Protest continues against beer-throwing Neptune vice principal over wife’s trans rant
Another protest is planned for Friday by a group calling for the firing of beer-throwing Neptune Middle School Vice President Michael Smurro following his wife's comments about a trans woman using a restroom at a Galloway Township restaurant.
Lisa Smurro got into an argument last month with customers over what appears to be a transgender woman using the women's restroom at Fred & Ethel’s Lantern Light and Tavern in the Smithville section. Her husband, Michel Smurro, threw a plastic cup of beer at a couple recording her.
In an email to The Associated Press days after the incident, Smurro apologized and said he should have just walked away from the situation.
Superintendent Tami Crader initially said the district was aware of an "an unfortunate and inappropriate interaction" involving one of its staff members. The district later posted a message that its response was "swift and serious" but said they could not disclose specifics because of employee confidentiality rules. Smurro is still listed as one of two vice principals on the school website.
"We understand and share the public’s concern and frustration but cannot share more than an assurance that this situation is being addressed, not swept under the rug, and with our students’ social-emotional well-being at the forefront of any of our actions," the superintendent said in a statement on the district website.
The Philly Metro Activism Network has been holding weekly protests outside the school demanding Smurro be fired, lose his benefits including his pension and to no longer be able to work with children in his future employment. They also want the district to publicly name Smurro and denounce his statement.
The group told New Jersey 101.5 it would be back every Friday "for as long as it takes" in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
"The board’s continued refusal, citing that their work cannot be made public, to update the community during this time is careless and unacceptable. It’s obvious the school district of Neptune, NJ does not have the proper procedures or policies to address these issues to the community’s standards and desires, which is highly disappointing, considering the diversity of the district is one of the highest in the state," the group said.
Crader on Thursday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.
She told the Asbury Park Press that she has received hundreds of threatening and angry emails, tweets and voicemails which have been shared with Neptune Township police.