For the past two years, special ed teacher Jenye Viki Knox (pictured) has been in a legal battle with administrators from a Union Township High School in New Jersey after she claims they violated her free speech and religious rights by firing her for launching into an unprovoked homophobic tirade. Now, a judge has ruled in her favor.
The incident happened back in September 2011. After noticing a poster for LGBT Month hanging in the school hallway, Knox took to Facebook to express her outrage, writing:
“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!”
She then listed all her religious objections to the billboard, which included statements from the bible about homosexuality, calling homosexuality a sin and an act of “disobedience to God,” and calling for salvation through Mr. Jesus H. Christ.
School board officials determined Knox’s behavior was “unbecoming” of a state employee who is supposed to be a role model to young people, and as a result, she was suspended without pay for three months, a punishment Knox feels was unfair.
“It’s not like she was a teacher standing up in the middle of class and saying I believe in ‘this, this and this,” her attorney, Demetrios Stratis, argued in court.
At the end of the school year, she resigned from her job, saying that being branded as a zealot and a homophobe had gotten to be too “stressful.”
She now claims the incident caused her considerable “physical and emotional toll” and that she hasn’t been able to work since.
This week, U.S. District Court Judge Kevin McNulty ruled in Knox’s favor, opening up an opportunity for her to argue her case before a federal jury. She is seeking reinstatement, back pay, and monetary damages.
h/t: Raw Story