A New Jersey high school teacher has created a national firestorm of criticism after posting anti-gay remarks on her Facebook page.
Union High School will be having a meeting Tuesday night to address the concerns of parents, students and citizens troubled by special education teacher Viki Knox' comments on her student bible study group page.
Knox, 49, called homosexuality a "sin" that "breeds like cancer".
The story was first reported by the Star-Ledger, and has since received national attention -- even sparking an online letter-writing campaign that has garnered more than 75,000 signatures.
The comments showed up on a Facebook thread (since removed) that had a picture of a display case at the school dedicated to Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender History Month. One commenter asked, "Did they really put that up in the UHS hallway??"
To which Knox replied, "Yes they did!!! And it's still there! I'm pitching a fit!"
Her page, which is public, quickly filled with comments -- first from those who appeared to know Knox, and then from strangers. A person named Lisa Fortunato wrote, "I overheard about this post from UHS alumni and I am just appalled at your behavior Ms. Knox . . . you can be sure that I will be calling the Superintendent of Schools on Tuesday to let them know that you are instilling hate to our future generation!"
Intolerance and bullying in schools has recently caught national attention, especially in light of several incidences of young students committing suicide after being bullied for their sexual preference. The story of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi made the issue a local one on Sep. 22, 2010 when the 18-year-old jumped off the George Washington Bridge and died after being recorded by his roommate during a gay sexual encounter.
Knox was unapologetic when replying to the hundreds of responses that filled the thread, even saying:
"So what if I'm against blatantly displaying homosexuality anywhere but especially schools? So what? That is not a crime! All the comments about me personally now those have been criminal! LOL I disapprove of males wearing hats inside buildings and sagging their pants. I mention that constantly!"
School district officials are currently investigating the case and trying to determine what action, if any, to take against Knox.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun