A substitute teacher in Utah was removed from an elementary school after students complained she called homosexuality “wrong.”
The incident began when a teacher asked a fifth grade class in Cedar Hills, Utah, what each student was thankful for, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Friday. One student, the son of former “Dancing with the Stars” coach Louis van Amstel, said he was “thankful that I’m finally going to be adopted by my two dads.”
Students said the teacher responded, “Why on earth would you be happy about that?” before talking for 10 minutes to the class about how “homosexuality is wrong” and “two men living together is a sin.” She looked at the student who made the comment and said, “That’s nothing to be thankful for,” according to the Tribune.
Three girls reportedly asked for her to stop, and when she did not, they left to tell the principal. As the substitute teacher was escorted from the building, she accused the boy of setting her off.
The school called the student’s fathers after the incident, who told the Tribune they were “livid” that this occurred, especially in a public school.
“You can imagine that set us off,” van Amstel said in a video posted on Twitter. “We are not letting this go.”
Our child was bullied. pic.twitter.com/gZ5yI0Z2F0
— Louis van Amstel (@LouisVanAmstel) November 22, 2019
The student was reportedly nervous to tell his fathers because he experienced two previous failed adoptions and thought the incident would make his fathers rethink their decision to adopt him, according to the Tribune. The final hearing for his adoption is scheduled for Dec. 19.
Alpine School District spokesman David Stephenson confirmed to The Hill that an incident occurred with a substitute teacher and that “appropriate action has been taken.”
He said in a statement to the Tribune that the situation is under investigation.
“[We’re] committed to having the best employees who care about all children in our schools, whether it be the teacher, the custodian, the secretary or a substitute teacher,” he said in the a statement.
The school district has contracted the staffing company Kelly Services to hire substitutes since 2011.
“We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously,” Kelly Services said in a statement. “We conducted an investigation and made the decision to end the employee’s relationship with Kelly Services.”