A Utah substitute teacher berated a boy in her classroom for being thankful for having two dads. She was escorted out of the building still trying to convince her superiors that she was in the right, after other students complained, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
The unidentified teacher was teaching in a 5th-grade classroom at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills the week before the kids were let loose for Thanksgiving break. She asked the students what they were thankful for, and the responses were about what you’d expect for kids of that age. One was thankful for her family’s dog. Another, for getting a couple of days off school.
One unidentified boy said that he was thankful that he was soon going to be adopted by his two dads. That didn’t sit well with the teacher.
“Why on earth would you be happy about that?” she reportedly asked.
Based on the witness accounts of some of the other kids who were in the room, the teacher continued to pontificate about homosexuality being immoral for about 10 minutes. At one point she said, “two men living together is a sin.” At another point, she looked directly at the boy and said, “that’s nothing to be thankful for.”
All the while, at least three other kids, all girls, kept telling her to stop. When she didn’t, they went to go get the principal. Soon, she was being escorted out of the building, still trying to argue her point even as she was being shown the door.
One of the boy’s dads, Louis van Amstel, said that the teacher refused to accept blame for her actions.
“She also tried to blame our son, and told him that it was his fault that she went off.”
Van Amstel also says that his son didn’t speak up, fearful of both getting the teacher into trouble and of causing his dads to rethink adopting him.
“That’s definitely not going to happen. But this situation really hurt him. This person really hurt us,” he said, adding that he was “livid” that such a thing would happen in a public school.
As for the teacher, Alpine School District spokesman David Stephenson would only say that “appropriate action has been taken.”
The teacher isn’t, or wasn’t, actually an employee of the school district, however. Rather, she was with a third-party staffing agency, Kelly Temporary Services, that contracts with the school district to provide substitute teachers. A Kelly spokesperson would say only that they were “looking into” the matter.