Ex-teacher has certificates suspended over anti-gay comments

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey high school teacher who posted anti-gay comments on her Facebook page several years ago has agreed to a three-year suspension of her teaching certificates.

NJ.com reports that Jenye “Viki” Knox initially appealed a state Department of Education’s decision to revoke her three certificates to the Office of Administrative Law. But she then informed the education department she would agree to the three-year suspension.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Combining wit, keen insights and an encyclopedic handle on what humans know about the universe, award-winning astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson re-invigorated the public’s scientific curiosity when he took over where Carl Sagan left off in Cosmos, the hit television mini-series exploring the mysteries of space and the contributions of astrophysicists to the world as we know it. The only human in history to be both a New York Times bestselling author and People magazine’s “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive,” Tyson’s massive appeal as a teacher and intellectual leads to sold-out lectures around the world.

Tampa Bay teacher arrested for watching gay porn in classroom

By : Staff Report
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MULBERRY, Fla. – A Tampa Bay area high school teacher was charged with four counts of showing obscene materials to minors have students caught him watching gay porn on his cellphone in class.

Vadi Velez-Gonzalez, a ninth grade reading teacher at Mulberry High School, is accused of having the pornographic video pulled up on his phone during class. A female student observed Gonzalez’s phone while at his desk asking him a question.

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Russian court rules against fired gay teacher

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St. Petersburg, Russia (AP) — A St. Petersburg court has ruled against a gay music teacher who lost her job after being outed by an anti-gay activist.

Ksenia Kirichenko, the lawyer for a gay rights organization which is representing the teacher, said on April 23 that the court this week refused the teacher’s demand to be reinstated.

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Gay teachers take legal action after being fired

By : Jamie Hyman
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Winter Park – An attorney is demanding that a lesbian couple fired from a Winter Park pre-school allegedly for being gay get their jobs back and an apology and compensation for damages.

Mary Meeks, an Orlando attorney, is working with the couple on legal recourse. Meeks said the first step is a demand letter alleging that the terminations violate the Orange County Human Rights Ordinance and the federal Civil Rights Act, not to mention the Methodist Church’s own stance on LGBT discrimination.

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Online petition seeks to save job of gay speech teacher

By : Wire Report
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Students, parents and alumni of an Omaha Catholic high school have signed an online petition calling for the school to reverse its decision to fire a teacher over his same-sex relationship.

The change.org petition seeks to save the job of Matthew Eledge, an English teacher and Skutt Catholic High School’s speech team coach. His team recently won its fourth straight state championship.

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Gay Oregon teacher of the year terminated

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A special education teacher who was Oregon’s 2014 Teacher of the Year has been terminated.

The Oregonian reported that the Multnomah Education Service District announced April 3 it has terminated Brett Bigham.

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Catholic archdiocese of Cincinnati to tweak contract’s morality clauses

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CINCINNATI (AP) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati plans to update language in its teachers’ contract following a committee’s suggestions on its morality clauses.
Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the tweaked language in the contract will clarify what is expected of employees. The clarifications come after last year’s contract sparked protests for its language prohibiting “homosexual lifestyles,” abortion, artificial insemination and public support for any of those causes.

The public battle, which included a protest march, online petitions and a dozen opposition billboards, had divided some of the region’s Catholics. But a large majority of the schools’ 2,800 teachers still signed the contract.

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Michigan nuns to reconsider school policies

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) – The Catholic nuns who operate a suburban Detroit school plan to re-examine policies regarding the decision to fire a gay teacher after she became pregnant.

Sister Mary Jane Herb, president of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, said in a letter to Marian High School alumnae Sept. 22 that the congregation has been inspired to view similar incidents with a different outlook, the Detroit Free Press reported.

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Gay teacher gets apology 42 years after being fired

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — In 1972, Jim Gaylord was a social studies teacher at Tacoma’s Wilson High School.

He was 35, well regarded by students and colleagues and, in the parlance of the day, a confirmed bachelor.

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Overheard in Orlando: MegaCon2014 rolls into Orlando

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Dance teacher given new lease on life offers same-sex salsa lessons
Lorraine Vasquez, 50, remembers the day two years ago when doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. She was given a year to live. “I had two young daughters and my doctor told me I should get my affairs in order because I was going to die,” Vasquez recalls. “I just said ‘No, you are wrong’.” Vasquez closed her successful dance studio in Puerto Rico, packed her things and moved to Orlando. She checked into MD Anderson Cancer Center and was shocked to learn she was cancer-free. She had been misdiagnosed. Other good things happened. Vasquez met her partner, Lelis Pagan, while working at the airport. On March 8, she opened Lorraine’s Dance Studio at 1720 N Goldenrod Blvd in Orlando. There are now two generations of lesbians working in the dance business. Her daughter Nita Bravo, 20, and partner Francesca Colon, are helping out. To celebrate, Vasquez has introduced same-sex salsa classes for adults from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. Vasquez said she is grateful to be given another chance at life. For pricing and to sign up for salsa, call 321-400-0953.

Blue Starr leaves Revolution
After 14 years belting out late night tunes on Bumby, the multi-talented Blue Starr has parted ways with Revolution Nightclub. Starr announced, on Facebook, she will perform exclusively at The Venue, the entertainment place she opened in Ivanhoe Village last fall. The Venue, now home to babybluestar Productions, has been providing affordable rental to the arts community. In addition, a number of fundraisers have used the locale for events. Starr plans drag burlesque, drag king shows, improv, coffee house-esque and more. “Pretty sure there will be a girlie show at The Venue on a Saturday every now and again! That fucking rocks my world! Dreams come true,” she wrote on her post, which had more than 200 likes and dozens of congratulatory comments at press time. For a schedule, visit TheVenueOrlando.com or call 407-412-6895.

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