Sonja Haller, USA TODAY
Published 8:10 p.m. ET Dec. 1, 2019
A fifth-grade child shared with classmates that he was grateful he was going to be adopted this year by his two foster dads.
The substitute teacher didn’t let the words of the 11-year-old student pass back in November without letting him know, “That’s nothing to be thankful for,” according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
The Utah teacher continued lecturing the class for 30 minutes saying that “homosexuality is wrong,” “two men living together is a sin,” and “why on earth would you be happy about that?”
Three girls asked the teacher before leaving the classroom and getting the principal. The teacher was escorted from the Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, south of Salt Lake City.
One of the boy’s foster fathers, Louis van Amstel, who was on multiple seasons of “Dancing With the Stars,” said he wonders how the teacher was allowed in the classroom to begin with.
“This situation really hurt him. This person really hurt us,” he said.
He expressed his thanks in social videos to the girls who spoke out, and said he was told the teacher was “never going to teach in this school ever again.”
The boy told his dads, van Amstel and his husband, Josh, that he didn’t speak out against the teacher because of two previous failed adoptions, saying he didn’t want his dads to rethink their decision with his final court hearing coming up on Dec. 19.
Efforts to reach Alpine School District on Sunday night were unsuccessful. A spokesman for the district told the Tribune it was a personnel issue and “appropriate action has been taken.”
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“I’m truly disgusted that the bully in this situation is a teacher in a public school,” van Amstel continued in a Twitter thread.
Days after the incident, the family’s neighbors decorated their house with paper hearts, saying, “We love you” and “We support you.”
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