Diman Defends Chef Against Accusations Of Gay Intolerance
A Facebook post is causing a stir at Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fall River.
The viral Facebook post accuses one of the school's teachers of intolerance of two gay students' gingerbread house creation.
Administration at the school, however, emphatically defended the culinary arts teacher. Superintendent-Director, Tom Aubin, says that Chef Jeffrey Coulombe led a gingerbread house project, and that no student at any time was prevented from creating a gingerbread house of their choice.
Joshua Farias, a culinary arts shop student, has a different version of the story. The Diman Junior, who turns 17 next month, believes that the culinary arts teacher was intolerant towards the rainbow symbolism on the gingerbread house he and his friend created in class on Thursday. Farias, who is a self described member of the LGBT community, says that Coulombe rushed him to finish the product, then told the two boys not to be surprised if their gingerbread house was in the trash the following morning. While his house was not trashed, Farias says he was very upset to see that the gingerbread house was moved from a display case to a table the following day. Farias tells Fun 107 that Coulombe announced to the class that "if you feel the need to express your diversity...we have clubs for that."
"It is a complete falsehood and fabrication," said Aubin. "On a personal level, we think it is disgusting that somebody would take somebody like Chef Coulombe's image and put it on the internet when he's had a history of tolerance and inclusion. Our feelings are hurt about it. We are so insulted by (the accusation)...it is disgusting."
Farias says that when he read the response from the school today on Fun107.com, he broke down into tears because he was so hurt. "For (the school) to just say straight out that me, my sister, and my friend were lying...without even talking to me...was crazy", says Farias. "They claimed we are liars."
The Facebook post (above), which was already shared hundreds of times within the span of 18 hours, was littered with unflattering comments about both the technical high school and the teacher...some calling for the school to fire the chef.
Marissa Farias, the sister of one of the boys, says that she is not calling out Diman. Her goal is to have an investigation into how many kids have been affected by this one particular teacher. She says she would also like too hear an explanation from the teacher.
Aubin says that the school has a 30 year record of inclusion, and that their contribution to the Southeastern Equity League (which holds their annual "Day of Diversity" event at Diman Regional) "speaks for itself." Aubin says, "This is a non-issue caused by people who are trying to cause trouble." Marissa Farias responded by saying, "the fact that Diman is calling this a non-issue is the core of the problem."
"I love Diman," said Joshua Farias. "Before this, I've never had any problems with this school."