Michael Smurro tossed a beer at people who filmed his wife ranting about a trans woman (Facebook)
A vice principal has been forced to apologise after he was caught throwing beer at diners who filmed his wife ranting about a trans woman using the bathroom.
Video footage shows Michael Smurro, vice principal of Neptune Middle School in New Jersey, and his wife Lisa in an outdoor dining area of a restaurant in Galloway Township.
Lisa Smurro can be heard complaining at length about a trans woman using the ladies’ bathroom.
“There’s a man p***ing in the women’s bathroom,” she cried. “She’s a man, she was in the women’s bathroom. It’s not right. It’s not right. She’s a man, in my bathroom.”
As Lisa Smurro continued her tirade other patrons started filming her. “Please take your hate elsewhere,” the diners told her as she stormed up to their table.
Rather than diffusing the situation in a way that would befit a vice principal, Smurro responded by angrily throwing his beer at the diners. “Here you go, pal,” he says on the video. “There you go.”
He then takes several steps back and, gesturing toward himself, says, “Now you can come out. I’m right here,” before the couple walks away.
In an interview with the site Breaking AC, Lisa Smurro said she and her husband were having a private conversation when someone began filming them.
“We didn’t bother anyone,” she genuinely claimed. “This all began because somebody was in a bathroom that they shouldn’t have been in.”
Fortunately, New Jersey law permits people to use public restrooms that correspond with their gender; it also prohibits discrimination based on gender identity.
Lisa Smurro later insisted that the confrontation had nothing to do with the transgender woman using the bathroom.
“It wasn’t about the transgender situation,” she told NBC10. “It was more about the patrons taking a video in hackling and sneering and smiling.”
After seeing the video footage of the Smurros, Neptune school district said it is looking into the incident and taking it seriously.
“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,” read a statement on its website on Tuesday.
“The actions shown in the video do not reflect our district’s commitment to inclusivity, cooperation, respect, and non-violence.
“The Board of Education and Superintendent will respond to this incident in a manner that is appropriate and relative to the seriousness of the situation and that takes into consideration the impact this incident has had on the reputation of our wonderful district.”
Michael Smurro admitted that he acted inappropriately in an email to the Associated Press.
“I allowed my emotions to get in the way of my normally sound judgement and reacted in a way that was inappropriate,” he wrote on Tuesday (27 April).
“I do not condone violence or discrimination of any kind and should have simply walked away. I apologise to the person I threw my beer at and wish I hadn’t done so. I apologise to anyone I offended.”