GSE says the homophobic comments are extremely unsettling
Four Dumont High School teachers are under investigation after a student captured them making disparaging and anti-LGBT remarks about their colleagues on Zoom. A science teacher was conducting class, unaware that a group chat with their colleagues was open and in full view of students.
One student got a screen capture of the remarks, posting it on social media and catching the attention of Dumont mayor Andrew LaBruno, who is calling for the high school to start an investigation into the incident.
“These homophobic comments do not reflect our community’s values”
“I have been made aware of some disturbing and extremely appalling comments between Dumont High School teachers captured in a group chat shared during a Zoom class,” LaBruno wrote in a Facebook post. “These homophobic comments do not reflect our community’s values, nor do they represent our beliefs in the Borough of Dumont. We are an inclusive and welcoming community… While there is still much work to be done fighting against inequalities and standing up for human rights, our educators mold our children’s minds, and these comments have no place in our education system.”
The captured Zoom conversation showed the four teachers repeatedly referring to their colleague as “the gay gym teacher,” with one snippet of the conversation saying, “why is that kid with the gay gym teacher?” Another teacher responds with, “is that her adopted kid? Who is gonna be all fucked up growing up watching two chicks kissing and calling them both mom…”
“The homophobic comments made by at least four faculty members at Dumont School District about a LGBTQ educator within the High School are extremely unsettling,” Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino said in a statement.
“Schools must be a safe and affirming environment for all young people to learn and staff to work,” said Fuscarino. “The homophobic comments of educators during school classes is outrageous and underscores the fact that work surrounding lived equality is never over. If LGBTQ educators feel unsafe, it’s impossible for students to feel safe. After speaking with the LGBTQ educator and reading the homophobic language used by the faculty involved, it is clear that there exists an undercurrent of anti-LGBTQ animus in the Dumont School District.
“In addition to the anti-LGBTQ comments, there also exists a disrespect for women when the teacher who was the subject of the homophobic rant and her wife were referred to as “chicks.” Positive change needs to happen. That only occurs when everyone is invested in creating that change.”