Gay groups are preparing to make their
case against Viki Knox, a New Jersey high school teacher accused of
writing anti-gay Facebook posts.
On Tuesday, the Human Rights Campaign
(HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate, will present to
school officials a
petition signed by thousands of HRC members calling on the school
board to take immediate action against Knox.
HRC Field Director Marty Rouse will
deliver the petitions at a Union Township School Board meeting
Knox posted on Facebook a photo of a
school display recognizing October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender History month. It included photos of Virginia Woolf,
Harvey Milk and Neil Patrick Harris.
The 49-year-old Knox, who teaches
special education classes, wrote “homosexuality is a perverted
spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation” and a “sin”
that “breeds like cancer.” She defended her position in
subsequent messages to Facebook users, saying that she believed being
gay was “against the nature and character of God” and that the
high school was “not the setting to promote, encourage, support and
“Why parade your unnatural immoral
behaviors before the rest of us? AND YOU ARE WRONG! 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. I DO HAVE TO LOVE
AND SPEAK AND DO WHAT'S RIGHT!” Knox wrote.
Also protesting Knox is Garden State
Equality, New Jersey's largest gay rights advocate.
“Teachers are supposed to be role
models for our children, not hatemongers,” said Steve Goldstein,
the group's chairman. “I don't see how this teacher could possibly
be effective in implementing the state's new anti-bullying law,
designed precisely to teach children that bullying, including
cyber-bullying, is unacceptable.”
New York Times reported that Knox earned $72,109 in 2010
and had worked in the district for 12 years.