Vice Principal Apologizes for Hurling Beer at Diners During Wife's Transphobic Rant

A New Jersey educator has apologized after he threw beer at people who filmed his wife's rant about a transgender woman using the same restroom as her in a restaurant.

Michael Smurro, vice principal at Neptune Middle School in Monmouth County, hurled his drink at another diner for recording his wife's tirade at the weekend.

Other customers at Fred & Ethel's Lantern Light Restaurant and Tavern in Galloway intervened when Lisa Smurro began complaining to a server.

A video showed Lisa Smurro telling the server: "There's a man p****** in the bathroom. She's a man. There's a man in the woman's bathroom.

"It's not right. It's not right. She's a man. In my bathroom."

As she continued to complain, a diner off-camera called out: "You're being inappropriate. Take your hate elsewhere."

Michael Smurro was then seen walking up alongside his wife with a beer in hand and throwing it at another person off-camera, saying: "There you go."

The couple walked away, with Michael Smurro gesturing and saying: "Come on."

Christian Fuscarino, executive director of the LGBT advocacy group Garden State Equality, told ABC10: "This is absolutely transphobia. The law against discrimination in New Jersey protects those with gender identity to use the restroom with the gender they identify."

The video, which was uploaded to Facebook by an account called Peach CC, did not show the transgender woman and her identity could not be determined, according to the Associated Press.

In an email sent to AP on Tuesday, Michael Smurro said he regretted his actions.

He said: "I allowed my emotions to get in the way of my normally sound judgment and reacted in a way that was inappropriate. I do not condone violence or discrimination of any kind and should have simply walked away.

"I apologize to the person I threw my beer at and wish I hadn't done so. I apologize to anyone I offended."

The Neptune Township School District is investigating the incident.

A statement published on its website—signed by Tami Crader, the superintendent, and Chanta Jackson, the board of education president—said the video did "not reflect our district's commitment to inclusivity."

The statement went on: "This event is troubling as its perception potentially threatens the social-emotional well-being and climate of belonging that our Neptune School District community represents. Although we cannot comment on the details of confidential matters, we can say the Board of Education and the Administration are taking this matter seriously.

"In our district, we celebrate our diversity and the uniqueness of all our school community members. The actions shown in the video do not reflect our district's commitment to inclusivity, cooperation, respect and non-violence."

Newsweek has contacted the school district and Michael Smurro for further comment.

The vice-principal has apologized for his actions
Stock image of restrooms. The vice principal has apologized for his actions during a row about a transgender diner at a New Jersey restaurant. iStock