New Jersey 20-year veteran teacher Viki Knox has become the religious right’s latest poster child after her anti-gay hate speech was discovered in a Facebook post. Some of her comments have been widely publicized, like, homosexuality is “a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation,” and a “sin” that “breeds like cancer,” and, “Union is not South Orange/Maplewood where one out of four families consist of two Mommies or daddies … Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us?,” and, “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.”
Knox is a 49-year-old special education teacher at Union High School and also serves as an advisor to the school’s student prayer group.
But what started Viki Knox’s anti-gay rant? The media has been pretty quiet about it, as well as not disclosing the entire Facebook conversation. So we will.
As you can see from the image above, the school where Viki Knox teaches created a showcase dedicated to “Lesbian Gay Bi Transgender History Month.” Someone, as you can see below, asked Knox, “Did they really put that up in the hallway at UHS?” Knox responded with, “Yes they did!!! And it’s still there! I’m pitching a fit!”
That, plus a comment about what one can assume to be a lesbian mentioning her wife, is how Knox’s entire anti-gay rant began. Apparently a rather long thread, it lasted hours, and I urge you to read it in its entirety.
Several people, including, apparently former students, commented also, excoriating Knox, and as the existence of the conversation became known, others got involved on both sides. At one point, Knox fires off a “religion” filled diatribe.
As The New Civil Rights Movement writer Scott Rose reported earlier today, Knox had to have gone through extensive anti-bullying training conducted by a mental health professional, and others have noted the school, like many, has regulations about the use of social media.
On another note, just as we said repeatedly in the similar case of Florida teacher Jerry Buell, we’ll say here:
Of course, lost on all is the simple fact that an LGBTQ student most likely will not feel safe in Buell’s — and now, Knox’s — classroom, and should not have to be behind closed doors with someone in a position of leadership, power, and authority, who thinks who you are might make them throw up.
It’s important to remember, teachers are in schools for the kids. Not the other way around. Something that the Right is constantly preaching when it comes to unions and money but not when it comes to gays and safety.
Also lost on the right is that many employers fire people every day for behavior that affects their ability to do their job properly. You are responsible for your words and your actions. You may have a First Amendment right to say something, but you do not have the right to not have to pay for the consequences of your actions.
Our sincere thanks to Garden State Equality for allowing us to publish this document.
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