An online anti-gay rant by a religion teacher at a Catholic high school has caught the attention of actress Susan Sarandon, who says “students don’t need teachers making [high school] even more difficult.”
Patricia Jannuzzi, a religion teacher at Immaculata High School in New Jersey, gained attention online after she posted an update to Facebook claiming that being gay was a choice – and added that LGBT people want to “reengineer” the western civilisation into a “slow extinction”.
One former Immaculata High School student took offense to his former teacher’s Facebook comments and decided to respond. Scott Lyons, who is openly gay and happens to be the nephew of Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon, posted his response to Facebook.
Mrs. Jannuzzi – Your recent post about homosexuality being learned rather than something you are born with was brought to my attention today. I found your classes and teaching during my time at IHS to be focused on love and acceptance. I can’t help but be offended and disappointed by the position you have taken via social media recently.
I can tell you that I am, and for as long as I can remember, have been a homosexual, it has been my nature from an early age and something that has been natural to me in my life. I have a husband and we have a child together. We are a family and we love each other with all that we have. While I respect the fact that people have different opinions on the matter what I can tell you from my heart is that I urge you to be careful with your words and the messaging you are putting out there.
You have a responsibility as a teacher to lead by example and the words that you have been throwing out there are detrimental to the well being and health of the youth that you inspire. I am certain that the Pope himself would take issue with your extreme point of view on homosexuality. All I ask is for you to remember that the most important thing in this world is LOVE — love for each other – love comes in all shapes and sizes and colors and forms. You do not have the authority to dictate the forms of love that are acceptable in this world. That is not for you to decide. This is a photo of our adopted child that my husband and I have together. He is loved. He will know love – the most natural and organic form of love. I wish nothing but the same for you.
Lyons’ famous aunt Sarandon chimed in on Facebook, expressing her pride in her nephew – and her disappointment in people who are blatently homophobic and misinformed.
Since the story has gone viral, Immaculata High School has released a statement saying that they have investigated the matter and have concluded that Jannuzzi’s personal views were not reflected in her teachings in the school – yet have ordered her to deactivate her social media profiles. It added, “Our faculty and staff have a responsibility to uphold all school policy and maintain the same level of professionalism online as in the classroom.”
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