'DWTS' Alum Louis van Amstel Says His 11-Year-Old Son Was Told 'Homosexuality Is Wrong' by Substitute Teacher
By Paige Gawley
Louis van Amstel is standing up for his son.
The 47-year-old former Dancing With the Stars pro recently took to social media to share an upsetting experience his son had at school.
"So this just happened, we got a call from Daniel's school. The substitute teacher asked all the kids what they’re thankful for, which is sweet, right? Just before Thanksgiving. Well Daniel -- and I got choked up when he said it -- he is thankful that he’s finally being adopted by his two dads," van Amstel said in the video. "The substitute teacher was giving her very clear opinion about two men is wrong, homosexuality is wrong and yeah so you can imagine that set us off. And we are not letting this go."
van Amstel -- who is currently in the final stages of adopting Daniel with his husband, Josh Lancaster -- continued by praising Daniel's Utah school, saying that he's "so proud" of their response to the incident.
"Not only did they let go of the teacher, they said this woman is never going to teach in this school ever again," he explained.
While van Amstel said that Daniel, 11, "didn't even want to say anything to get the teacher in trouble," he went on to reveal in the caption that three of his son's fifth grade classmates were the ones who reported the teacher.
"Three girls asked her multiple times to stop. When she didn’t, they went to the principles [sic] office to complain," he wrote. "I’m proud of the three girls and school for standing up for our family against this bully. I’m disgusted that the bully is the teacher in a public school."
In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribunefollowing the incident, van Amstel revealed that his son -- who will have his final adoption hearing on Dec. 19 -- was scared to speak out about the incident because he went through two previous failed adoptions.
"He was so fearful that this could make us think that we don’t want to adopt him," van Amstel said. "That’s definitely not going to happen. But this situation really hurt him. This person really hurt us."
Additionally, Alpine School District spokesman David Stephenson told the outlet that he cannot speak about personnel issues but noted that "appropriate action has been taken" in regard to the substitute teacher.
"[We’re] committed to having the best employees who care about all children in our schools, whether it be the teacher, the custodian, the secretary or a substitute teacher," Stephenson added. "Obviously, when situations come up like this, we quickly investigate and take appropriate action. That was done in this situation."
Kelly Services, the company the district contracts to hire substitutes, told the same outlet that it's "concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously."
"We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence," the staffing company added. "We’re looking into this situation."