A teacher accused of writing anti-gay comments on Facebook has resigned after 21 years in the job.
Jenye ‘Viki’ Knox caused widespread controversy a year ago when she compared homosexuality to cancer and said her school was ‘going to hell in a handbasket’.
Now it has been revealed that she quit her job over the summer and is claiming a disability pension for ‘psychological’ reasons.
Teacher: Viki Knox has quit after writing anti-gay comments on Facebook
Ms Knox is a committed Christian who advised the Bible study group at Union High School in Union Township, New Jersey.
Last September the 51-year-old was placed on leave after taking to Facebook to denounce the school’s plans to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month.
‘Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us?’, she wrote, adding that homosexuality was ‘perverted’ and a ‘sin’ which ‘breeds like cancer’.
The School Board told the Star-Ledger on Tuesday that Ms Knox had submitted her resignation over the summer and that settlement talks are currently under way.
Two sides: Supporters for Ms Knox and critics wanting her fired each set up a Facebook page to air their views on the issues
The tenured special education teacher, who had worked in Union Township since 2000, had been suspended from her $72,270-a-year job ever since the beginning of the Facebook controversy.
She has said in court papers that she plans to seek a disability pension due to a back injury and on ‘psychological grounds’.
After a hearing into Ms Knox’s behaviour was announced, school board president Francis R. Perkins explained that social media sites like Facebook have the potential to increase contacts between students and teachers.
‘Every student, no matter what race, creed, color or sexual orientation ought to be able to come to school and feel comfortable in a learning environment that’s welcoming and nurturing,’ he said.
After the controversy broke out a Facebook page seeking Ms Knox’s firing was set up, as well as one supporting her right to free speech.
The ‘Fire Viki Knox’ page argued that her comments were incompatible with the Union High School’s belief statement.
The school lists ’embracing diversity’ – including of sexual orientation – as one of its major goals.