Watch: Petition to Remove High School Teacher after Homophobic Tweet Continues

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday October 20, 2020

Justn Schneider, Executive Director of Find the Light
Justn Schneider, Executive Director of Find the Light  (Source:Screencap/Fox2Now)

Calls for the firing of a high school faculty member in a Missouri town after an alleged homophobic tweet are not dying down as the weeks go by, reports local news source Fox2Now.

The offending tweet, sent out in response to another person's post, read: "Never should have allowed gay marriage to start with. Marriage is between a man and woman, plain and simple," said the superintendent of the school district, Dr. Bernard Dubray.

The high school faculty member who posted the tweet has been identified as Charles Glotta in a Change.org petition to have him removed.

"On Saturday, October 3rd, Coach Charles Glotta of Fort Zumwalt North High School in the Fort Zumwalt District shared something no teacher should vocalize on a platform (Twitter) that students are guaranteed to see," reads the petition. "After not one, but two half-hearted apologies, students and faculty are still infuriated and surprised at his homophobic comment." The petition has more than 2000 signatures.

Glotta's Twitter account is now private. Whether the tweets have been taken down is not known.

The school district had made a statement on Oct. 9 that said the tweet "was the personal opinion of the individual, who does not speak on behalf of any Fort Zumwalt school or on behalf of the Fort Zumwalt School District." But some students, parents, and other members of the community found that insufficient, the news report said.

The board was reportedly swamped with submitted comments by people attending the meeting who wished to express their opinions. They acknowledged not having read the comments, the news report said, but told those in attendance: "We've received many many comments, and we hear what you're saying, but for the sake of time we're going to move on" to other issues.

An alumnus of the school, Justin Schneider, who heads the mental health advocacy group Find the Light, told the media, "If you find out that your coach doesn't think that you should be allowed to get married or have the same rights as you, that sends a really bad message not only to you but to the rest of the team as well."

As previously reported at EDGE, Dr. Dubray confirmed that the faculty member was still working at the high school. Dr. Dubray said that the faculty member had erred in commenting the way he did on an online space that could be viewed publicly.

"It was a personal opinion that was put on his Twitter that was not privatized, which was dead wrong," Dubray told Fox2Now in the news channel's initial report. "We want our kids to feel safe."

Watch the Fox2Now news clip below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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