Four NJ High School Teachers Suspended for Homophobic Comments

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday December 11, 2020

Four high school teachers who made homophobic comments in a Zoom class last month have been suspended with pay, The New York Daily News reports.

During a November 25 virtual class, the Dumont High School teachers were engaged in a chat that students were, according to school district business administrator Kevin Cartotto, "inadvertently" privy to. The chat was captured on a screen shot and then shared online by a former student, Matthew DeMarco.

In the chat, one of the teachers wrote "why is that kid with the gay gym teacher?"

In response, another teacher wrote "is that her adopted kid? Who is gonna be all (expletive) up growing up watching 2 chicks kissing and calling them both mom."

In addition to their paid suspension, Cartotto said at a public meeting of the Dumont Board of Education on Thursday night that further disciplinary action could be forthcoming.

DeMarco started a petition last month calling on the teachers to resign. He told ABC New York "I know the teacher, I know who it is - I've had her, my siblings have all had her. We know what kind of person she is - she is very considerate, very compassionate towards others. And so as soon as I saw these comments being made about her, I was outraged."

Dumont Mayor Andrew LaBruno also weighed in, saying the "extremely appalling... homophobic comments do not reflect our community's values, nor do they represent our beliefs in the Borough of Dumont."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.