Vicki Knox, the Union Township high school teacher who ignited a serious firestorm over the anti-gay messages she allegedly posted all over her school's Facebook, is at the center of an increasingly intense School Board battle over whether or not she should be allowed to keep her job. And while Knox herself has yet to publicly comment on the issue, pretty much everyone else is.
“Everybody’s entitled to an opinion,” Vicki's husband Gene Knox told CBS, citing his wife’s freedom of speech. “They can persecute her, but they can’t prosecute her.” “Homosexuality is a perverted spirit……..I know sin and it breeds like cancer!” Knox posted on Facebook, in reaction to her school's LGBT pride month display. “Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us? YOU ARE WRONG.” The page has since been taken down, but Garden State Equality, a gay rights group, has posted a PDF of the comments here.
A rally was held last night outside of the school board meeting in Union Township, with gay rights supporters holding signs reading "No Hate In Our State" and declaring that “students have rights," too. “Bigotry and prejudice can’t be taught to the kids. We’re looking at children committing suicide over this,” one man said. One student told NBC, "[Knox is] my in-class support teacher, and she switched me with another student. I did nothing wrong. I found out from another student she did this to gays, lesbians and bisexuals."
Of course, there were some Knox supporters, too, like the ACLU, who is defending her right to free speech, and Pastor Paul Simpson, who said "She speaks in Biblical values and we stand with her in solidarity." Officials from gay rights groups said that although Knox's comments are protected under the First Amendment, she has a responsibility as a teacher to be a role model for students. Knox is currently out of the classroom and on paid administrative leave while the school board continues their investigation into the matter.