Teacher who compared homosexuality to cancer has certificates suspended

“A former Union High School teacher who in 2011 called homosexuality a “perverted spirit” that “breeds like cancer” has agreed to a three-year suspension of her teaching certificates.

The posts on Jenye “Viki” Knox’s personal Facebook page eventually caused the special education teacher and faculty adviser to the school’s Bible study group to resign. She later filed a federal lawsuit claiming school officials had violated her free speech and religious rights.

Knox appealed the state Department of Education’s decision to revoke her three certificates to the Office of Administrative Law, but then presented to the education department a proposal in which she would agree to a three-year suspension, according to the order of suspension.

The education department’s State Board of Examiners accepted the proposal Dec. 8, immediately suspending the elementary school, nursery school and handicapped teaching certificates Knox has held since February 1990.

Knox had been seeking reinstatement to her teaching job, back pay, damages and judgment that she was within her constitutional rights when she made the Facebook posts.

Her attorney, Demetrios Stratis, said he believed Knox maintained her First Amendment protections as a private citizen while she was not at the school and had a right to express her opinions on social media.

“These Facebook posts that she made were done on her time, at her home, after school hours, on her home computer, and it was addressing a matter that could arguably be of big societal concerns,” Stratis said.”

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