Teacher Facing Termination for Anti-Gay Facebook Comments

January 13, 2012  |  

Another teacher is facing termination for failing to lock-down her Facebook profile.

Tenure charges were formally filed against Union High School English teacher Viki Knox, 50, last month after she was placed on leave in September for words on her Facebook wall that her school board says could be potentially harmful to their students. She wrote:

“Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us?” and called homosexuality “a perverted spirit” and a “sin which breeds like cancer.

“I DO NOT HAVE TO TOLERATE ANYTHING OTHERS WISH TO DO. I DO HAVE TO LOVE AND SPEAK AND DO WHAT’S RIGHT!”

Ms. Knox, who was the faculty adviser to Union High School’s Bible study group, was supposedly upset over a school display marking Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month. Two Facebook pages have popped up as result of the incident—one with about 900 likes calling for Ms. Knox to be fired and the other with 700 likes showing support for the teacher, saying her Facebook profile is personal.

An attorney who wrote a letter to Chief School Administrator Patrick Martin after seeing the Facebook post argued that while Ms. Knox or any other teacher has a right to say it, “she does not have a right to keep her job after saying it.”

The school board’s president Francis R. Perkins says the situation is a difficult issue and although they’re not currently discussing policies for social media sites with their teachers, their attorney has discussed ‘appropriate actions’ for them online.

“We trust teachers to treat students with respect and to deal with them appropriately,” he says.”Every student, no matter what race, creed, color or sexual orientation ought to be able to come to school and feel comfortable in a learning environment that’s welcoming and nurturing,”

It’s not clear when a decision will be made on Ms. Knox, but schools in other states are taking notice and drafting formal policies on electronic communication regarding student relations in order to avoid situations like this.

What do you think about this case? Should this teacher be fired for expressing her negative opinion of homosexuality on her Facebook page?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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