Dec 03, 2019 10:51 AM EST
Utah Substitute Teacher Fired After Lecturing Kids That 'Homosexuality is Wrong'
After she allegedly told a classroom full of fifth-graders that "homosexuality is wrong" during a Thanksgiving exercise about gratitude, a Utah substitute teacher was fired.
Students at the Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah, said that when a classmate expressed his gratitude for his two fathers, she launched into an angry anti-gay rant.
When a gay couple's adopted son, Daniel, was asked by his substitute teacher about what he is thankful for, the boy answered that he is grateful for being finally accepted by two fathers. The teacher then proceeded to express her views on homosexuality and commented that it is incorrect. Louis van Amstel, one of the boy's gay dads, posted his disbelief on Twitter.
"I'm truly disgusted that the bully in this situation is a teacher in a public school," he added.
The rant lasted about 10 minutes with the teacher lamenting that "homosexuality is wrong" until, according to van Amstel, 3 students went to inform the principal after she reportedly continued with her rant even when the 3 asked her to stop multiple times.
Van Amstel, a trained choreographer who performed on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," said the school immediately contacted him after the incident had occurred. The school administrator said that the teacher had been immediately removed from the classroom.
Van Amstel posted a video online on November 22, saying that the incident set them off and that they are determined not to let the issue pass without dealing it accordingly. He also expressed that he is so proud of Daniel's school and warned that the "woman is never going to teach in this school ever again."
Kelly Services, which offers Alpine School District teacher replacements, stated that the teacher was fired on Sunday in a statement to ABC News. The agency's spokesperson said that they are concerned about any improper conduct allegations and take these matters very seriously. The firm also conducted an investigation and had decided to end the employment of the said substitute teacher with Kelly Services.
David Stephenson, spokesperson for the Alpine School District, did not share information about how the incident occurred, but he acknowledged that the school was having a problem with one of its replacement teachers.
A couple of days after the incident, the neighbors decorated the home of the "modern family" with paper hearts reading, "We love you" and "We support you."
Joshua van Amstel wrote on his own Facebook page about the adoption process back in April. He said that the couple has been planning about adoption for several years before they finally met their son. He described Daniel as a beautiful addition to the family and that the experience "has not been more magical." Fox 13 reported that the boy's adoption is set to be officially finalized on December 19.
Since October 6, 2014, same-sex marriage in Utah has been legal following a lawsuit that challenged the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Utah is currently ranked 2nd among LGBTQ rights-supporting states in the US. The Utah government recognizes the increasing LGBTQ community and has promoted legislation encouraging tolerance and equality.
Throughout Utah, the LGBTQ community was also embraced by all religious affiliations. It involves Utah's dominant religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Seventy percent of the church's members are in favor of gay rights and anti-discrimination laws.
A recent survey also shows that 77% of Utah residents are in favor and only 19% are opposed to discrimination against LGBTQ members. That's 8% above the national average.
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