Metro Weekly

New Jersey teachers made homophobic comments about colleague during Zoom class

Mayor of Dumont promises investigation into incident involving disparaging anti-LGBTQ comments

Dumont High School – Photo: Facebook

A New Jersey mayor is calling for an investigation after a group of public school teachers were caught making homophobic comments in a chat shared during a Zoom class.

In a group chat on Nov. 25, teachers from Dumont High School in Dumont, N.J., made disparaging comments about one of their co-workers.

“Why is that kid with the gay gym teacher?” one asked, according to a screenshot of the chat that was captured by a student and shared with NJ Advance Media.

“Is that her adopted kid? Who is gonna be all fucked up growing up watching 2 chicks kissing and calling them both mom,” said another.

Dumont Mayor Andrew LaBruno condemned the disparaging comments, saying in a Facebook post that the comments were ‘disturbing and extremely appalling” and calling on Superintendent Emanuele Triggiano to investigate the matter.

LaBruno said in the post that after speaking to Triggiano, the superintendent assured him that the incident “is being taken seriously and will be thoroughly investigated.”

See also: Missouri teacher attacks marriage equality, students demand action

“These homophobic comments do not reflect our community’s values, nor do they represent our beliefs in the Borough of Dumont,” LaBruno said in the post. “We are an inclusive and welcoming community. We were the first mayor and Council to raise the Pride flag in support of our neighbors in the LGBTQ 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,” he added. “Dumont is one big family, and together we must ensure that all of our neighbors know that hate has no home here.”

The incident has sparked outrage among some in the community, who began circulating a Change.org petition calling for the teachers involved in the group chat to be fired. The petition has garnered more than 21,000 signatures as of publication time.

“This behavior is unacceptable and should not be tolerated by the school district or its employees, and should result in their forced resignations immediately,” the petition reads.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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