NJ School Board Fires Gay Principal As Board Member Claims “Anyone With [His] Proclivities Doesn’t Belong In Education”

In a letter, a Lincoln School District board member called Tim Hart "a brazen hussy."

A New Jersey principal is suing his former school board, claiming his contract was not renewed because he’s gay.

Former Lincoln Elementary School Timothy Hart filed suit earlier in June after discovering a school board member wrote to the administration, calling him a “brazen hussy” who “should be removed before he does something really weird,” according to court papers. 

In her letter, Theresa Ward insisted, “Anyone with TH’s proclivities doesn’t belong in education… and certainly not in one of our elementary schools.” She also calmed him a “brazen hussy” who “should be removed before he does something really weird.”

Hart claims Ward convinced the majority of the board to vote against renewing his contract in May, despite a recommendation from superintendent Richard O’Malley.

Lincoln Elementary School

The board declined to comment other than to deny any wrongdoing. But according to NJ Advance Media, the district’s letter to Hart states he was not rehired because of complaints from staff about his management style. He allegedly failed to create a “collaborative environment,” had a “lack of empathy” for employees, and an “inability to communicate effectively.”

Hart says he only received positive performance reviews after being hired by the district in 2004. “The letter that board member Theresa Ward wrote is the product of a bigoted and warped mind,” said his attorney, Armen McOmber.

Hart has since been hired as a principal in the Livingston School District.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.