A substitute teacher was fired after she told a student ‘homosexuality is wrong’ when he told the class he was thankful he was finally being adopted by his two dads.
The teacher, at Deerfield Elementary in Cedar Hills, Utah, had asked students in the fifth-grade class she was teaching what they were thankful for before they left for Thanksgiving break.
When 11-year-old Daniel gave thanks to his dads, the substitute teacher expressed her homophobic views and told the student it was sinful for two men to live together, according to his dad Louis van Amstel.
You can watch Louis talk about the incident below:
Louis, who is known for his role on Dancing With the Stars, posted the video on his social media pages, telling his followers his son ‘was bullied’ by the teacher.
The proud dad, 47, credited three girls in the class with alerting the principal about the teacher’s behaviour, thanking them for speaking up on behalf of his son – who he said didn’t want to get the teacher into trouble.
The 47-year-old said that when the teacher was confronted by the principal about her actions, she attempted to blame Daniel for what she said.
He told The New York Times:
It shouldn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, bisexual, black and white. If you’re adopting a child and if that child goes to a public school, that teacher should not share her opinion about what she thinks we do in our private life.
The incident happened on November 21 in the Alpine School District, which is one of the largest in Utah and consists of around 80,000 students in several communities.
The district’s spokesperson, David Stephenson, said ‘the school took appropriate action that day based upon their investigation’, with Kelly Services – the staffing company used by the district – confirming the woman had since been fired.
A statement by the company read:
We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate conduct and take these matters very seriously. We conducted an investigation and made the decision to end the employee’s relationship with Kelly Services.
Louis said he was proud of how swiftly the school had handled the situation, but was concerned about the vetting process allowing the woman to teach at the school in the first place.
The professional dancer married husband Joshua Lancaster in 2017, with the couple beginning the adoption process shortly thereafter and meeting Daniel for the first time in March this year.
The young boy was placed with his would-be parents on Father’s Day, with the adoption becoming final later this month.
‘This boy since we met him feels like our son. Right now, it feels like I made him,’ Louis explained.
Congratulations to the happy family.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 6pm Saturday, or email [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).