A high school teacher in Oklahoma has reportedly been posting homophobic and anti-Islamic messages for years and somehow managed to keep his job, which involves shaping young minds.
Dan Close from Dewey had been writing and sharing hateful and often threatening posts on Facebook against the Muslim and LGBT communities publicly until two months ago, BuzzFeed reports.
Among the many of Close’s vitriolic statements obtained by BuzzFeed from an anonymous source, one — dated June 8 — highlights his support for President-elect Donald Trump and mentions butchering of Muslims.
“Another Islam attack,” Close wrote. “Happy Ramadan to everyone. Death cult. Vote for Clinton if you want to appease these dog pigs. Vote Trump if you want them butchered. Happy Ramadan to all infidels.”
In addition to being an Islamophobe, Close also appears to be a homophobe since, as per some other posts he shared, he refers to members of the LGBT community and activists as the “gaystapo.”
As if this person having access to a classroom wasn’t frightening enough, even more disturbing is the fact that he teaches American history and government at Dewey High School.
Of course, his conspiratorial and detestable views influence his job.
“I knew his political leaning and there was definitely a bias in that he made it very clear which political side he was on,” a former student told BuzzFeed News.
Paula Washington, a retired elementary school teacher whose career in Oklahoma spans 25 years, claims she came across one of Close’s posts in November when they were then public.
“I told him how objectionable it was. I told him how a teacher has an obligation to express facts — especially a history teacher, to teach facts without opinion. The vitriol and the complete hatred that he had shown on his Facebook page had not only been seen by his students, but students all over the country,” Washington told BuzzFeed News.
While people are entitled to their own religious, social and political opinions, it becomes a matter of grave concern when those opinions transform into hate speech and it’s even more concerning when the person airing those opinions is a high school teacher.
Dewey High School has not yet released a statement on Close’s posts.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Laura Buckman