New York Post
PRIDE & ‘PREJUDICE’
Lesbian teacher sues city over ‘slurs’
A longtime city publicschool teacher says her supervisors made her life a living hell by hurling antigay slurs at her and calling her son an “abomination against God” because she’s a lesbian.
“I used to pray to God before work and ask to not be singled out in some terrible way,” Roseanne KaplanDiNola told The Post from her home on Long Island.
“No more, no more of that,” the 53yearold teacher said, explaining her decision to file a federal discrimination lawsuit against the city’s Department of Education and her alleged tormentors.
Kaplan — a teacher at PS 207 in Howard Beach, Queens, since 1992 — claims in her suit that former Principal Linda Spadaro and Assistant Principal Eileen Davies “openly berated her for her ‘lifestyle choices.’ ”
From the moment they started working together, Spadoro “told Mrs. KaplanDiNola that she was not comfortable with her lifestyle preferences and wanted her out of PS 207,” the Manhattan suit says.
“I was so taken aback by what Linda said I had to regain my composure,” KaplanDiNola recalled.
The teacher said that when her son was being bullied at school because he has two moms, Spa daro blamed her, saying, “Well, what did you expect, having kids as a gay parent?
“It is an abomination against God, and you made this child a victim of your poor choices,” Spadaro said, according to the suit.
KaplanDiNola’s son, now 16, is her biological child.
In March, Davies called the gay teacher a “fing dyke” during a disagreement about parentteacher conferences, the suit alleges.
After complaining to her district superintendent, KaplanDiNola said, she was demoted from teaching fifth grade to kindergarten.
“The comments and the treatment were obviously incredibly offensive . . . yet the Department of Education has failed to take any action whatever,” said KaplanDiNola’s lawyer, Steven Morelli.
KaplanDiNola says the discrimination made her depressed.
“My wife and I began to drift apart during the most stressful times largely because of the emotional toll it was taking on me,’’ she said.
“I’m making a stand so that someday this won’t happen to anyone anymore.”
A spokesman for the city’s Law Department said, “The DOE is committed to the values of inclusion and diversity. The complaint will be reviewed.”
Spadoro, who retired, and Davies, who is now the principal at PS 207, did not return messages for comment.