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New Jersey

NJ teacher who posted anti-gay rants on Facebook asks to retire to avoid litigation

Friday, May 18, 2012

UNION TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A New Jersey high school teacher, who last year posted anti-gay sentiments on her personal Facebook page, has asked a state administrative law judge to allow her to retire, rather than face disciplinary charges.

Viki Knox, a teacher at Union High School and adviser to a student prayer group, wrote last October that homosexuality was “perverted,” and a “sin that breeds like cancer” — her comments triggered by an LGBT History Month display at the school.

Viki Knox

The rant prompted the school board to file tenure charges against Knox for “unbecoming conduct,” a step that begins a lengthy and costly process to terminate her employment, according to school board president Ray Perkins.

“If I can retire then there is no need for me to go through this unpleasant experience,” Knox, 50, wrote in court documents.

“Although I continue to maintain that I have done nothing that warrants me being disciplined … the thought of going through a tenure trial causes a great deal of angst.

“Unfortunately for all concerned, this matter has already received great notoriety in the local community. Avoiding a hearing will allow the local community to start the healing process sooner.”

The tenure charge case was to begin Tuesday before a state Administrative Law Judge, but Knox filed a motion earlier this month asking that it be delayed while she seeks a disability pension due to both a back injury and “psychological grounds,” reported the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

A judge Wednesday agreed to list the case as inactive for three months.

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68 more reader comments:

  1. coward.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:43am
  2. Amazing what people will do to avoid taking responsibility for their hatred.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:44am
  3. fuck that, fire her ass. don’t let her just retire. shame her like the monster she is.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:44am
  4. Easy way out!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:44am
  5. thats one way to retire early; make gay rants and then everyone wants you gone!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:45am
  6. I hope their is litigation, you know for a fact that if a teacher ranted about students of a different race they’re would be, what she did is no different.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:47am
  7. what a bitch. she doesn’t even see what she did wrong…

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:47am
  8. I`ts called freedom of speech! I rember reading that someplace. I don`t agree with what she said, but I will defend her RIGHT to say it. Some other statesman said that, can`t rember who.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:47am
  9. Fire her ass…and take her benefits!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:47am
  10. Fukk her! Maybe I should talk to her lol? Hate hate hate black folks that are STILL showing signs of hate. Enough is enough!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:47am
  11. Get Yo’ Ass On Out!!!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:50am
  12. Don’t let her retire, let her face the charges!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:51am
  13. I love now how the tax payers will get to support her because of back issues and “psychological grounds”. Man, I hope for her sake non of her free money from the tax payers is queer money.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:51am
  14. She needs to get off of her high horse. and Yes, there is freedom of speech. there’s also termination, which the school board can impose if the person acts out of line.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:52am
  15. Devil’s Advocate here: but why fire her for her opinion? Does she not have the right to say what she feels? Even if you don’t like it, doesnt hse?

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:52am
  16. she*

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:52am
  17. I hope any gay citizens get to opt out of her pension?

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:52am
  18. yaaa baby

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:52am
  19. Fire her fat ass!!!!!!!!!!! Deplorable actions such as hers should be subjected to the appropriate punishment and sanctions….she should have thought of that b4 she ran that fat hateful mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:53am
  20. In thirty years, rants against equality of unions will look as silly as the “separate but equal” BS during the civil rights era. The thing of it is, the civil rights era has never ended – the groups targeted have not been liberated from hate. Until that day comes, nobody should rest until the injustice of inequality and bigotry is over.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:53am
  21. She has issues

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:54am
  22. Even though she may be acting like a ‘bitch,’ she does have freedom of speech. And it was posted on her personal facebook page. People have their own opinions and their own intolerance. It’s because she is a high-school teacher that this is such a big deal. I will admit that it was dumb and irresponsible of her to post those comments publicly, but she is a person entitled to her own opinions. I personally don’t really give a shit what happens to her. Not my place to judge.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:55am
  23. Oh, and many forget freedom of speech carries responsibility.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:55am
  24. this shit really pisses me off, all high and mighty when it comes to shooting off their negative, bigoted mouths, but when it comes time for the reprocutions , they cower away like cockroaches, When will we be just left alone and given just common respect!!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:56am
  25. Nicor, that is exactly what a trial would determine. That’s what she’s trying to evade. In a school, what takes precedence — a teacher’s right to voice her hatred, or a gay student’s right to attend school free of such active hatred?

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:57am
  26. Give the bitch the heave ho.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:58am
  27. An she’s “supposed” 2 b a teacher?! Sorry Ass!!!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:58am
  28. YEAH, she would not have liked it if someone would have posted a sign that said “Good job James Earl Ray”….

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:00am
  29. Because that way she can still get all her benefits and health insurance if she retires and no punishment at all. Wth

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:01am
  30. I <3 when Black people go off on gay people about Civil Rights…that makes me LMFAO…they dont remember Jim Crow.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:01am
  31. She should hang her head in shame. She would have never gotten an education to become a teacher if it were not for LGBT people who supported the Civil Rights movement in the ’60′s.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:02am
  32. BWAHAHAHAHAHA Serves her right. You want to spew shit, you’re going to recieve shit in return. I make her go through litigation. She deserves it after what she said about what could have possible been her own students! >:(

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:02am
  33. While her opinion posted on her FB page is disappointing and painful to me, I have to point out that she has a right to share her opinion, even if it’s not a nice one. She definitely has some claim to her First Amendment Rights here, and I believe that she would prevail in litigation. Her FB page was hers to post what she wants, just as we all have that same ability and freedom. Be careful what you wish for, because if you opt to censor this lady and her opinion, you will also be censoring your own rights to post your own opinions on your own FB

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:04am
  34. She needs to be terminated without receiving any of her benefits! She spouts off evil hatefulness then wants an easy way out to avoid repercussions. She shouldn’t be let off so easy!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:05am
  35. No. Make the bitch stand up and face the consequences of her actions. She wants to retire so she wont loose he pension.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:07am
  36. I think she should be held accountable for her actions…if not we are showing the kids it is ok to treat others like this and you will get away with it.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:08am
  37. She worked for the government as a teacher. Teachers have to abide by their work ethic codes. And what she did does go against it. Teachers can’t hate their students.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:20am
  38. No way.. She should have to face litagation.. The availability to retire is the easy way out and it will make it look as if she did NOTHING WRONG!!!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:21am
  39. Yeah shes got freedom of speech but.. If shes saying that on her FB page, then how is she treating students who are LGBT in the classroom?……just a thought.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:22am
  40. What an ignorant woman, not too long ago her ancestors went through very similar fights for equality.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:42am
  41. She is entitled to her own opinions, however mean and false they may be. Does the school have a rule about what shouldn’t be posted on social sites? If not, and if she never did anything of this sort or worse while on school grounds, then I don’t see why the school needs to be involved. Much as I hate the idea of not taking some form of action, it was just a very poor action on her part.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:44am
  42. Teachers, like other public figures, serve as role models. When she makes her personal views public rather than keeping them private, yes the school has to be involved as it reflects on them as an institution of learning.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:59am
  43. As a gay teacher I don’t like where this trend is going. Should I get fired if I post my liberal opinions on Facebook? Some would say that I am immoral and unfit to teach.
    I am a firm believer in the first amendment. I may not like what someone has to say, but I will fight for anyone’s right to say it. As much as I don’t like her comments, I don’t think she went against any code of ethics.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:23am
  44. Hell no! Let her eat her damn foot off!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:40am
  45. Dont have Nuthin nice to say bout what we believe in…. Then shshsh! Now u scared no legal action…..? Too late for that..lady

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:41am
  46. Val, as a teacher, you should know that the first amendment wasn’t designed nor does it enforce blunders such as this. Communication is changing with the times, and she should as well!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:43am
  47. If this is her decision, then she knows that what she said is wrong.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:45am
  48. Mental, what was her blunder? Posting her opinion? I post about pro-gay marriage and anti-Republican issues. I live in a mostly conservative state. Should I be fired because someone who has a different opinion than me thinks that I blundered? Calling for disciplinary action for her posting opinions on her personal Facebook page is a very slippery slope and one I do not care to walk on. Should anyone face disciplinary action if they post a personal opinion that their employer disagrees with?

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:58am
  49. like there isnt enough bullying from other students…

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:59am
  50. Face your litigation before you tak teacher retirement.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 11:03am
  51. This ugly skank needs to treat her homophobic behavior with therapy because it is a DIAGNOSABLE disorder! Fuck this nasty bitch!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 11:27am
  52. Unbelievable

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 11:40am
  53. She should be made to face the litigation first and then if it is an option, be allowed to retire. She needs to be held accountable. She was suppose to be the role model and failed at her position.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 12:03pm
  54. Just goes to show you bigots come in every color.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 12:07pm
  55. As a “teacher” it is your duty to creat a SAFE and workable environment that the student can work in an be successful, I would charge her as well if she posted these things on Facebook. How is any student in her classes or that even knows her supposed to feel safe or be able to work productively with these words sitting in his/her mind.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 12:12pm
  56. For a group if people who are supposed to be progressive, seems like many of you can’t handle opposing opinions. What makes you any different than the people on the other side?

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 12:47pm
  57. If she made a comment about any other minority there would be hell to pay…that’s why

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 12:53pm
  58. What’s next, Big Brother? Thought Police?

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 1:17pm
  59. Fire her. Have some balls people! No to reitre. Fire her ass

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 2:48pm
  60. @ val because she teaches our children.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 2:50pm
  61. This is some of what she also wrote, “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 wonder how she feels now knowing people don’t have to tolerate her LOL.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 2:52pm
  62. Could you imagine if she said this about white people?

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 2:53pm
  63. hateful bitch

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 3:22pm
  64. Let that Bitch have it! honey. The Black church needs 2 wake up. Most of their choir would disappear & 1/2 of their Usher board would B. gone if we say goodbye.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 3:22pm
  65. MAKE SURE SHE GOES THRU LITIGATION. mAYBE THE NEXT IDIOT WILL THINK BEFORE THEY TALK.

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 5:11pm
  66. To all those who think she should be free to express her opinion like that: She should be setting a better example for her class and indeed classes everywhere. You might ask what if she weren’t a teacher? I say that’s fine. Just let all the online gaybashers of the world stomp on us! The point is innocent people can get hurt for something beyond their control, something harmless, something they didn’t provoke. I truly hope she doesn’t win her case because it would encourage hetero-supremacists for miles around to take our safety AND our tax money away! People should not get away with, let alone rewarded for, hate speech!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 5:23pm
  67. Oh hell no, she should not get a frickin pension, when she is an educator, voicing that type of biggotted crap, she needs to be made to work right along side 50 gay people for a month, so she can get her hatred gone, does this woman not remember where her ancestors were just 40 years ago? Sickening, this thing was forming the minds of our yourh!!!!

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 8:16pm
  68. My fellow LGBT, please support my photo entry by SHARING. My entry is the only one with a gay theme. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=370016126389648&set=a.369428056448455.82831.142227165835213&type=1&theater

    Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 9:10pm