The Cobb County school board, located outside of Atlanta, has voted to terminate the employment of a 5th-grade teacher who read an acclaimed children’s book about “being true to yourself.” Continue reading “Georgia Teacher Fired For Reading “Free Expression” Book To Students”
The mother of a 6-year-old boy who shot his first grade teacher in Virginia in January has been charged criminally in connection to the incident.
A special grand jury will also be convened to consider whether others should also be held accountable for the shooting. Continue reading “Mother Charged In Case Of 6-Year-Old VA Student Who Shot Teacher”
A white Texas teacher has unemployed himself after telling a class of students his race is “superior.” Continue reading “Teacher Fired After Telling Students His Race Is “Superior””
Some news items you might have missed:
• NBC New York: World Health Organization officials say the outbreak of the monkeypox virus in North America and Europe is primarily spreading through sex among men with about 200 cases across at least a dozen countries. WHO officials emphasized, however, that anyone can contract monkeypox. Continue reading “Monkeypox, Madison Cawthorn + More News”
A new bill spearheaded by Republicans in Arizona would require teachers to out students to parents even if the student spoke to a teacher in confidence. Continue reading “Arizona Bill Could Require Teachers To Out Students To Parents”
Some news items you might have missed:
• Instinct Magazine: In the latest issue of Batman: Urban Legends, the caped crusader’s sidekick Robin (the Tim Drake version) was officially revealed to be bisexual. Lots of fans are thrilled, some not so much. Continue reading “News Round-Up: August 11, 2021”
Some high school teachers in New Jersey are in hot water after sharp-eyed students noticed (and screen captured) a homophobic chat among educators left open on a science teacher’s desktop during a Zoom class.
In a group chat dated Wednesday, Dumont High School teachers appear to bash the sexual orientation and lifestyle of one of their co-workers.
“Why is that kid with the gay gym teacher?” asks one, according to a screenshot of the chat posted online.
“Is that her adopted kid? Who is gonna be all f—-d up growing up watching 2 chicks kissing and calling them both mom,” says another, according to the screenshot.
Dumont Mayor Andrew LaBruno said Wednesday the comments were made between Dumont High School teachers during a group chat while the Zoom class was taking place. Someone captured the chat and shared it with others, the mayor said.
In a statement posted to Facebook, LaBruno called the comments “disturbing and extremely appalling” and said he is calling on schools Superintendent Emanuele Triggiano to investigate the matter.
A petition at Change.org calling for the homophobic teachers’ resignations has more than 18,000 signatures at this writing.
Some news items you might have missed:
• Back2Stonewall: Out actor-comedian Billy Eichner is set to play TV icon Paul Lynde in the upcoming biopic Man in the Box. While Lynde never officially “out,” his sexuality was well-known in front of and behind the camera throughout a run on television beginning in the ’50s up until his death in 1982.
• KOMO: The cast and creators of the Emmy-nominated cult HBO classic The Comeback will reunite on July 21 as part of the Stars In the House daily live-streamed series. The show’s creator and star Lisa Kudrow will be on board to chat on the satirical reality show that followed one woman’s journey as a B-list sitcom actress trying to reclaim A-list status via reality TV. Hot hubby Michael and I loved the series – Kudrow was brilliant walking the fine line of reality/scripted TV.
• ABC News: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed Tuesday morning that Senate Republicans plan to support another round of stimulus checks to Americans in their next coronavirus relief proposal. This time around, however, Republicans would like to lower the income threshold to qualify. The cap on payments in the first CARES bill was $99,000.
• NPR: Teachers in Florida are suing the state to block an emergency order requiring schools to open next month with in-person instruction. They say, with the surge of coronavirus cases, the order violates a provision in Florida’s constitution requiring the state to ensure schools are operated safely.
• BroBible: A teen employee at a Lowe’s store in Washington, Kyle Sales, was forced to change his tee-shirt reading “Black Panther Wakanda Forever” after a ‘Karen’ complained the shirt was racist. After the exchange, Sales went home and put a jersey over his Black Panther movie shirt. The next day, ‘Karen’ returned demanding to know how Sales was punished.
• Boy Culture: Donald Trump, at his daily coronavirus presser, was asked about Ghislaine Maxwell — perhaps you’ve heard of her? The lady accused of running a child-sex ring for Jeffrey Epstein, who died on Trump’s watch? Yeah, he said — twice — “I wish her well.”
Trump coolly admits to having met Ghislaine Maxwell several times, and says — twice — “I wish her well.” Astounding. Video: pic.twitter.com/R8lwDfTKhR
— Boy Culture Blog (@mattrett) July 21, 2020
Dr. Josh Hamilton teaches professional communications and college readiness at Grapevine High School near Fort Worth, Texas.
He is also the coach for the school’s competitive speech team that won state and national championships last year.
But the school district he works for recently fired him saying he texted inappropriate messages to a student. Hamilton says the trouble started the day after he mentioned being gay to his speech team.
During preparation on September 5, 2019, for an upcoming oral interpretation tournament, Hamilton felt his team was distracted by personal issues instead of the topic at hand.
“Guys, I get it,” Hamilton told the students in an attempt to motivate them. “We all have something going on. Heck, you all watched me struggle last year with my mental health and met me this year on the other side as a happy, open and honest gay man.”
“So, I get it life is hard,” added the PhD. “Let’s put that to the side and get our work done.”
The next day he was called into Human Resources where he says he was asked about his communication with students, did he text them, and what was the content?
Hamilton said he did text some students as the team coach and in the context that one of the students handled babysitting chores for him.
Finally, the HR representative asked, “Josh, have you told the students anything about your personal life changes in the last month?”
Hamilton says his response was as straight-forward as he could make it.
“Are you asking if the kids know that I am gay?” he told the representative. “Sure, just like they know that I was married, I have kids and travel each day from Fort Worth, sure they do its part of my life.”
He was placed on administrative leave at that time pending an investigation into whether he ‘shared too much information’ with his students.
That was a Friday. On Monday, he was told by the HR persona, “Josh, we have done our investigation and decided we are no longer going to continue employment.”
Hamilton says he was given no due process nor provided with any evidence.
When he asked to see the text messages the school insisted he was being dismissed for, he was told, “No, we need to protect the privacy of the student.”
After hiring a lawyer, who asked for the text messages in question to be forwarded pending legal action, the school stopped communicating.
A few days later, he was finally allowed to review the text messages that the school says are the basis for his firing.
The messages were with a student who regularly took care of Hamilton’s young son, Jackson.
Hamilton says the topics in the 8 text messages ranged from his son to separating from his wife to his new dating life. The instructor says the student was babysitting when he would go on dates, so the issue came up.
“If we’re going to fire a teacher for texting a kid, we’re going to fire a lot of teachers in Texas,” Hamilton told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
And he insists none of the messages have ever been inappropriate.
The student’s parents didn’t see it that way.
At a meeting this week of the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, board members voted unanimously to fire Hamilton due to the District’s policy on texting students.
During the meeting, Human Resources executive director Gema Padgett said, “Dr. Hamilton violated the standards by developing inappropriate relationships with students, providing inappropriate information to the students concerning his personal life, through text messages, treating students as family members or close friends and providing inappropriate personal information to the students.”
Hamilton told the local NBC News affiliate NBC DFW, “Sitting in the board room and hearing her use the word inappropriate, inappropriate, inappropriate painted me to the public as a child predator. This has been the worst experience of my life.”
But the school district, contending Hamilton’s firing was not because he is gay, issued this statement:
“Mr. Hamilton has been proposed for termination for good cause due to violations of the District’s electronic communications policy, violations of student privacy, failure to follow written directives, and violations of the Texas Educator’s Code of Ethics. In GCISD, we hold all employees to high standards for their interactions with our most important people, our students. His conduct is not acceptable for an educator in GCISD.”
Hamilton plans to appeal the decision to the Texas Education Agency, which would provide a due process hearing. He says he hopes to retain his teaching position.
The state of Texas has no legal protections on the books prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people in the workplace.