A Utah boy is speaking out for the first time after being berated by a substitute teacher for saying he was grateful for being adopted by his two dads, one of whom is a professional dancer from “Dancing with the Stars.”
Last month, a substitute teacher from Deerfield Elementary, located about 45 minutes outside Salt Lake City, Utah, asked students to share what they were thankful for this year.
“I’m thankful that I’m finally going to be adopted by my two dads,” the 11-year-old child shared with his classmates.
Students later said that the substitute snapped, going on a nearly 10-minute anti-homosexuality tirade, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“Why on earth would you be happy about that?” the sub snapped at the student. She reportedly lectured the 30 students in the class about her own views, how “homosexuality is wrong” and “two men living together is a sin.”
“That’s nothing to be thankful for,” she told the boy.
Three girls reportedly stood up for the boy and asked her to stop multiple times.
But she continued, so they walked out of the room to get the principal.
“As the substitute was escorted out of the building, she was still arguing, trying to make her point, the boy’s fathers say they were told by school officials,” reports the Tribune. “She also tried to blame our son,” said one of the boy’s dads, Louis van Amstel, “and told him that it was his fault that she went off.”
The Tribune adds: “Van Amstel and his husband, Josh, said administrators called them immediately after it happened. At first, their son, who’s 11 years old, didn’t want to talk about it and didn’t want to get the substitute teacher in trouble. The school pieced the story together from multiple student accounts. And the incident is now under investigation.”
In an exclusive interview with “CBS This Morning”, Daniel tells co-host Tony Dokoupil he “went red” when his teacher trashed his family like that.
“She first said, ‘Why would you be happy to be adopted by them?’ And that’s when one of the three kids, ones in my class, they stuck up for me and said let’s stop. But she kept going. And she said, ‘Are you going to be gay?’” Daniel explains.
When Dokoupil asks, “What was it like to hear the teacher say that there’s something wrong with them?” Daniel responds, “Honestly, I went red. I didn’t like what she said.”
He continues, “I was very mad. Because it isn’t — it’s not right — nice to insult other families, even if you don’t like them. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.”
Asked what he would like to say to the teacher now, Daniel replied, “I would tell her, ‘You should have made better choices in life.’”