Four science teachers at Dumont High School in Bergen County, New Jersey have been suspended after a student screencapped a conversation they were having in a chat during a school Zoom session in November.
Wrote one of the teachers: “Why is that kid with the gay gym teacher?”
Another teacher replied: “Is that her adopted kid? Who is gonna be all f**ked up growing up watching 2 chicks kissing and calling them both mom.”
NorthJersey.com reports: “The suspension was announced in front of a sparse crowd during the Dumont Board of Education meeting held in-person Thursday night in the high school auditorium. The district’s business administrator, Kevin Cartotto, said during the meeting the teachers were suspended pending the completion of an investigation and possible disciplinary action. He added that state law does not allow school boards to suspend teachers without pay except as part of the tenure charge filing process.”
A petition calling for the teachers to be fired has received more than 25,000 signatures.
Dumont Mayor Andrew Bruno denounced the teachers’ actions in a Facebook post: “I have been made aware of some disturbing and extremely appalling comments between Dumont High School Teachers captured in a group chat shared during a zoom class. These homophobic comments do not reflect our community’s values, nor do they represent our beliefs in the Borough of Dumont. We are an inclusive and welcoming community. We were the first Mayor & Council to raise the Pride flag in support of our neighbors in the #LGBTQ community. While there is still much work to be done fighting against inequalities and standing up for human rights, our educators mold our children’s minds, and these comments have no place in our education system. I’ve contacted the Dumont Public Schools Superintendent, who has assured me that this incident is being taken seriously and will be thoroughly investigated. Dumont is one big family, and together we must ensure that all of our neighbors know that hate has no home here.”