Metro Weekly

Missouri teacher attacks marriage equality, students demand action

Fort Zumwalt School District is investigating the anti-gay tweet for violating its ethics policy

fort zumwalt, marriage, gay, teacher, anti-gay, tweet
Photo: KMOV

A teacher in Missouri is being investigated over a public tweet attacking same-sex marriage.

The Fort Zumwalt School District has confirmed it is investigating after students and parents demanded accountability over the tweet, including launching a petition calling for the teacher — who hasn’t been named — to be fired, KMOV reports.

“Never should have allowed gay marriage to start with,” the teacher posted on October 3. “Marriage is between man and woman, plain and simple.”

The teacher later apologized, writing, “I made a post earlier that was apparently insensitive to many and hurtful. We all make mistakes and mine was public. I apologize to anyone that was offended. In reading responses I am deeply regretful of hurting anyone’s feelings.”

But that wasn’t enough for residents of the district, including former student Caitlin Bush, who graduated from Fort Zumwalt High this year. Bush launched a petition calling for the teacher to be fired, and it has since gained more than 2,000 signatures.

“Part of a teacher’s job is to keep students safe, to create a safe space at school especially for students who don’t have that safe space at home,” Bush told KMOV. “If you cannot love and accept all of your students, you shouldn’t be teaching.”

She added: “Because of free speech you can technically say that but you need to accept the consequences.”

The school district said it is treating the tweet seriously, noting that the teacher’s Twitter account was publicly viewable — though it was later set to private after backlash began.

Superintendent Dr. Bernard DuBray wouldn’t comment on any disciplinary action being taken against h the teacher, but confirmed that the tweet violated the school district’s ethics policy.

“His Twitter feed — it wasn’t privatized and so it was open for any of our students, parents, community to see,” DuBray said. “If he wants to have an opinion that’s fine but he needs to keep it to himself or privatize his Twitter.”

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