This Drama Teacher Deserves a Standing Ovation for His Response to the Mother Who Pulled Her Kids From Class Because He Is Gay

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giphy (24)(Via Giphy)

The world is full of bigots, so it should not be surprising when a parent does something bewildering like pulling her child out of an after-school theater program because the drama teacher is gay. It’s rude, bigoted, and awful, but not surprising. Somehow, what surprises me most about the situation is that the mother had the gall to make sure to tell the teacher why she was pulling her kids out of class, and then to demand the return of her deposit, which she knew to be non-refundable.

Normally when programs request a non-refundable deposit, they do not say things like, “Deposits are not refundable unless you are upset about the teacher’s sexuality!”

According to Yahoo Parenting, Michael Neri is a British drama teacher who runs a popular theater school called Talking Props. Earlier this week he posted an appalling message from the mother of one of his students, who said that she had learned that he was gay and as a result was pulling her kids out of class because, “I have recently learned of your lifestyle and as a Christian I cannot allow my children to be influenced by unconventional ideas. It is our belief that a man should marry a woman. I look forward to receiving my deposit which you may post to me via cheque.”

Luckily, Neri is not a man of few words,  because his response is pretty darn brilliant.


(Via Twitter)

From beginning to end, Neri’s response is a perfect sequence of burns, from the beginning where he said he was not disappointed to see her go, to the end where he reminds her that her deposit is not refundable, but promises instead to donate it to an LGBT charity, it’s just lovely. Do they give Oscars for drama teacher burns? Because Michael Neri deserves one.

Neri’s post resonated with people, and it has since been liked nearly 6,000 times and retweeted nearly 4,000. He says he did not fire off that viral message right away, but had to sit and ponder the hideousness of the mother’s actions before composing his response.

“I was a little shocked to receive the text. I felt a little bit, I suppose, disheartened by it and that the decision had been made solely on something that wasn’t about my professional capacity to teach,” he said in an interview with Mic. “I’m not going to lie, it was brewing. I got the text early afternoon, and it took me a good couple of hours to respond back.”

Brilliance takes time.

It sounds like everyone is on the side of Talking Props, with plenty of other parents posting in support of Neri and the school. It’s always good to know that while there are a lot of people out there who would judge a person based on something silly like sexual orientation, there are a lot of decent people, too. In this case, at least, it seems like they outnumber the jerks.