NJ Catholic school teacher reinstated after anti-gay Facebook posts

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Patricia Jannuzzi has returned to work at Immaculata High School in Somerville, N.J. She was at the center of a controversy over remarks she made on her Facebook page about gays and homosexuality. Photo courtesy of Januzzi family, via USA Today

Patricia Jannuzzi has returned to work at Immaculata High School in Somerville, N.J. She was at the center of a controversy over remarks she made on her Facebook page about gays and homosexuality. Photo courtesy of Januzzi family, via USA Today

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(RNS) The petition to fire the teacher, titled "Stop Public Hate Speech of Teachers," was started by an alumnus and picked up steam after several celebrities called attention to it.

  • James Carr

    The teacher’s comments are in line with her Faith and her career as a Catholic theologian, teaching in a Catholic School. I’m happy the school has kept her, it shows it has a backbone and will not pretend that this woman, or her beliefs have disappeared.
    Poor Susan Sarandon has backed another foolish protest…….stick to acting, babe.

  • Larry

    You missed the part at the end

    “At every point in our discussions the diocesan lawyers told us repeatedly there was no way that Patricia Jannuzzi would ever come back to the Immaculata classroom under any possible scenario,”

    They aren’t bringing her back.

    Social media is always a potential pitfall for employees. Too many people feel the urge to post stupid crap of all stripes to the general public.

  • The Great God Pan

    If they aren’t bringing her back then someone should tell them that, because it states in the first graf that they are reinstating her immediately.

    If you just browse the article, you may come away confused. The whole point is that the administration’s various responses have been confused and contradictory, but that she is now coming back.

  • Larry

    You are right. Well it’s not like a catholic school doesn’t agree with bigoted anti gay rhetoric, they were just embarrassed by how obvious it was.

  • Diogenes

    For once I agree with you. People post silly, unwise things all the time without reflection for (employment) consequences. Still, as a defender of free speech, unless an individual specifically advocates physical violence towards others, terror, etc., I think people SHOULD be able to express opinions without adverse employment consequences. Because that is not the present reality, I advise circumspection. A 33 year old teacher ought to recognize that.

  • Diogenes

    Larry, my reference to agreement applies to your first post, that is where I clicked.

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  • Larry

    ” I think people SHOULD be able to express opinions without adverse employment consequences.”

    I don’t believe that at all. Free speech entails criticism of it as well. Uncivil speech in public will usually have adverse employment consequences. If she said the same things on camera for a TV reporter, the results would be the same and should be.

    People should just realize that social media is the equivalent of the soapbox in the town square. Not only is it not private, but you are announcing your ideas to the general public.

  • MarkE

    “Free Speech” protections only apply if the government is trying to limit what you say or post publicly. There are no protections from employers, neighbors, and other citizens from trying to limit or stop your public comments. To defend free speech by allowing that anyone should be able to post anything they want publicly and not have to worry about any kind of backlash or confrontational response (or face loss of employment, membership, or friendship) is ludicrous. There is no such thing!

  • John

    you wanna know whats funny she is back and teaching students had her today. She is a wonderful teacher and so so many people love her. She made a mistake which is something we all do. It is part of human nature. So yes she is back and I am happy she is!

  • Diogenes

    Larry, for all that you accuse others with respect to intolerance, you also are guilty of a very severe intolerance of your own.

  • Diogenes

    No such thing I’ll grant, but it only demonstrates the utter intolerance most of us have towards opinions not our own. Let me offer a cliche’, but I think a valid one: I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it. That is the essence of tolerance. Don’t we as individuals owe as much to one another as we aver the government owes us?

  • I have no personal hatred of people commonly called “gays”, but would urge them to read the infallible Word of God for themselves. In particular they should read Romans 1 v 18-32 and 1st Corinthians 6 v 9-11.

  • Living Water

    Bob: Urging gay people to read Romans is a dead end street. Gay people aren’t interested. And Catholics should wake up to the fact God’s word is meaningless to most people. That “Fullness of the Faith” nonsense is not a convincing argument to people happy with their sinful behavior.

  • Living Water

    James, the article doesn’t say she is a RC Theologian. Even so, her view is both a RC view and a biblical view. What’s surprising is the reaction by both the school and diocese. Obviously, their response is the politically correct response in this culture rather than standing on biblical grounds. The teacher’s comments could have been expressed more professionally, but the school and the diocese have chosen to throw Ms. Jannuzzi under the bus instead. No doubt the Pope Francis effect of him being incompetent (even though Pope) to judge homosexual behavior as sinful is now taking effect throughout Catholicism down to the local level. This guy never was Pope material to start with. Then again, look at the people who elected him.

  • Larry

    You have no concept of the term intolerance. The old, “your intolerant of my intolerance” rant has always been silly. I don’t have to treat all views with respect and neither do you. Respect is earned on its merits.

    You are saying that actions should never have consequences (except of course unless if you can point a self-righteous sanctimonious finger at them).

    You want certain forms of speech so protected, that criticism of them would be forbidden. How is that protection of free speech? It isn’t.

    When you put your views out in the public, you invite criticism and reaction. If you can’t understand that you cannot possibly understand what free speech means. Free speech means it goes in both directions.

    You say embarrassing things in public, expect it to come back to you. Free speech means you are allowed to make a fool of yourself, but it also means everyone can point out how foolish you are being.

  • By all appearances in this controversy, the bishop, the pastor, and the school principal are three people who have no business running any sort of Catholic institution (which is sadly unsurprising). So what happened to induce these smarmy bureaucratic microbes to stop the mistreatment of this woman, something they would not do willingly? Guessing a major donor put the screws to them.

  • James Carr

    Catholic schools exist to spread God’s Word. No one is asking for non-Catholic input. This teacher’s only mistake is writing the truth on social media. Her views are neither new nor unique……..the majority quietly agree.

  • Living Water

    The “majority” quietly agree? Which majority is that? The High School and Diocese both have chosen sides to be with the politically correct culture instead of standing for Catholic and biblical teaching rather than to support their teacher.

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