News (USA)

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

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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