A substitute teacher at a school in Utah has been fired after allegedly bullying the son of Dancing with the Stars dancer Louis Van Amstel for having two gay dads.
Van Amstel, who has appeared on the US ballroom dancing competiton on and off since 2005, claims that the teacher told his 11-year-old son - who he is currently in the process of adopting - that homosexuality was "wrong" and a "sin" during a homophobic tirade in the classroom.
After being asked by the teacher what he was thankful for on Thanksgiving, Van Amstel claims his son replied that he was thankful for "finally being adopted by his two dads".
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My husband, @joshua_vanamstel, wrote THE most perfect post about some frequent questions we get about our adoption process. <Please Read!!> - Answers to common questions we’re getting regarding Adoption: 1. Why do you cover his face? Our child is being adopted from foster care and is currently a ward of the state. Until his adoption is finalized we may not post photos of his identity on social media or otherwise. 2. When will the adoption be finalized/when will we have him in our home? These are technically two different questions we don’t have the answers to. We are currently waiting for an ICPC to be approved so he may leave his home state to live in Utah with us... we have no way of knowing how long that will take. Once he DOES live with us, and the ICPC has been approved, we have a period of six months where we are only legally fostering the child until we can adopt him. 3 Why are you not having a baby? Honestly, can you see a baby fitting into our active lifestyle and travel schedule? Not that we aren’t entirely capable of caring for a newborn, but we felt especially drawn to the idea of adopting one of the 500,000+ youth in this country who need loving parents at an older age. 4 And this is a big one...: Please don’t ask us about his trauma or history! He has lived a harder life than any child should and if someday he himself wants to share that with the world that will be by his terms. This past does not make him “broken” and it does not make him “damaged”. It makes him individually and uniquely beautiful like the rest of us and our scars and one day it is our hope that Louis and I can help him see his struggles as triumphs not as his short comings. Life has handed us a beautiful opportunity to complete our family by giving our love to another human who deserves receiving love as much as we want to give it away.
According to Van Amstel, who lives in Utah with his husband, Joshua Lancaster, the teacher proceeded to tell the child "that's nothing to be thankful for", before "sharing her own views on Homosexuality and that it’s wrong".
Three of the boys classmates asked the teacher to stop, but when they failed to do so the children reported the incident to the principal, Van Amstel said.
"I’m proud of the three girls and school for standing up for our family against this bully", said Van Amstel in a video addressing the incident, which he shared to social media.
Our child was bullied. pic.twitter.com/gZ5yI0Z2F0— Louis van Amstel (@LouisVanAmstel) November 22, 2019
"I'm disgusted that the bully is the teacher in a public school."
A spokesman for the Utah school district said that "appropriate action has been taken" following in the incident and that the teacher had been removed from the school, the BBC reports.
In a statement, Kelly Services, who were resonsbile for the substitude teacher's hiring, said: "We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behaviour and take these matters very seriously.
"We conducted an investigation and made the decision to end the employee's relationship with Kelly Services."