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A Massachusetts teacher says he was fired for his LGBTQ advocacy

Written by gaytourism

Grant taught upper level elementary grades. | Photo: Unsplash/Aaron Burden

A teacher in Massachusetts says the school fired him due to his open LGBTQ advocacy on campus.

Cory Grant taught at Harborlight Montessori School, a private insitution in Beverly. He was there for three years before they let him go. He was a head teacher in the upper elementary program for fourth, fifth and sixth grades.

According to Newburyport News, Grant said administrators told him his job was being cut for funding reasons. However, Grant believes otherwise.

He filed a complaint on Monday (12 February) with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination over his termination.

Grant’s attorney, Hillary Schwab, commented on the case: ‘Harborlight chose to fire one of its most popular teachers rather than face up to its discriminatory actions.’

However, Paul Horovitz, the head of the school, denied the claim.

‘As a Montessori school, one of our guiding principles is that education needs to be an available choice to all students, no matter how they learn or who they are,’ he said in a statement. ‘We welcome and promote the diversity of our students, no matter their race, color, gender, or gender identity. If Mr. Grant is saying something different, he clearly did not understand the school, its practices and its beliefs.’

A teacher fighting for inclusivity

Numerous times, Grant made decisions to help the LGBTQ sutdents of the school.

In his second year at Harborlight, he removed the gender-specific signs on a single-occupancy restroom. He also wanted to help students organize a Pride Day.

However, when he and two other teachers approached the administration about such a day, they said the event would not ‘represent the values of the school and was age-inappropriate for the students’.

Not long after the Pulse shooting in Orlando, a teacher brought rainbow pins. Grant wore one and left some for students after teaching them the importance of the flag.

According to Grant, the same administrator who denied the Pride Day, once again said the students were too young for this information. They also reportedly made ‘veiled threats’ about Grant’s job security.

In his third year, Grant claimed the school unexpectedly demoted him from head teacher to simply teacher. They also did not let him teach science anymore.

Horovitz reaffirmed to GSN the school’s dedication to diversity and being inclusive.

He said: ‘We have always been committed to providing a tolerant, inclusive community and are proud of our efforts and the work of our Inclusivity Committee to sustain a safe and welcoming environment for all of our students, parents, faculty and administration.’

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