MIDDLETOWN - A Middletown High School teacher who was forced to quit his job after he showed his class a video that was against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has withdrawn his resignation.
Joseph Ventre teaches history at Middletown High School South. He came under fire after at least one parent complained that he showed a video featuring a segment by HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” that criticized the candidate.
The Middletown School Board reportedly asked for Ventre’s resignation after receiving some complaints.
The move sparked a strong reaction from students and some parents, who flooded a board of education meeting to show support. A student started an online petition also in support of Ventre. It garnered thousands of signatures.
Ventre did turn in a letter of resignation, but withdrew it Friday.
The school superintendent said in a statement "...the staff member withdrew their letter of resignation. Therefore, there is no action regarding this employee before the Board at this time. Beyond that, information regarding personnel status and performance is legally protected."
A parent tells News 12 New Jersey that Ventre planned to show more political satire depicting the other candidates, but got shut down after receiving the complaints.
Ventre declined to comment, but his brother Ralph tweeted, "He wanted to stimulate conversation on the phenomenon that is Trump. Never did he attempt to feed his political opinion 2 kids."
Although Ventre withdrew his resignation, there is no guarantee he will get his job back. As a teacher without tenure, he will have to reapply for the position. Ventre had a meeting with the superintendent Friday afternoon, but the outcome of that meeting was not released.
Another school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. Students and parents are expected to attend to show their support.