(Columbus Dispatch) A man who posted hateful comments about this weekend’s Columbus Pride Festival and Parade likely will lose his job with Columbus City Schools.
Chris Dodds, 48, is a garage assistant supervisor who has worked for the school district since 2004.
“Columbus City Schools values and celebrates its diversity. Please know that we are working with authorities to address this matter and his actions. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” said Scott Varner, a spokesman for the school district. “We are currently working toward Mr. Dodds’ termination.”
On a Facebook post to the festival’s page, Dodds’ wrote: “I hope this event turns out like the Boston Marathon a few year’s (sic) back.” Then he used a derogatory term for gay people and said they “should be killed or at least relocated.”
Denise Alex-Bouzounis, a spokeswoman for the Columbus Division of Police, said: “We are aware and (are) looking into it.”
Karla Rothan, executive director of Stonewall Columbus, which sponsors the Pride Festival, said hate is nothing new.
“We get protesters quite often. We’re used to it,” she said. “I think we’re going to come out and have a wonderful day. We make (police) aware of any threat. We let them handle it.”
Sam Shamansky, a Columbus defense attorney, said Dodds’ post just falls short of meeting the standard for aggravated menacing under Ohio law. The law states “no person shall knowingly cause another to believe that the offender will cause serious physical harm to the person.”
“Does he chill people from coming to the event? That he certainly does. It’s not menacing,” he said. “He’s spewing his vile opinion, which the Constitution protects…”