PISCATAWAY, NJ – A school psychologist in New Jersey has been fired after organizing a day of silence, where students pledge to remain silent symbolizing the bullying and silencing of LGBTQ+ students, teachers and students have said .
T. Schor middle school psychologist Dr. Cassia Mosdell was denied tenure this year after organizing the Day of Silence, according to students, teachers and parents who gathered Thursday night to oppose the decision of the school board. Mosdell worked at the school for four years, making her eligible for tenure, News12 reported.
“I think the district is sending the wrong message to our young people — that they shouldn’t be advocating for these issues or speaking out. I’m just not willing to let that stand,” Mosdell said in a partial statement. News12 reports that she did not attend the board meeting because she was sick with COVID-19.
Activists, including those from North Jersey DSAlined up outside the school Thursday night to protest Mosdell’s impending dismissal.
“It was by no means planned, and it shouldn’t be,” activist Sherry Wolf told News12. “We see what’s happening in Florida, ‘Don’t Say Gay’ there – well, is that going to happen in Piscataway now?”
A Change.org petition that surfaced this week urging the district to rethink its decision garnered more than 400 signatures Friday morning, citing Mosdell’s firing for his “advocacy for LGBTQ students and an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum.”
“Dr. Mosdell has been a trusted advisor to LGBTQ youth and their allies for four years,” the petition reads. “Dr. Mosdell has always done exceptional work in our schools. She has dedicated more than 20 years to supporting students and young children. Given the attacks on LGBTQ youth across the country, now more than ever, students need to see that they and their allies are valued by our school community.”