Smithtown H.S. East teacher claims he was fired due to being an ally to LGBTQ community

A teacher from Smithtown High School East and ally to the LGBTQ community has been fired.

News 12 Staff

Sep 7, 2022, 1:03 AM

Updated 584 days ago

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A teacher from Smithtown High School East and ally to the LGBTQ community has been fired.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Josh Tilton claimed he was denied tenure because of his personal beliefs and partnership with the LGBTQ community.
The former teacher says his students created a LGBTQ-friendly mural that was painted over once he was no longer at the building.
He says it took the students more than 75 hours to create.
A portion of the post reads, "These kids, who were not typical nor fit the plexiglass veneer of Smithtown High School, were seeking to make their mark on a school that normally only champions the athletes and more popular and desirable students. The unfortunate thing for these LGBTQ+ students was that they dared let their souls be seen by the public and create a space of acceptance and reflective thinking."
The post goes on to say painting over the mural and his firing was targeted bigotry.
Some of the teacher's former students shared letters of admiration.
One student wrote, "Thank you so much for always being there for me. There was a point in time where I felt like there was no one but every day you said to me, 'See you tomorrow kid.'"
This is not the first time Smithtown Central School District has been accused of offending the LGBTQ+ community,
Earlier this year, some students held a walkout after an executive board member for the Suffolk County Police Benevolence Association commented on schoolteachers about the LGBTQ community.
Some students were offended by the member's comment, which focused on how it would be confusing for children to be told that a boy should be dressed as a girl.
In a statement from Smithtown Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mark Secaur, he says "Although the district will not comment on a former employee, it is important to know that the claims this individual is making are extremely  concerning and inaccurate.  It is unfortunate that he is trying to tarnish our reputation as the district has been and will continue to be strong advocates for all our students including our LGBTQ population."


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