 PM


  9. Gay American: why shouldn't she be fired?
    What if the principal of the school were an out gay man or woman? What if some students than took what she said as a reason to disobey the principal? Or if one of her students was gay... how would that affect that students ability to perform in her class? What if a teacher said that about black students? Or recounted what some white evangelicals believe about blacks: that they do Satan's work on earth and are cursed by God. (About 20 years ago I actually worked with a white evangelical woman who told me that her church teaches that blacks are the decendents of Ham and that God has cursed them... and that that's why they have so much in the way of social pathology!). Would that be cool too? Or what if the teacher made a similar comment about Jews? There's a tipping point with racial and religious minorities at which point the environment conducive to education has been poisoned? Is there no such tipping point for what a teacher says about gay people?

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Oct 13, 2011 2:55:41 PM


  10. Assuming that the above quote of Ms. Knox's Facebook comments is accurate, it is frightening to see that a TEACHER is not only this ignorant and illogical but also possessed of such poor writing skills that her meaning is often indecipherable. "Do I tell me so [sic]?" What is she even trying to say? Please tell me she doesn't teach English.

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Oct 13, 2011 2:58:43 PM


  11. This has nothing to do with free speech. She has every right to write what ever she wants on her FB page. And the school has the right to not employ bigots if they want. It is outright homophobia which makes this even an issue. Of course if she wrote something horribly antisemtic or racist she would be canned immediately, and the ACLU probably wouldn't lift a finger. Freedom of speech may be a right in this country, but unrestricted employment is not. Seems a lot of gays also have a lot of internalized homophobia to deal with as well.

    Posted by: gaylib | Oct 13, 2011 2:59:45 PM


  12. Knox clearly has the right to say what she did. It is protected free speech, religious expression, on her private time and personal page. She is not speaking in her official teaching duty; she is speaking as citizen who has the right to address all manner of topics, including religious and social matters. The state cannot silence her personal religious expression and beliefs.

    Posted by: Malcolm | Oct 13, 2011 2:59:53 PM


  13. There are rules in place that these teachers have to uphold, or lose their jobs. It's that simple. This woman, like Jerry Buell, I'm guessing violated the terms of her contract, plus is now a distraction in the classroom. So, with that, comes potential/likely dismissal. That's just how it is.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 13, 2011 3:00:04 PM


  14. I don't undestand this "first amendment" defense.....

    nobody is saying "she doesnt' have a right to say it"...but that doesnt' mean that she can't not be reprimanded for the specifics of what she said....right?

    would racist remarks not lose her her job? anti-Semitic ones?

    i didn't think the First Amendment meant you can say whatever you like without any possible consequences for the specifics of what you've said. i thought it just defended you right to be able to say it. well, she said it.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Oct 13, 2011 3:00:40 PM


  15. Her freedom of speech has NOT been trampled: she can say WHATEVER she wants without fear of being jailed or losing her liberty. If her employer feels that her speech in public (Facebook is NOT private! anyone can join!) is detrimental to her job or the children who may be exposed to her speech, then they can FIRE HER A$$. Frankly, she needs to do something else since she can't even write a coherent sentence. This is a teacher? PATHETIC!
    I love the ACLU, truly. But this is NOT about freedom of speech! She was not JAILED; she didn't lose her liberty! She can say whatever she wants - but that doesn't mean that there are no consequences! I'm so tired of this stupidity; some people really need to get a damn clue and an education when it comes this.

    Posted by: wtf | Oct 13, 2011 3:03:48 PM


  16. This reminds of the Clint McCance story, the guy from Arkansas who sat on a school board and posted wildly homophobic remarks.

    He was just on a school board, not even an actual teacher. Due to public pressure, he was let go.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Oct 13, 2011 3:05:47 PM


  17. Sadly, the students in Ms. Knox's classes are going to inherit her poor use of the English language. I'd hate to be the union rep who not only has to defend her bigotry, but also her inability to write at a ninth grade level. Ignorance breeds ignorance.

    Posted by: djcchicago | Oct 13, 2011 3:09:54 PM


  18. How sad, that this black woman - coming from a race of people who have been so rejected by the world, would be so fearful and hateful. While her people have been given equal rights with so much resistance, both in the past and still in the present - why does she think it is okay to be so ignorant? People like her become teachers because this is the only thing they think they can to. Please leave this noble profession and make room for those who have love in their hearts for all God's children.

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 13, 2011 3:09:54 PM


  19. Beleive me - Id Love Nothing more then people of her Ilk to just GO AWAY! People like her who NEVER had to FIGHT for her RIGHTS, she LIVES off the Backs of those who fought and Died for her RIGHTS, and even Gays/lesbians Marched in Selma all those years ago for Her Rights, when Gays/lesbian Rights weren't even Fathomed.
    This woman is a scumbag....and lets just hope Karma catches up with her.

    Posted by: Gay American | Oct 13, 2011 3:10:15 PM


  20. Viki Knox on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=637264561

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Oct 13, 2011 3:16:00 PM


  21. most schools and institutions of learning have a social media policy and it depends on if this school district has such a policy and if she is in violation of said policy. Teachers are right up there with public servants and celebrities: the smart ones know their social media participation should be as private as possible and or as positive and non-confrontational as possible. If this post was visibile to students and parents, they may rightfully complain for a lack of confidence in her ability to teach their children, as her posts are barely literate, and her message is hateful.
    The ACLU is correct, she does have a right to free expression, but that does not mean, however, that there are never any consequences to our actions or our speech. All the first amendment means is that the government cannot jail you for your speech. It does not mean an employer can't rightfully find you to be a polarizing figure who's outside activities are interfering with her work, her job., and her employer's standing in the community.
    Should she lose her job? Maybe, it really just depends on school policies.

    Posted by: JayKingOfGay | Oct 13, 2011 3:16:59 PM


  22. As much as I dislike and disagree with what she wrote- she does have the right to say it. I don't think the school board is going to have a leg to stand on unless she signed some sort of contract with them that puts limitations on her online social networking.

    Trying to stifle hate speech is such a slippery slope. I abhor censorship in any fashion and because I don't ever want anyone telling me what I can and cannot say, I will defend the First Amendment rights of even those people whose message I despise.

    Posted by: CynJ | Oct 13, 2011 3:25:08 PM


  23. I'm not entirely sure why she wants to give herself such a headache worrying about gay people. Doesn't she know how to pray?

    Posted by: Carrie | Oct 13, 2011 3:25:31 PM


  24. Wow. A black female who is against equal civil rights. How despicable. I certainly hope she's not a History teacher, because she obviously has no understanding of the past 100 years in America.

    Posted by: OMNOMNOM | Oct 13, 2011 3:33:17 PM


  25. She can say and has said whatever she wanted to. Freedom of speech has been served. Now come the consequences.

    You can't be a public school teacher and be openly bigoted toward a random group of your students. You just can't. It destroys any potential for a learning environment and it goes against everything that being a teacher is.

    And let's not forget that the woman is an idiot. Surely, even among her defenders, that must count for something? She clearly has no business whatsoever holding her job.

    Posted by: ohplease | Oct 13, 2011 3:37:40 PM


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