A school district in New Jersey has opened an investigation into a middle school vice principal after he was caught on video throwing a beer at a man at a local restaurant during a transphobic rant by the educator’s wife. In a series of videos posted to Facebook, Michael Smurro of the Neptune Middle School can be seen throwing a beer at a person seated at a table where another person was using their phone to record Smurro’s wife, Lisa, harassing patrons.
“It’s not right, it’s not right, it’s not right,” Lisa Smurro can be heard saying on the video recorded at Fred & Ethel’s Lantern Light Restaurant and Tavern in Galloway Township. “She’s a man. In my bathroom.”
According to BreakingAC, a person identified only as Carrie videotaped the rant. As she and her boyfriend stook up for the unidentified woman from the restroom, Lisa and her husband Michael turned their furor in their direction. Michael confronted Carrie's boyfriend before tossing a beer at him and then appearing to challenge him to a fist fight in the parking lot.
“Here you go, pal,” Smurro says. “There you go.”
“Get the fuck outta here, ya homophobic piece of shit,” an exasperated patron at another table finally shouts at the couple.
Three videos of the encounter were posted to Facebook. They show the escalation of the event as the Smurros were engaged in heated discussion with fellow patrons following Lisa’s alleged encounter with a trans woman in the women’s bathroom. Lisa’s evidence? The woman’s shoes were allegedly pointed toward the toilet while in the stall. In the video, Lisa repeats the same phrase over and over again.
“She’s a man,” Lisa drones in disbelief. “She’s a man.”
Vice Principal Smurro’s employer, the Neptune Township School District, released a statement earlier today stating they were aware of the incident and had opened an investigation.
“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,” Dr. Tami Crader, district superintendent, said in a statement posted to the district’s website, later adding, “The actions shown in the video do not reflect our district’s commitment to inclusivity, cooperation, respect, and non-violence.”
Michael Smurro released an apology via email to the Associated Press yesterday, saying he regretted his actions.
“I allowed my emotions to get in the way of my normally sound judgement and reacted in a way that was inappropriate,” Smurro wrote. “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.”
Liss Smurro was not so contrite, though.
“This all began because somebody was in a bathroom that they shouldn’t have been in,” she told Breaking AC. ““He, she, whatever it was that day, it came into the women’s bathroom that they shouldn’t have.”