A week before Thanksgiving, a substitute teacher at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills asked the fifth grade students, “What are you thankful for this year?”
Some students offered answers such as turkey, mashed potatoes, their dog, and not going to school during the holiday. However, one boy had a completely different answer. He promptly responded: “I’m thankful that I’m finally going to be adopted by my two dads.”
According to other students in the class, the substitute teacher harshly responded: “Why on earth would you be happy about that?”
She then went on to lecture the 30 students about how “homosexuality is wrong” and “two men living together is a sin.” She turned to the boy and told him: “That’s nothing to be thankful for.”
In the thirty minutes it took the teacher to air her views, three girls asked her to stop on numerous occasions. When the teacher refused, the three girls walked out of the class and went to the principal to report the incident.
The teacher was promptly escorted out of the class, and was still trying to argue her point as she was taken of school grounds.
The boy’s parents, Louis Van Amstel and his husband, Josh, were called by the school about the incident shortly after the teacher was removed from class.
Van Amstel said: “She also tried to blame our son and told him that it was his fault that she went off.”
The parents stated that their 11-year-old son was reluctant to speak up, fearing that he would get the teacher in trouble. The administration was finally able to piece together the details of the incident after talking to a number of students in the class.
Alpine School District spokesman David Stephenson maintained that he couldn’t reveal details about the incident, but stated that “appropriate action has been taken.”
According to the company that staffed her, Kelly Services, the teacher was later fired.