Notebook author Nicholas Sparks in court for firing Christian school headmaster in homophobia row

Mail Online | 8/15/2019 | Leah Simpson For;Associated Press
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The Notebook author Nicholas Sparks testified for a second day in federal court on Thursday, accused by the former headmaster of his private Christian school in North Carolina of firing him without cause due to an altercation surrounding the novelist's alleged homophobic views.

Saul Hillel Benjamin claims he was forced to resign or face termination from Epiphany School of Global Studies in New Bern, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) east of Raleigh, because he was victim of a school community resistant to efforts to diversify, and support gay or questioning students.

Benjamin - Sparks - Gay - Club - Racist

Benjamin claims Sparks accused him of secretly starting a gay club and made racist remarks in regards to the school's lack of black students, according to 2013 emails published June by the Daily Beast. Sparks has denied some of the claims in the story.

But in court Wednesday, the author of Message in a Bottle and A Walk to Remember told jurors at the start of the six-day trial that Benjamin lied repeatedly about his previous work experience, disappeared without explanation during school hours, berated employees and accused parents and others of being bigots or racists.

Complaint - Benjamin - October - States - Members

A 29-page complaint filed by Benjamin in October 2014 states 'Sparks and members of the Board unapologetically marginalized, bullied, and harassed members of the School community whose religious views and/or identities did not conform to their religiously driven, bigoted preconceptions'.

It claims two bisexual educators were threatened with termination when they approached school administrators about what Sparks allegedly referred to as a 'gay club' and said should be banned.

Students - Sons - Administrators - Past - Group

Two students accused of bullying were allegedly sons of administrators and another past of the group that said they wanted to start a 'homo-caust' was the son of an 'influential Epiphany parent' and the vice president of the Student Senate, Daily Beast reported.

Sparks said in court Thursday that in one...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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