Teacher Threatened for Stopping Antigay Slurs Prevails

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LGBT people and people living with HIV.

More than 250 people showed their support for Cheryl Bachmann, a teacher at New Jersey's West Milford High School, during a Board of Education meeting to determine whether Bachmann will or will not receive tenure. She had been recommended for tenure by her supervisor with overall good performance reviews, but the decision was reversed last month after Bachmann sent two students from her classroom for using an antigay slur. One student was later heard threatening to stab her.

Lambda Legal stepped in to represent Bachmann at the hearing. "Schools have a responsibility to create a harassment-free learning environment and Cheryl Bachmann was trying to fulfill that responsibility by disciplining a student for using threatening language — now she is in danger of losing her job," says Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal Director at Lambda Legal.  "Denying Bachmann tenure for protecting her students from harassment would be a reckless example for the West Milford Board of Education to set."

Immediately after the hearing Bachmann was notified that she would receive her tenure.

Read Lambda Legal's testimony before the West Milford Board of Education on behalf of Bachmann.