A Kentucky middle school teacher says he was fired for coming out as bisexual, and he is fighting back.
Nicholas Breiner has filed a federal lawsuit against Montgomery County County Board of Education, alleging that he was terminated by McNabb Middle School because he came out on Instagram last April.
“I think the evidence makes it clear that he was doing an excellent job as a choir teacher at the middle the school,” his attorney, Edward Dove, told INTO. “He posted on social media that he was bisexual, and then after that, it was just a pattern of harassment, retaliatory conduct and then finally termination.”
Breiner declined to be interviewed.
The Kentucky Herald-Leader reported that Breiner said he made the post to give hope to his LGBTQ students who he worried were suicidal.
“Over the past several months, I have personally intervened on several suicide cases,” Breiner said. “Thankfully, these students are still breathing, but the vast majority of the attempts were from LGBTQ students.”
His complaint alleges that three days after the post, Deputy Superintendent of Support Operations Rick Curloss called Breiner into his office and questioned him about his sexual orientation. It goes on to state that he received harassing phone calls and unfavorable evaluation.
In May, he was fired, according to the complaint, because of budget constraints. But in July, the district hired a heterosexual female to replace him, according to a court document.
According to one of his Facebook posts, he tried to facilitate the creation of a Gay Straight Alliance in August, but was met with resistance.
“This is not something I intend on giving up on,” he wrote. “Of course now, with school in session, my boots are less on the ground than I would like and I was also threatened by a faculty member last time I was there so I expect to hit a few brick walls along the way.”
Breiner has been serving as choir director at Tates Creek Middle School, but Dove said he was fired again due to budget cuts.
Montgomery Public Schools could not be reached for comment in time for publication. INTO will update if the district responds to requests to comment. However, the district previously told the Herald-Leader that Reiner’s dismissal was unrelated to his sexual orientation, adding that the reasons for his firing were confidential.