The story of New Jersey school teacher Jenye Viki Knox and the anti-gay comments that she made on her personal facebook page has upset not only the gay community but the parents and school administration of Union Township as well. When we think of a school teacher, we have images of someone with an overwhelming capacity to guide our youth of today to become tolerant productive members of society. Not only that, we also have thoughts of someone with great judgment and positive morale that can be passed on to our children. Too bad common sense was not one of the things she exercised when Viki Knox decided to write such statements.
“perverted spirit and a sin that breeds like cancer. Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us? I DO NOT HAVE TO TOLERATE ANYTHING OTHERS WISH TO DO. I DO HAVE TO LOVE AND SPEAK AND DO WHAT’S RIGHT!”
These were the controversial comments that Viki Knox made on her facebook page in response to Union High School’s commencement of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month last year in October. Recently Viki Knox has made the decision to retire on a disability pension rather than face tenure charges of unbecoming conduct that is being brought up by her school district.
There are a lot of you thinking the same thing at this one moment. With the millions of people that use Facebook, even in a small town like Union Township, how was her comments found and presented to the school board? NJ.com wrote an article that details the chain of command a concerned parent took to make sure Viki Knox was put in the spotlight. This parent contacted John Paragano an attorney, former township councilman and judge. Mr.Paragano then wrote to the school’s district chief administrator, urging that Knox be dismissed. Talk about six degrees of separation.
Yesterday, NJ.com printed a letter to the editor that basically stated the same thing Ed Barocas, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, said. Her comments are protected underneath the first amendment. The Constitution and civil rights are wonderful topics to argue over but can’t we get a little simpler here?
Knox was put under suspension for not being a team player and not using common sense. If you are an executive at company and that company endorses something, you are expected to go along with the wishes of the company. Even if you disagree with the direction the company is taking, you fake it till you make it because if you don’t, you will lose your job. You don’t go against the company you work for and expect to keep your job. That is common sense. In Viki Knox’s case, her company is Union High School and they are endorsing tolerance by announcing this LGBT History Month. She went against the direction of the school by expressing her negative views in a public manner.
There is no doubt that the Constitution is supposed to protect negative as well as positive free speech and everyone has the right to speak. Just be warned of the consequences of standing your ground because there are some people that can uproot you.