IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND

JOSEPH ACANFORA, III)
Plaintiff)
)
V.)
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF) Case No. 72-1136-Y
MONTGOMERY COUNTY) Civil Action
MONTGOMERY COUNTY)
PUBLIC SCHOOLS, et al)
Defendants)

Federal Building
Baltimore, Maryland
April 13, 1973

Testimony of
Joseph Acanfora, III

BEFORE:

Honorable Joseph H. Young

APPEARANCES:

For the Plaintiff:
George H. Cohen
Michael H. Gottesman
Darryl J. Anderson
Rob Ross Hendrickson

For the Defendant:
Robert S. Bourbon
Alan I. Baron

PROCEEDINGS

THE COURT:Would you please state your name for the record?

THE WITNESS: Joseph Acanfora, III.

MR. COHEN: Does the Court have a preference, in terms of protocol, as to whether counsel are sitting or standing while the testimony is being taken?

THE COURT: At your convenience.

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY MR COHEN:

Q:Mr. Acanfora, will you give us your name and address, please?

A:Joseph Acanfora, III, l9l5 Kalorama Road, N.W. Washington, D.C.

Q:How old are you?

A:22.

Q:Could you tell what your family consists of?

A:Mother, father and two sisters - one aged 21 and the other aged 8.

Q:And where is your home?

A:Originally from Bricktown, New Jersey.

Q:Are your parents still living in that home?

A:Yes, sir, they are.

Q:Could you tell us your father’s occupation?

A.: My father ia a truck driver for the Penn Central Railroad.

Q:Does he work out of Bricktown, New Jersey?

A:He works out of New Brunswick, NewJersey.

Q:Where did you grow up, Joe?

A:I grew up in Bricktown.

Q:And did you attend the public school system in Bricktown?

A:Yes sir, both Elementary and High School and I attended Bricktown High School.

Q:Did you graduate from Bricktown High School?

A:Yes, sir, in 1968.

Q:Did you thereafter attend college or university?

A:Yes, I attended Penn State University for four years.

Q:From 1968 to 1972?

A:Yes

Q:And did you obtain a degree at the end of your College career?

A:Yes, I graduated In June of 72 with a BS.

Q:From Penn State University?

A:Yes.

Q:Could you tell us or trace for us, if you would, Joe, your curriculum career in terms of your college education?

A:My first two years n Penn State, I majored in meteorology. Most of the course I took were scientific in nature, especially in the field of Earth Science. At the end of my sophomore year, I decided to switch into education and made the switch at the beginning of my junior year. So, my last years at Penn State, I had many educational courses and continued taking the science courses.

Q:Now, when you made your decision at the end of your sophomore year to transfer into a major in education, Was there any particular purpose that prompted you to do that? Was there a career objective that you had?

A:Yes, when I looked into my future and examined what life is as a meteorologist, it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. It was working in a smal1 office, usually alone, and very odd working hours. I thought I was the type of person who enjoyed working with people. I still was very much interested in earth science. So, I decided that the best thing for me was education, where I could work with people and I could still. keep my interest up in earth science.

Q:Is the educational curriculum designed to produce teachers? Is that one of the functions of that particular curriculum?

A:Yes, it is.

Q:Now, as you know, Joe, this case that we are involved in here today has raised the question of homosexuality, and I would like to ask you at this time, did there come a time during your college career when you made the decision to join or participate in any formal student organizations that had. anything to do with homosexuality?

A:Yes, an organization on campus called the Homophiles of Penn State began to form and it as publicized on campus that they were forming. I looked at the entire organization, what its purposes were, and why it was forming, and I decided that I did want to become a part of the organization and join in.

Q:Can you give us any pinpoint as to the time that this took p1ace -- what year was this in your college career, do you know?

A:This was, I suppose, at the beginning of my junior year.

Q: The Fall of your junior year?

A:Yes.

Q:Which would be the Fall of 71 - Is that correct?

A:Yes.

Q:The Fall of 70, I’m sorry.

A:You are right.

Q:You started in September of 68 as a Freshman?

A:Yes.

Q:And this would be the Fall of 1970?

A:O.K.

Q:Well, could you tell us, when you said you looked into this organization and you saw its purposes, what generally were the purposes?

THE COURT: Let me interrupt you for a moment, Mr. Cohen.

MR. COHEN: Surely

Q:Let me see if I can recollect what I was asking you. I was asking you, Joe, to tell us the purposes or objectives you understood of the Homophiles of Penn State which led you to become involved in that organization?

A:The reason I was so attracted to this organization was because I saw their major goals or reasons for existing were -- one, it was a group of people, both homosexual and heterosexual, who were working toward ending, by various methods, the discrimination against homosexuals in our society in a great number of areas, especially in areas of employment and housing.

It was also a group of people working toward developing some sort of understanding within our society between the homosexual and. heterosexual communities, what homosexuality really is. It is a subject that has been shrouded in so much mystery and ignorance for so long that this organization felt that this ignorance over any subject could only be harmful. It led to fear, it lead to misunderstanding,. It led to discrimination. We wanted this to end, and so, I became a part of that organization, hoping I could work toward those goals.

Q:Were you one of the people who originally founded or set up the organization or did you join what was then an on-going organization?

A:It had already begun. I came in early in its formation.

Q:Now, was this organization at the time you joined it, recognized on campus as a student organization?

A:No, it was not.

Q:Did there come a time when an effort was made to achieve recognitional status on the University campus?

A:Yes, this group held weekly meetings, as I recall. The number of participants in the organization grew to such a large number that the people in the organization felt it would be best to become an official organization on campus, equal in status with all the other student organizations that were working toward worthwhile goals.

An application was made for recognition as an official student organization.

Q:Can you tell us about when that was, in the sequence of events here after you got. to school that Fall?

A:I would say it would have been in January of 1971 - of the following year.

Q:Was the application favorably acted upon by the University?

A:The process was that the student government makes that decision, the Supreme Court of the student government, and they unanimously recognized the group as an official campus organization. However, the University stepped in immediately and suspended that recognition, and, in fact, we wore not recognized as a student organization on campus.

Q:This is, I take it, sometime shortly after January of 1971, is that correct?

A:Yes sir, that is right.

Q:Did the organization then pursue any course of events in order to challenge what the University had done?

A:Yes, attorneys were contacted by several members of the organization and steps were taken to --through legal channels, we felt what had been done was unconstitutional, that that organization, that group of people, had every right to exist at equal status with all other organizations on campus and to deny that right, because of personal feelings of a few administrators was, in fact, unconstitutional and there was no reason for it and we decided to take the case to court.

Q:Now, were you one of the individuals in the Homophile Society who contacted the lawyers?

A:No, I did not contact the lawyers.

Q:Were you one of the individuals who agreed to be a named plaintiff in that lawsuit?

A:Yes, when it came time to actually file the lawsuit, I agreed to be a plaintiff in the case, because I felt so strongly about the rights of that organization to exist and those people to be recognized as equal students.

Q:I take it that you and other named individuals, students, then became a party to that particular proceeding?

A:Yes, three other students besides myself.

Q:Now, in a course of becoming a plaintiff in that lawsuit, did you have occasion to publicly avow that you were a homosexual?

12

A:No, I hadn’t publicly avowed I was a homosexual when that lawsuit was filed.

Q:Did there come a time after the filing of the lawsuit when you did so?

A:Yes.

Q:About when was that?

A:Well, shortly after the lawsuit was filed – I had been a student teacher at the time -- an action was taken against me in my student teaching capacity, and through some interviews that followed that, it became public that I was a homosexual.

Q:Well, Joe, let’s take it in terms of what you meant when you said you were a homosexual, when you first publicly announced it, which was sometime in the early spring in the of 1971 or late in the winter of 1971. Is that correct?

A:Yes.

Q:That was the first time that you had publicly announced that you were a homosexual?

A:Yes.

Q: Could you tell us, in your own words, precisely what you meant at that time when you were saying you were a homosexual?

A What I meant when I said I was a homosexual was that, while I do have emotional and psychological emotions and attractions for both men and women, those which were most meaningful for me at that time and at the present time were those directed toward my male friends. That is what I meant when I said I was a homosexual.

Q:Was that description of your personal feelings part and parcel of your avowed announcement publicly that you were a homosexual, or was it just, I am a homosexual and I am participating in the lawsuit?

A:There were questions asked as to what I meant and some people knew and some people didn’t ask.

Q:To the best of your recollection, that is what you meant at that time and, indeed, you still mean that today, is that right?

A:That is right.

Q:Now, could you tell us what the result of that particular lawsuit was, insofar as the Homophiles Society’s effort, did you obtain recognitional status at Penn State University?

A:Well, it went through many many months of legal maneuvering and red tape, and only recently - very recently -- it was just, settled out of court. There was a settlement and the group was put on campus as a fully recognized organization.

MR. COHEN: May I just show this to counsel? This is a copy of the Court Order.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Did there come a time, Joe, that you received from your counsel in Pittsburgh a copy of the Court Order that was entered in this particular proceeding that I am showing you right now?

A:No, I have not seen a final settlement of that Court action.

Q:That particular order didn’t go to you, direct1y, in other words?

A:No, it did not.

MR. COHEN: Might we have a stipulation from opposing counsel -- Well, we will mark this as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 1, a copy of the Court Order entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Center County, Pennsylvania on January 23, 1973.

THE COURT: No objection.

MR. BARON: We have no objection. We might also suggest that the other documents which have been filed as exhibits in this case be filed as exhibits at this time so we have the pertinent documents in.

MR. COHEN: That is fine with us, but this particular order was not part of the affidavit. The original complaint was. We did not have a copy of the order at that time.

MR. BARON: I would suggest that we move all the papers in at this time.

MR. COHEN: I’ll join in that. (Thereupon, a copy of’ the Order, Court of Common Pleas, Center County, Pennsylvania, dated January 23, 1973 was admitted in evidence as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 1.)

MR. COHEN: All right, now, Joe, during this time while the decision was made that you would become party plaintiff in this particular lawsuit, sometime after January of 1971, did you, at that time, write any articles in the local newspapers or participate in any campus debates?

MR. BARON: Your Honor, I am going to object. There has been a modest amount of leading up to now, but this last question is just too leading. He can ask him what he did and tell his story in his own way.

THE COURT: Well, it is leading, to some extent, but I can’t think any damage would be done. Simply ask him, if you will, what his activities were in connection with the lawsuit.

MR. COHEN: Did you engage in any public communication in terms of any of the University media insofar an your position was concerned on the right for the Homophiles to be recognized by the University?

A:After the lawsuit was filed, there were local media and campus newspaper and things like that who were interested in the story and I did have several telephone interviews with some of the media, and to that extent, I did make several public statements.

Q:And what was the nature at the questions asked of you and what was the nature of your response to those inquiries?

A:The questions were, “Why?” – “What was your reason?”

MR. BARON: Objection, Your Honor, I think it is hearsay.

THE COURT: Overruled.

WITNESS: The questions were, Why did I file this lawsuit? Why did I become a party to it? and my: answers were what I said originally - because I felt so strongly about constitutional violations that were taking place by denying campus recognition of this organization.

MR. COHEN: Now, Joe, directing your attention back to the period of time beginning in the winter or early spring of 1972, you were in your senior year in College, is that correct?

A:Yes, sir.

Q:And this lawsuit was still in process, is that correct?

A:Yes, it was.

Q:Now, did there come a time when you were assigned to a student teaching assignment at Penn State University?

A:Yes, I was assigned to State College Area School District from January 3rd to March 10th as a full-time student teacher.

Q:In other words, this was in the last term of your senior year?

A:It was the second to the last term, the winter term - the spring term following.

Q:Now, when you say you were assigned to a student teaching job, was that a full-time situation or were you still going to school part-time?

A:No, it was full-time in the class room of Park Forest Junior High School.

Q:Was this assignment part and parcel of your educational nature?

A:Yes it was one of the requirements of the College of Education to graduate, and so on, and to be certified.

Q:And you started on January 3rd, and. the normal course of events would be a ten-week student teaching ending on March l0th, is that correct?

A:That is correct.

Q:All right, now, what courses did you teach at that Junior High School?

A:I had two earth science courses, two biology courses and two general science courses - 7th and 9th grades.

Q:This was the 7th and 9th?

A:Yes.

Q:Were you the only student teacher assigned from Penn State University or were there others also teaching at that time?

A:I believe as many as a half a dozen others.

Q:Now, did you, in fact, teach for the ten consecutive weeks, from January 3rd to March 10th of 1972? A No, I completed six and a half weeks of teaching, and I got a phone call from the Penn State Student Teaching Office one evening asking me to no longer report to the school that instead to report to the Student Teaching Office the next morning.

A:Did you do that?

A:I did that, and I was informed that I no longer could return to the classroom and I wouldn’t be able to conclude my student training at the school.

Q:Who told you that?

A:It was Dean Brewer, who was one of the Deans of the College of Education, who was the head of the Student Teaching assignments.

Q:Did he discuss with you the reason for this decision?

A:He said that the State College Area School –

MR. BARON: Objection, Your Honor, hearsay.

THE COURT: It certainly is hearsay. Is it necessary for this case? Having been told that you were not allowed to go back, you were told why, you indicated. Did you return?

THE WITNESS: I wasn’t told why at the time, and I did not return.

MR. COHEN: Were you subsequently told why?

A:Yes, I am not sure if it was that evening or the following evening that the State College Area School District held a press conference.

MR. BARON: Objection.

THE COURT: We’ll, overrule the objection so far.

THE WITNESS: The State College Area School District held a press conference and announced publicly –

MR. BARON: I object.

THE COURT: Overrule the objection. Go ahead.

THE WITNESS: And announced publicly that I bad been removed from my teaching assignment because of my affiliation with the Homophiles of Penn State.

THE COURT: Just let me interrupt. This is covered by one of the exhibits, is it not, in this case?

MR. COHEN: Well, it is not actually covered by an exhibit, Your Honor.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q: Could you tell us, Joe, the relationship between the timing of that press conference you just referred to and the time that the lawsuit was filed that you were named plaintiff then?

A:Yes, the lawsuit was filed on a Friday, and I was informed, I believe it was the next Monday evening of the next week, not to return to the classroom any longer.

Q:All right, and did you, in fact, not return to that classroom after that Monday meeting.

A:I did not go back.

Q:What did you do at that time?

A:I contacted the same attorneys who had just helped us file a lawsuit about the student organization and told them what had happened, and they immediately took action to seek an injunction to have me reinstated as a student teacher.

Q:All right, who were these attorneys?

A:Rick Issacson and Lennie Sharon of the Pittsburgh Law Collective.

Q:And these were the lawyers that you had previously used in connection the recognition of the Homophiles Society?

A:Yes.

Q:In fact, was such a lawsuit filed?

A:Yes, it was filed and heard within a week and I was granted the injunction to return to the classroom to complete my ten-week assignment. I received full credit for the time that I had been -- the one-week period I had been out of the classroom.

Q:Now , you returned to the classroom sometime late in February -- is that basically the time it would have been?

A: Yes.

Q:And you continued until March 10th? Did you still end on Match 10th?

A:Yes, March l0th was my final day.

Q:Now, what comments, if any, were raised by your students concerning your returning to the c1assoom ? Were there any discussions that took place?

MR. BARON: Objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

THE WITNESS: When I came back into the classroom the first day, several teachers and several students said, “welcome back.”. “Glad you came back.” “We were hoping you would be back” and that was the extent of any comments that had to do with this entire case, my entire absence that week.

MR. COHEN:

Q:At the end of the March 10th session, were you evaluated by any of the faculty at that school or at the Penn State Student Teachers’ Group?

A:Yes, I had two cooperating teachers, Mr.Burchill and Mr. Wurst, one a biology teacher and one an earth science teacher for whom I worked for those ten weeks. I was also observed by a Penn State person who was called a Supervisor, whose job it is to come into the classroom and observe you, whose name was Ken Bowers, and I was evaluated at the end -- to me in person, and written evaluations were also submitted to Penn State to have put in my student teaching credentials file.

Q:What was the nature of the oral evaluation given to you?

MR. BARON: Objection, hearsay.

THE COURT: Well, this is hearsay. Is there any question as to the fact that he was found to be competent, teacher-wise?

MR. BARON: I don’t know what the evaluation was, but I assume that since be was ultimately certified, he must have been found competent, but I don’t know what the evaluation would have been.

THE COURT: Well, I will overrule the objection. Go ahead.

THE WITNESS: I was told by both teachers that they were completely satisfied with my performance, that I had done a good job and that they would give me a good evaluation and high recommendation. I was also told the same thing by Ken Bowers of Penn State, who observed me.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Now, in terms of the courses you taught, the 7th and 9th grade students, would you tell us what was sort of the general subject areas that you covered in those classrooms?

A:Yes, biology class, we were in a unit on dissection of frogs and worms and that sort of thing, and then the earth science, we dealt with the units on astronomy of planets and the earth and the natural forces, and things like that, and in the general science classes, we just dealt with the very elementary physical concepts.

Q:Was this a situation, Joe, where you went from class to class to different groups of students in the 7th and 9th grades?

A:I was in two classrooms and every 45 to 50 minutes, I don’t recall, new students came in, yes.

Q:Now, at any time, during the course of your student teaching experience, did you have an occasion in the classroom to discuss your sexual beliefs and/or sexual preferences?

A:No, I never did discuss my own private sexual beliefs or feelings or I never discussed the sexuality at any level with any student in or out of the classroom.

Q:After you were reinstated to the classroom, after the Court Order came down, did you at any time have occasion to discuss your sexual behavior or your sexual beliefs in the classroom?

A:No.

Q:Did any student have occasion to raise that question with you?

A:No.

Q:All right now, I take it then on March 10th, you completed your student teaching experience and then what happened to you?

A:It was a short Spring recess and then I returned to Penn State University for my final Spring term, ten weeks of just regular courses, regular credit courses, on campus, which were completed mid-June sometime.

Q:I see. So, then, you resorted back to a full-time student for that last three-month period, is that correct?

A:That is right.

Q:All right, now, during that spring period of 1972 did you have occasion to make certain decisions in terms of your desires to be employed as a teacher in some school system?

A:Right, it you want to be employed as a teacher the following year, it is necessary in the early spring months to contact the school districts that you are interested in, seek application forms and procedures and follow through with them and set up interviews, and things like that; and I aid that -- because of the fact that the teaching market is so tight -- with about a dozen school districts in various states.

Q:Could you give us a few of those, if you recall?

A:Yes, I applied to Montgomery County Public Schools here in Maryland, the Prince Georges County Public Schools, the Anne Arundel County Schools, Philadelphia Schools, State College Area Schools, several school districts in New Jersey , including Cherry Hill and Bricktownship.

Q:All right, now, having made all those applications, let’s just focus for a moment on the application to the Montgomery County School System. Now, could you te1l us what happened insofar as your Montgomery County application was concerned?

A:Yes, I filed my application and I am not sure of the exact date, but I received a notice, a letter, from the Department of Personnel that they were interested in my coming in for an interview and that I should call and set up an appointment. I did that and an appointment was made for myself to be interviewed by Mr. Stephen Rohr, of the Department of Personnel.

Q:Stephen Rohr?

A:Yes.

Q:Do you know what his particular capacity is?

A:I am not exactly sure. I believe he is the Assistant Director of Personnel.

Q:In any event, you in fact, arranged to have such an interview with Mr. Rohr?

A:Yes.

Q:And you came to Montgomery County?

A:Yes, I did.

Q:And you were interviewed by Mr. Rohr?

A:Yes, I was.

Q:Could you tell us approximately when that interview took place? Have you any recollection of that?

A:That was in mid-May, sometime, I believe.

Q:All right, now, were you interviewed by Mr. Rohr alone or in conjunction with any other people in the Montgomery County School System?

A:I was interviewed by Mr. Rohr alone.

Q:Could you tell us, generally, what was the nature of that interview?

A:Yes, it was an informal discussion, followed by, I believe, a series of 20 or 22 questions -- I don’t remember how many it was -- prearranged questions that we went through the list concerning various subjects of education -- how I would deal with certain situations in a classroom, and concluded with another very short informal discussion; the total length of which, I suppose, was an hour, maybe not that long.

Q:During that whole period of time, it was just yourself and Mr. Rohr, I take it?

A:Yes.

Q:All right now, did you have occasion during that interview to indicate to Mr. Rohr the kind of teaching position you were interested in?

A:Yes, I made it quite clear, both verbally and on my application, I was interested in teaching earth science or general science at the secondary level, because that is what I had been trained in.

Q:You say secondary level; Joe, what do you mean by that?

A:Secondary level is junior and senior high school.

Q:Starting, with the 7th grade?

A:7th to 12 th.

Q:And going through Senior High School?

A:Right.

Q:What response, if any, did Mr. Rohr have to your statements in terms of what your interest was?

A:He mentioned that they weren’t sure about exactly which science openings would be coming up next year, but that I would be considered, and if I was judged qualified and if the science openings came up, I would be contacted. I left with a feeling—he indicated that it was quite likely he would be back in touch with me.

Q: Did you have any discussions with Mr. Rohr concerning any non-classroom teaching assignment?

A: No, I did not. He never mentioned it. I never mentioned it. I made it perfectly clear was interested in teaching in the classroom the subjects of earth or general science.

Q:All right, you finished your interview and you left Mr. Rohr’s office with this idea in mind as to what might happen. Did he thereafter contact you or did anybody else in the Montgomery School System contact you?

A:Yes. I received a phone call from Mr. Frank Massey, who was Assistant Principal of Parkland Junior High School, asking me to come down for a second interview for the science teaching position in his junior high school.

Q:All right, now, before you tell us any further, can you pinpoint the timing of that telephone conversation from Mr. Massey to yourself?

A:That was either at the very end of June or the beginning of July.

Q:So, it was a month or so after the interview with Mr. Rohr?

A:Yes.

Q:Now, did Mr. Massey tell you what particular school he was affiliated with?

A:Yes, he said it was Parkland Junior High School, a Montgomery County School.

Q:Now, he asked you to come for an interview?

MR. BARON: Objection, Your Honor, it’s just so leading. I mean, I’m hearing Mr. Cohen testify and Mr. Acanfora affirm it.

THE COURT: The questions are leading, Mr. Cohen,. just try to avoid as much of it as you possibly can and simply ask him what he did after that.

THE WITNESS: O.K. after that I explained to Mr . Massey that I had been offered a teaching position in Prince Georges County Schools as a science teacher in junior high school and that my deadline for accepting that was within a few days and that I couldn’t take the chance to come down for an interview and take the chance of not having a teaching position on either of the school districts, and I was planning on accepting the one in Prince Georges County. He indicated to me that after examining my credentials and after having discussed how things went with my interview with Mr. Stephen Rohr, he felt I was perfectly qualified and after having spoken with me on the phone, be would offer me a job and I could definitely count on receiving an offer of a contract through the mail. So, then, I told him that I would then accept it and not accept the one Prince Georges.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:What job, did he refer to any job?

A:Yes, an 8th-grade Earth Science Teacher.

Q:After this telephone conversation, did you, in fact, receive an employment contract in the mail?

A:Yes, a few days later, I received a contract and subsequently returned it.

Q:Now, Mr. Acanfora, I show you a document which is called “CONTRACT PROVISIONAL CERTIFICATE,” and ask you whether or not you recall if this is the individual employment contract you signed?

A:Yes, it is.

Q:It is the one that is dated July 13, 1972?

A: Yes, that is it.

MR. COHEN: That is in evidence as part of the defendant’s motion for a summary judgment.

THE COURT: It is not in evidence.

MR. BARON: You have to offer it.

MR. COHEN: All right, Your Honor, we will offer it as plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 2.

MR. BARON: We have no objection, Your Honor.

(Thereupon, contract provisional certificate of plaintiff, dated July 13, 1972 was admitted in evidence as plaintiff’s Exhibit 2.)

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Did you, in fact, thereafter, come to the Montgomery County School System and begin teaching in that system, Mr. Acanfora?

A:Yes, the contract began, I believe it was the 29th of August, and I reported and began working in the Montgomery County Public Schools.

Q:Mr. Acanfora, I show you a document entitled “Application for Employment” and ask you if, in fact, that was the application that you filed with the Montgomery County School System?

A:Yes, it is.

Q:Could you tell us when that was dated?

A:It is stamped, received April 14, 1972.

Q:When did you sign that?

A:The notarized signature was on April 14, 1972.

Q:All right, now, I direct your attention, Mr. Acanfora, to Item No, 32. Now, would you tell us what that item shows?

A:Item No. 32 says, list professional service and/or fraternal organization of which you are a member.

Q:Now, what did you respond at that time, Mr. Acanfora?

A:I put down the student PSEA, which is the Pennsylvania State Educations Association.

Q:Were you, in fact, while at Pennsylvania State University, a member of the Homophiles Society of Penn State University?

A:Yes, I was.

Q:Did you, in fact, list that particular organization under Item No, 32 in your application?

A:No, I did not list that organization under Item No. 32.

Q:Would you tell us why you did not list that organization.

A:Yes, it was based primarily on the experience I had just had with the State College School Districts. I realized I had just completed four years of training to become a teacher and was judged perfectly qualified; and I realized had I put down the Homophiles of Penn State as an organization or as an extracurricular activity that I would not be given a chance to even go through the normal application process for a teaching job; that I would not be considered on an equal par with all other applicants and, in fact, would guarantee that I would not receive any sort of teaching job. So, I decided not to put it down so that I might be able to be judged on an equal par with everyone else.

Q:Now, I show you, Mr. Acanfora, Item No. 34 and ask you to read what that says in terms of what was to be filled in there.

A:It says, To be completed by administrative, supervisory and teacher applicants only and asks to list extracurricular activities you have participated in as a student.

Q:Likewise did you list the Homophile Society of Penn State under Item 34-A?

A:No, for the same reason, I did not put that in as part of the application either.

Q:And you sent this particular application form in to the Montgomery County School System?

A:Yes, I did.

MR. COHEN: We ask that this be marked as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 3.

THE COURT: Any objection?

MR. BARON: No objection. [Thereupon, application of plaintiff to Montgomery County Public Schools, dated April 14, 1972 was admitted in evidence as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 3,]

MR. COHEN:

Q:Now, directing your attention, Mr. Acanfora, back to the period of April through June of 1972, during that period of time while you were applying to school systems, what steps, if any were you taking with respect to achieving or obtaining certification status as a teacher?

A:Originally, my main desire was to teach in the State of Pennsylvania, in the Philadelphia School District; so, I applied for a Pennsylvania State Teaching Certification. I filled out the normal applications that anyone who wants to teach in Pennsylvania has to fill out and submitted that to the College of Education for the signature of the Dean of the College of Education, whose name is Dean Vandermeer.

Q:About when did this take place, do you recall?

A:This took p1ace very early in the spring term, which would make it probably April of 1972. And I asked Dean Vandermeer at that time if he would be signing that and forwarding that on to Harrisburg so that I might get a certificate and he indicated that he was not sure. I received several letters from him indicating he was calling together a special council, called the University Teachers’ Certification Council, comprised of six deans at the Pennsylvania State University, who would decide whether or not to sign that part of the application which stated I was a person known of good moral character. So, he said that that application would not be forwarded to Harrisburg until the council had decided whether or not to sign it.

Q:Did, in fact, the Council convene?

A:The council met twice. I was not present for those two meetings and could not decide. What they did decide was to call me before the Council --

MR. BARON: Objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Again, Mr. Acanfora, so you are familiar with what it is you can testify to, you are not allowed to testify as to what somebody else has told you. Simply indicate what it was you did as a result of this.

THE WITNESS: I received a letter stating that the Council wanted me to appear before them.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Was there a specific date set for that?

A:It was July 10th, I believe, 1972.

Q:After you received that letter, what, if anything, did you do?

A:I returned the letter saying I understood they wanted to question me and gather more information about me, but I would ask them, before I appeared, to explain to me what the scope of their questioning would be. I did receive a five-point reply about what subjects would be dealt with, and then I agreed to meet with them on July 10th.

Q:Did you, in fact, meet with them on July 10th?

A:Yes. I met with the six deans, who had their attorney present and I also had my two attorneys present.

Q:What happened on the occasion of this meeting with the University Council?

A:I was questioned for perhaps an hour and a half on various topics concerning education and homosexuality. The thrust of the questions was, what I meant when I said I was a homosexual, what kind of teacher I thought I would be, and what connection there was between my personal life and my life as a teacher, and that sort of questioning.

Q:Can you tell us what you responded to those specific questions you have just referred to?

MR. BARON: Objection, Your Honor. It is hearsay.

THE COURT: Well, overruled. You are asking for his responses, is that correct?

MR. COHEN: Yes.

THE COURT: Very well, proceed.

THE WITNESS: Yes, well, I responded very similarly to the question of what I meant when I said I was a homosexual as I just recently did. When they asked what I thought the relationship between my private life was and my role as a teacher, I explained that I had never discussed and never intended to discuss my private personal life as the classroom and that the subject of sexuality or homosexuality did not fit in the context of earth science and I would not be discussing it in the class.

They asked me whether or not I thought it was moral or whatever for a student and a teacher to carry on sexual experiences or relationships, and I explained that I thought the relationship between the student and the teacher should be purely professional, whether the teacher is heterosexual or homosexual and that sexuality should not enter into it at all.

They asked me some questions about my private sexual activity, to which I responded that I didn’t think it was -- it was private business and it wasn’t any concern of theirs and it was infringing on my right of privacy, and that line of questioning.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Were any questions asked of you concerning your advocacy of the homosexual way of life?

A:Right. They asked exactly what my - they realized that because I have filed this lawsuit and had responded to some interviews in the local press, they wanted to know exactly what I was saying about homosexuality. I explained that all I was saying - that I was not advocating that anybody become a homosexual or try it, or anything like that. I was simply stating that I believed in this society that homosexuals are very much discriminated against; that many of their constitutional rights and human rights are being violated simply because people are ignorant on what homosexuality is; and it is leading to fears and decisions based on irrational judgments; and I thought that should end; and that discrimination of homosexuals and the whole circle of hatred and fear and discrimination should be ended through facing the situation.

Q:Were any questions asked of you as to how you would handle situations if students came to you and asked you concerning that?

MR. BARON: Objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Sustained, on that. Rephrase the question, Mr. Cohen.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Now, Mr. Acanfora, do you know whether or not a transcript was taken of that particular hearing that you were participating in, or meeting that you participated in?

A:Yes, a transcript was taken and I received a copy approximately a week after.

Q:Now, I show you this particular Xerox copy of a document entitled, “University Teachers’ Certification Council,” and I ask you if you can recollct, Mr.Acanfora, whether or not this was the transcript of the proceedings which you received a week after this particular hearing.

A:Yes, it is.

MR. COHEN: I would ask that this be marked as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 4 and received in evidence.

MR. BARON: I will object, Your Honor. I think it is rank hearsay.

THE COURT: It is a document that was made as a result of the inquiring being made by the Council?

MR. COHEN: Yes, it was, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Overruled.

MR. BARON: If Your Honor might hear argument on that for a moment -- we were not present at this time and there was no question of making any cross-examination and it is not particularly a part of any business records, and I think it is clear hearsay.

THE COURT: But I think it has been indicated that it is a part of the business records of the Council –

MR. BARON: Of who?

THE COURT: Of the Council that made the record.

MR. BARON: No one has proved that. Mr. Acanfora certainly can’t prove that.

THE COURT: That has been the indication here, and I will take it, subject to that. If you think to the contrary, I will hear you on it. No, seriously, I have no doubt but what that is what it is.

MR. COHEN: That is exactly what it is, Your Honor. There was a transcript taken. This was a formal meeting of the University proceeding; and this was sent to Mr. Acanfora at the request of his counsel a week after the hearing was over.

THE COURT: Very well, let it be admitted. [Thereupon, a copy of transcript of meeting between plaintiff and University Teacher Certification Council, dated July 10, 1972 was admitted as evidence as Plaintiff’s Exhibit 4]

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Now, did there come a time, Mr. Acanfora, when you were advised as to the outcome of that particular council hearing that you attended on July 10, 1972?

A: At the same time that I received the transcript, I received a letter, a copy of the letter that was being sent to the Secretary of Education, John C. Pittenger, Pennsylvania, stating that the Council had taken a vote and reached a decision, three deans to certify and three deans not to certify me, that they were, therefore, deadlocked and were passing the decision on to the State.

Q:Can you tell us about when you received this notification?

A:This was perhaps the 20th of July.

Q:All right, then, so it was the summer of 1972, and you have not yet come to the Montgomery County School System at that time, had you?

A:That is right.

Q:When, in fact, did you tell us you actually came to the Montgomery County School System?

A:I believe my first day of work was August 29, or within a few days of that date.

Q:At that point, where did you report?

A:I reported to the, I believe, the Washington Center. There were several days of orientation for new teachers which took place in various buildings.

Q:As of the time that you had reported to the Montgomery County School System, had you heard any further word concerning your application for certification?

A: No, I did not.

Q:Did there come a time subsequent to your actually having reported to the Montgomery County School System that you received word as to the outcome of that application?

A:Yes, on September 22nd of 1972, I got a phone call from several reporters stating that Secretary Pittenger had called a press conference to announce the decision on my certification. I also was informed by my attorneys that it would be a positive decision that I would be certified.

Q:Now, these two telephone conversations that you are referring to were on or about Septernber 22nd?

A:Yes.

Q:Do you know what day of the week that happened to be?

A:That was a Friday, I believe.

Q:I have before me a calendar and let the record show that September 22nd, 1972 was a Friday. Did you, in fact, receive any formal notification from the Secretary of Education’s office in Pennsylvania at any subsequent time concerning the outcome of your application?

A:I received a telegram dated September 22nd, stating that I would be certified to teach in Pennsylvania.

Q:Do you recall where you received that telegram?

A:At my home.

Q:So, you were not in the Pennsylvania area during the time that the telephone calls were taking place or the telegram were being sent?

A:No, I was not.

Q:What did you do after you received the telegraphic notice on your-application?

A:Before, I had spoken on Friday, the 22nd, with Mr. Frank Massey, the Assistant Principal at Parklank Junior High School, and I told him that because I was not aware that Secretary Pittenger would call a press conference, but that, in fact, he had, and that, therefore, I believed the situation regarding my certification in Pennsylvania could possibly become public knowledge in Montgomery County and I explained what the situation involved, the exact details of the case. He said that he would inform Mr. Guy Smith, who is the principal of the school and later that day, I was called down for a meeting with Mr. Smith and explained the same thing to him. He told me that he would not do anything at that time and would take a wait and see attitude but that he would be obliged to inform his superiors.

Q:Now, these two conversations you just testified to, they both took place on Friday the 22nd?

A:Yes.

Q:After you had received the telegram from Pittenger’s office?

A:It was not after the telegtam. It was after the telephone call from the reporters and my lawyers.

Q:Do you know, from your own personal knowledge, whether there were any newspaper articles that did appear in newspapers concerning your certification?

A:Yes, I saw an article an the the York Times and in the Washington Star. I believe the Times was on -- I am not sure -- it was on Saturday or Sunday of that weekend. I am not sure which fell on which date.

Q:I show to you, Mr. Acanfora, an article entitled, “Homosexual. Gains Authority to Teach” a special in the New York Times, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, September 23rd, and ask you if that is the article you referred to and read in that newspaper that day.

A:Yes, I did see this on Saturday.

Q: Saturday, September 23rd?

A:Right.

MR. COHEN: I would ask that this be marked as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 5 and offered in evidence.

THE COURT: Any objection?

MR. BARON: No objection. (thereupon, a copy of a newspaper. article dated September 23; 1972 was admitted in evidence as plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 5]

BY MR. COHEN:

Q: Now, at the end of that particular weekend, Sunday, the 24th, you were thereafter scheduled to go to school to teach on Monday, September 25th?

A:Yes.

Q:Did you, in fact, report to the classroom on September 25th?

A:Yes, I did.

Q:Did you teach on that day?

A:Yes, as usual.

Q:And the next day, did you, in fact, report and teach?

A:Yes, I did.

Q:Now, what events, if any, transpired thereafter?

A:I received -- someone was sent to my classroom the last period of the day on, I’m not sure if it was Tuesday -- Tuesday of that week, asking me to come down to the office and someone took overr my class and I did go down to the office; and was a handed a letter by Mr. Stephen Rohr. That letter said that I was being temporarily reassigned to the Department of Curriculum, effective the following day, and I should report to his office the following day for the details for my assignment.

They said the reason for that temporary reassignment was that there was an investigation that was about to be conducted regarding my teaching credentials in Pennsylvania.

Q:I show to you, Mr. Acanfora, a letter dated September 26, 1972, addressed to you and signed by Donald Miedema, Deputy Superintendent of Schools, and ask you if that was the letter you referred to that was given to you on that day.

A:Yes, it is.

MR. COHEN: I would ask that this be marked as Plaintiff’s Exhibit 6.

MR. BARON: No objection. [Thereupon, letter dated September 26, 1972 from Miedema to plaintiff was admitted in evidence as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 6]3

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Now, did you, in fact, report to the Department of Curriculum the next day?

A:Yes, I reported to Stephen Rohr’s office and then reported on to the Department of Curriculum.

Q:Could you tell us, Joe, where the Department of Curriculum is located?

A:Yes, it is located in Rockville, 950 North Washington Street, about five or six miles from the school where I had been teaching.

Q:Could you tell us what functions you began to perform, in general terms, for the Department of Curriculum?

A:There was quite a bit of confusion in the beginning as to what I was going to be doing, and no one seemed to be sure about exactly what I would do. I was given odds and ends type of assignments, looking for spelling errors and editing some documents and looking through magazines for articles on certain topics, and just generally, no pattern at all. It was just all kinds of different, varied short-term assignments.

Q:Were you assigned to work in conjunction or under the supervision of a certain person?

A:I was told by Mr. Norman Schneider, who is a director of the Department of Curriculum, that I was to work closely under Nancy Houn, who is a teacher specialist in the Department of Curriculum.

Q:What did Nancy Houn do?

A:She was a teacher specialist and her major projects at that time were projects called “Science, Technology, and Society.”

Q:What did she do in so far as they were concerned?

A:She researched topics concerning that broad topic. She went to teachers’ workshops where some of the documents were being worked on by teachers. She wrote lessons. She was in the process of writing a document called “Science Technology in the Society.”

Q:Commencing on September 26, 1972, for how long a period have you been working in the Curriculum Department under Nancy Houn’s Supervision?

A:I have been there to present, and I am still there.

Q:Now, could you tell us in general terms what the function of the Department of Curriculum is?

A:As far as that’s concerned, I have been told that the purpose --

MR. BARON: I object, Your Honor. I think we have got to qualify whether he really knows what the overall policies are, insofar as –

THE COURT: I will sustain the objection to that, subject to his qualifications. Can you answer it?

THE WITNESS: From my work there for the past six months and from my discussions with personnel in that department, the purpose of the Department of Curriculum is to create materials and establish general guidelines and policies for courses which will be taught in the Montgomery County Schools in the classrooms.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Are there any students in the Department of Curriculum?

A:No, not as far as I know. No, there are none that I know of.

Q:Now, let’s return for a moment to the time you were, in fact, at Parkland Junior High School teaching. I think you told us that that was at the beginning of September until. the 26th of September, is that right?

A:Yes.

Q:Could you tell us what your functions and duties were in the Parkland Junior High School?

A:Yes, I had five earth science courses at the eighth grade level, plus one short - I believe it was five or ten minutes - homeroom at the beginning of the day. Each class was approximately 50 minutes long and I had approximately 30 or, plus or minus, three or four students in each class.

Q:Were they all eighth graders?

A:Yes.

Q:So, you had a rotating group of students of approximately 30 in a class that would come in one class per group?

Q:Now, could you tell us what the general format of your particular classroom teaching was? Was it primarily lecture, primarily laboratory, primarily discussion? What was it?

A:I had set up a point system whereby students had to earn so many points during the marking period to establish various grades, and they knew what they were required to make for each grade, and they had a number of different ways of meeting that requirement. Several days a week, they could work in the laboratory to meet the requirements, and other times, we just participated in general lecture, question and answer-type activities.

Q:Could you tell us briefly what was the general subject area that you taught during that period of time, from the beginning of September to the end, until the 26th of September?

A:Yes, I was dealing with rock - types of rock formations, fossils, and generally, geology.

Q:This was true for each of the classes you taught?

A:Yes, I was teaching the same thing in each of the five classes.

Q:Now, during that period of time, were there any occasions when you were observed in the classroom by any administrative people at the principal level?

A:I was observed by a science resource teacher, Herb Blackson, and I was also observed by the Assistant Principal to the eighth grade, Frank Massey.

Q:Do you know on how many occasions?

A:Well, Frank Massey observed me just on one occasion, and I don’t recall how many times Herb Blackson was in the classroom, but it was at least once.

Q:When you referred to a science resource teacher, what do you mean?

A:It is what is known as the equivalent of the chairman of the Department of Science or the Department head. He sort of has an overview of the Science department.

Q:How many people were in the science department at that time?

A:I’d say maybe in the eighth grade, there were four other science teachers,

Q:And there were other science teachers for the seventh and ninth, as well?

A:Yes.

Q:Now, at any time during the course of your classroom activities at Parkland Junior High School, did you raise the subject or discuss the subject with the students in the classroom concerning your sexuality or sexual beliefs or preferences?

A:No, my personal private life, my sexuality, my views on sexuality were never discussed in or out of the classroom with any of my students or with any other students.

Q:At any time did any of the students raise with you the question of your own sexual beliefs or preferences in the classroom?

A:No -- no student ever questioned, nor did any teacher ever question, nor did I ever discuss with any teacher those topics.

Q:Now, I asked you, initially, in terms of students.

A:Yes.

Q:Would your answer be the same for students?

A:It would be the same for students as for teachers, yes.

Q:I was asking you, did you discuss it with any students, either inside or outside. the classroom?

A:No, I did not.

Q:Now, insofar as your relationship with the faculty or other teachers at Parkland Junior High School were concerned, could you tell me approximately how many teachers there were at Parkland when you were there?

A:Yes, I believe there were about 90 other faculty members at Parkland.

Q:Now, at any time during your teaching experience at Parkland, did you have occasion to discuss with any of the other teachers on the faculty your beliefs or preferences as to sexuality?

A:No, I never discussed with any teacher, in or out of Parkland, the topics of sexuality or homosexuality.

Q:Were there occasions during this three-week period at Parkland when you ate lunch with the other teachers in the student faculty?

A:Yes, I ate lunch with the teachers in the faculty lounge every day.

Q:Did you eat lunch with both male and females?

A:Yes.

Q:Could you briefly give us a general spectrum of the conversation topics that came up during those lunch times?

MR. BARON: Objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Well, I am not at all sure what it has to do with the litigataon here; so, it does not seem to be relevant.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:You did, in fact, have conversations with other teachers, did you not?

MR. BARON: Your Honor, it doesn’t get any better when you make it a leading question.

MR COHEN: I just want to establish the fact that he did speak to people, Your Honor, and I think we are entitled to -

THE COURT: I think he has indicated that he did have lunch and associated with teachers while there and at no time were his own ideas and his sexual ideas and so forth discussed at that time. Is that your testimony?

THE WITNESS: Yes, it is.

THE COURT: Very well, you may proceed.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:At any time while you were at Parkland Junior High School, Mr. Acanfora, did you engage in or attempt to engage in any physical homosexual acts with a student in your classroom?

A:No, I did not.

Q:Is that likewise true outside of the classroom and the school setting?

A:Yes, it is.

Q:Is that likewise true insofar as your prior student teaching was concerned at Penn State University?

A:Yes, it is.

Q:Now, from September 26th to date, from the time you went to the Department of Curriculum, until today, have you made any requests to return to the classroom?

A:Yes, as a matter of fact, immediately upon my reassignment I wrote a letter stating I would comply with my instructions from Mr. Miedama, but I was doing it with great reservations and I was requesting to be immediately put back into my position I was hired for as a science teacher at Parkland Junior High School.

Q:And, in fact, you still remained as a curriculum department teacher, is that correct?

A:Yes.

Q:Now, while in the Department of Curriculum, have you worked in conjunction with other male teachers?

A:Yes, I have. I have worked with teacher specialists who are males in the Department of Curriculum.

Q:Have you been evaluated on any occasions in your capacity in the Department of Curriculum?

A:I have had short-term specific evaluations on projects I have been working on by Mr. Norman Schneider, who is the director of the Department of Curriculum.

Q:Now, from September 26th until today, have you had any contacts with students in the classrooms outside of the Department of Curriculum?.

A:No, I have not.

Q:Have you, on any occasions, made any attempt to have such a contact with students?

A:No, I have not.

Q:Now, did there come a time, Mr. Acanfora, when you applied for an assignment to a workshop involving science technology in society and the environment?

A:Yes, that was a 3-credit college equivalent credit course offered by the Montgomery County Schools for teachers, both to help them generally in their work within the system and to offer them credit for advancement on the pay scale, and I applied to take that course.

Q:Who did you apply to?

A:I applied to Mr. Norman Schneider.

Q:Now, when you say 3-credit college-equivalent, does that have some monetary impact to it?

A:Right. There is a pay scale set up whereby your degree, plus the number of credits you take, affect your salary.

Q:Was your request to take that course acted on?

A:Yes, I was denied the right to take that course by Mr. Schneider.

Q:Did you have a conversation with Mr. Schneider concerning that aspect?

A:Yes, he called me to his office at the Department of Curriculum and said I was being refused the right to take that course, because it conflicted with the very purpose that I was in the Department, which was to keep me out of contact with the students.

Q:How are you paid? Where do you receive your paycheck, Mr. Acanfora?

A:My paycheck is still being delivered to Parkland Junior High School.

Q:Do you go to Parkland Junior High School to pick up that paycheck?

A:Yes, every other Fnday. I go to Parkland Junior High School to get my paycheck.

Q:Have you received any instructions as to when you are to go and pick up that paycheck?

A:I was instructed I should get there before 4:00 o’clock, when the office closes, but that I should come after 3:00 o’clock after students had left the building.

MR. BARON: Objection and move to strike.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Who instructed you --

THE COURT: Just a minute, What was that, Mr. Baton?

MR. BARON: Object and move to strike. It is hearsay, because we haven’t identified who told him.

THE COURT: First of all, who told you that that should be the arrangement for you to get. your paycheck?

THE WITNESS: That is where my check is being delivered.

THE COURT: Who told you the time frame in which to get it?

THE WITNESS: It came about - I have to go back to something else to say how it came about. I was asked …

THE COURT: By whom?

THE WITNESS: By Guy Smith, the principal at Parkland Junior High School. Actually, he did not ask. It was through Herb Blackson, the Science resource teacher, that said I should come back and help complete the grading of the students for the short time I was there. I had some of the grades and I should return to the school and participate in the grading procedures of the students and that I should not come back to the school. I was told this by Guy Smith that I should not come back to the school until after the students had left the school, and I took that - that I was not to come back to the school, until after the students had left for that purpose or any other purpose.

THE COURT: Well, did anybody specifically say the checks should be picked up between the hours of 3:00 and 4:00?

THE WITNESS: No, they did not.

THE COURT: It was just because of the earlier instructions you had received, is that correct?

THE WITNESS: That is true.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:During the one month period of time that you were in the classroom, from September 1st to September 26th, were you ever formally evaluated?

A:While I was in the classroom?

Q:Yes.

A:I was formally observed but I received no written evaluation.

Q:After September 26th, 1972, after you left the classroom, have you received any requests to participate in radio or television programs?

A:Yes; I have been contacted by several radio and television places who said they were interested in doing something in covering the reporting on my case, my situation.

Q:Did you, in fact, agree to participate on those occasions?

A:Yes, I did.

Q:Could you outline for us what programs you were asked to participate in that you did, in fact, participate in?

A:Yes, there was a radio show called “Empathy.” I believe it was WWDC radio. There was a television show called “Panorama.”

Q:Please go on. Could you give us that time frame, Joe, on each of them?

A:They took place - those two took place approximatelv a month after my reassignment.

Q:Late October or the beginning of November?

A:Right. I also was requested to appear on a TV snow out of New York City with my parents in that same time area, and then much later, approximately a month and a half ago, I was asked to appear on the “CBS 60 Minutes.”

Q:In fact, you participaced on those four occasions, is that what are telling us?

A:Yes.

Q:Could you tell us with respect to the CBS program, what program that was?

A:“CBS—60 Minutes.”

Q:Could you tell, us why you agreed to go on that particular program?

A:Yes, I was contacted by them and they said they were putting together a story on my case and asked if I would like to be interviewed to appear on that show, and I agreed to be on there for the same reasons I agreed to be on all the other TV and radio shows, and that was because -- though the school system was making no comment on my transfer, on my case -- their actions spoke loud enough, the fact that they took me out of the classroom said it all, as far as I was concerned.

MR. BARON: Your Honor, I object to this. I think this is rank conjecture on his part.

THE COURT: Well, he has been asked for his reasons for doing it. Obviously, there has to be some conjecture as to what his reasons were. I think the proper objection would be as to the motivation which caused him to appear.

THE WITNESS: I agreed because of what the School Board had done - as far as I could see - was said to all observers, to the community of Montgomery County, whoever else was watching, that this person was not qualified in the classroom. We have taken him out of the classroom in a very unusual move for special circumstances. We don’t want him in the classroom, which I felt put doubt in the minds of everyone of my professional capabilities, my personal capabilities as a teacher, and I felt it was necessary to protect my own reputation, to stop the rumors that I knew were circulating about me. I could tell you by whom I heard them. It was necessary for me to state excact1y what the situation was, and the rumor that were circulated --

MR. BARON: Objection.

THE COURT: Sustained. Simply because the rumors that were circulated is sufficient.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Now, after your appearances on “60 Minutes,” did you, at our request, attempt to obtain a transcript of that particular television program?

A:Yes, I did.

Q:I show you a document that has been marked “Transcript, 60 Minutes, V, No. 12, As Broadcast Over the CBS Television Network,” and ask you if this is the transcript you received from the CBS people.

A:Yes, it is.

MR. COHEN: Can this be marked as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 7 [Thereupon, transcript of TV program, “60 Minutes,” dated February 25, 1973 was admitted in evidence as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No, 7.]

MR. BARON: Your Honor, we would object to part of this and not object to others.

If it is being offered, first of all, to show what he said on that show and not the truth of what he said, then it is not hearsay. We would have no objection to what Mr. Acanfora has said on those occasions.

We would object, however, to the introduction of the editorial comments of the CBS commentators and the other persons who were on that show. It seems to me that their statements would be useless.

THE COURT: I am assuming that it is being offered simply to show what he said and not as to the truth of it.

MR. COHEN: Yes, Your Honor. It is being offered, although we have never subscribed to the relevancy of the post-September activities of Mr. Acanfora. It is being offered in response to the School Board’s position that he is an active, militant homosexual, as reflected on his television and radio appearances. We want the Court to have the record before it, as to what was said on those occasions.

THE COURT: Well, let it be admitted simply on the basis of what was said, not as to the truth of the contents.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Now, Joe, with respect to your participation in the program, “How Do Your Children Grow?,” was this a program which you likewise agreed to participate in?

A:Yes.

THE COURT: That was the one with the parents?

THE WITNESS: Yes, in New York.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Could you tell us what program this was on?

A:The name of the show was “How Do Your Children Grow?” It is a National Educational Television program.

Q:And where was this actually taken?

A:It was filmed in New York City.

Q:Did you, at our request, ask the NET to receive a transcript of that particular program?

A:Yes, I did.

Q:I show to you this Xerox copy entitled, “How Do Your Children Grow - No. 2 -- ‘Our Son, the Homosexual”and ask you if this is, in fact, a Xerox copy you received from NET?

A:Yes, it is.

MR. COHEN: We also ask that this be marked as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 8 and received in evidence with the same qualifications and conditions that Your Honor has attached to the prior document.

MR. BARON: No objection under those conditions. [Thereupon, transcript of NET program “How Do Your Children Grow?” was admitted in evidence as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No.8]

THE COURT: How much longer will you be on direct?

MR. COHEN: About ten minutes.

THE COURT: Well, we will take a brief recess. We will take a five-minute recess.

[Recess taken]

THEREUPON - JOSEPH ACANFORA, III resumed the stand as a witness for and on his own behalf, and, having been previously duly sworn, testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION [Continued]

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Joe, could you briefly tell us the circumstances surrounding and leading up to your agreement to participate in the NET program, “How Do Your Children Grow?”

A:Yes, I was contacted by the producer of the show, Joan Fiori, and she explained to me the show she belonged with, and they did want to do a show on the relationship between a homosexual child and his or her parents, and because I felt quite strongly that there were major problems that homosexuals have dealing with their parents, I thought it would be helpful for a lot of people, a lot of children who were having problems about homosexuality, to go to their parents for advice and help. I did the show with my parents for that reason.

Q:Was the basic format of that show a discussion between yourself and your parents concerning the relationship in the family of the homosexual?

A:Yes, that is exactly what it was.

Q:Now, could you tell us, Joe, in your own words, whether or not you enjoyed your experience as a classroom teacher?

A:Yes, I did very much.

MR. BARON: Your Honor, I object to that. I don’t see the relevancy of it.

THE COURT: It can have some relevancy. Overruled.

THE WITNESS: I enjoyed it because I was doing what I wanted to do. I was teaching. As far as I was concerned, I was doing it quite successfully and I was getting along fine with my fellow faculty members and the students and was accomplishing everything I wanted to, and I was enjoying it because I felt the students were reacting positively to me as a teacher.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Now, in terms of your professional career, are you satisfied with your current position in the Curriculum Department?

A:No, I am very much dissatisfied with it.

Q:Could you tell us why?

A:If I remain in the Department of Curriculum, it could do nothing but damage my future profession as a teacher. I have been denied by my reassignment the experience which is very important - the first-year teaching experience, which is very important in your teaching profession. I have been out six and a half months now with no indication of going back in this year.

This entire time I would be teaching. I would be learning how to teach. I would be getting feedback from the students and fellow faculty members. I would be officially being advised and coached and trained to improve my teaching, and I am being denied this advice, this counsel, this help; so, by being out of the classroom, by being in the Department of Curriculum, it is completely damaging my - it is preventing me from going forward in my profession as a teacher.

Also, if I were to seek employment elsewhere, they would look and they would say, have you taught for a full year, and I would have to say that I have not. So, I am being denied the right, the ability, to go somewhere else to teach.

Q:Joe, have you given any consideration to how you would, as an individual, attempt to handle the situation if you were restored to your classroom at the end of this particular situation?

MR. BARON: Objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: How is that relevant?

MR. COHEN: The school system, among other things, is contending, Your Honor, in the face of somebody who has publicly announced he is a homosexual and to restore him to the classroom would obviously. be a cause celebre, and it would almost necessarily lead to questions being asked or raised by students who might not otherwise have raised such questions, but for the fact that Mr. Acanfora’s homosexuality came to everyone’s attention. I think, realistically, that is something Mr. Acanfora, in fact, would have to cope with and we thought it would be to the Court’s advantage to have the benefit of knowing what Mr. Acanfora’s response to that would be.

THE COURT: Mr. Baron?

MR. BARON: All right, go ahead.

THE COURT: You are withdrawing your objection?

MR BARON: No, I am not withdrawing my objection, but I am withholding my comments.

THE COURT: What?

MR. BARON: I am not going to say anything in response to that.

THE COURT: You are anticipating, perhaps, but if that is to be a part of the comment, I will take it in that vein, subject to striking later.

MR. COHEN: It was not intended to bind the Court, Your Honor, certainly.

THE COURT: Overruled. Go ahead.

THE WITNESS: If I am restored to the classroom and the students bring up any subjects, any questions related to my sexuality, my personal private life, or specifically my court case, or something like that, I would have to tell them that this was a personal matter to me, that I don’t inquire into their personal and private lives and, out of respect for that, I don’t expect them to inquire into my personal and private life. I would rather not. discuss it in classroom. I was their earth science teacher and they were there as eighth grade students for earth science and I would ask them not to bring up such questions. That is how I would react to that situation.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Now, Joe, have you been certificated by the State of Maryland?

A:Yes, I have.

Q:Do you know when that took place?

A:I received that certificate in the mail approximately a month ago.

Q:Now, Joe, I show you a document captioned “Maryland State Department of Education Certificate,” and ask you if this is the certificate that you have testified to?

A:Yes, it is.

MR. COHEN: I would ask that this he marked as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 9 and be received as evidence, Your Honor.

MR. BARON: No objection, Your Honor. [Thereupon, Maryland State Department of Education Certificate to Plaintiff was admitted in evidence as Plaintiff’s Exhibit No.3]

MR. COHEN: I have no further questions of this witness, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Mr. Baron?

MR. BARON: Yes, there will be cross-examination, Your Honor.

CROSS-EXAMINATION

BY MR. BARON:

Q:Mr. Acanfora, what kind of work have you been doing since September to the present in your current position, since September 26th, when you were transferred? What other work have you done?

A:I have done a great variety. The overwhelming majority of my work has been reading documents, editing them, checking for punctuation, spelling, reorganizing them, things like that. The subjects vary very, very greatly from articles that are to appear in the Superintendent’s Bulletin to career education documents to Science Technology, Society and the Arts documents, and the great majority of my work has just been reading - sitting in a small office and reading these documents and looking for where the commas and periods and capital letters are misp1aced, and that sort of thing.

I have also done the module called “Science Technology.” The module is called weather modification in society, and it is part of the science and technology in society program, and that is the single piece of work which I have done which I have felt I was qualified to do, partly qualified to do, even though I am not a curriculum writer. Also, I have addressed envelopes for the letters that were to go out concerning year-round school.

I have been asked by Dr. Nations, who is Assistant Director of Personnel, to carry books around, to bring films down to the film library, and things like that. Also, for him, I have tallied up approximately 600 questionnaires by marking down yes-no votes and gave the results of that questionnaire concerning the program of study.

Q:Do you regard your work as “make work”? You don’t get anything out of it?

A:I regard it as, overall, pretty much busy work, whatever they can find for me to do, I will do that day.

Q:Do you regard the editing as make-work? Do you do any editing beyond periods and commas? Do you do any rewriting?

A:Yes, I said I reorganized them, ranging from career education, which I know nothing about, to articles in the Superintendent’s Bulletin regarding --

Q:It’ not just proofreading?

A:That is the overwhelming majority of what I do. There are other things, like I said.

Q:Well, have you lost any money, in terms of your salary, since you have been transferred?

A:As far as my salary goes, my salary has been unchanged.

Q:Have you lost any fringe benefits as a result of it, pensions and medical coverage, or anything like that?

A:I didn’t lose anything by way of pensions.

Q:Or any other fringe benefits you might have had as a teacher?

A:I don’t know whether you consider working hours benefits or not. My working hours have been changed.

Q:Do you regard that as something you have lost? What were your working hours and what are they now?

A:My working hours were 8:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon or 3:30 in the afternoon, which got me home about 4:00 o’clock.

Q:What are your working hours now?

A:My working hours now are from 8:30 until 5:00, which puts me in the rush hour traffic, which gets me home by quarter of six.

Q:You have testified that you have suffered damage to your personal and profession reputation, is that correct?

A:Yes, I did.

Q:Has any statement been made by any of the defendants here that you are an incompetent teacher”, any writing; any statement in the press, that you are aware of?

A:None that I am aware of.

Q:Do you have any reason to believe that any such statement has been made?

A:I don’t know whether statements have been made or not.

Q:You indicated also that your right to privacy, you feel, has been invaded by their activities, is that correct? This is one of your claims in your Bill of Complaint?

A:Yes it is.

Q:I’d like to explore that for a moment. Did they, in any way, invade your privacy in a physical sense? Were there any searches or seizures of any of your papers or document, or anything like that?

MR. COHEN: Your Honor, we will object to this line of questioning, insofar as he in attempting to elicit a legal opinion from Mr. Acanfora.

THE COURT: He is asking for the actual thing that may have been done.

MR. COHEN: If he is asking for specific things, then I have no objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

BY MR. BARON:

Q:Did anybody search your apartment or your desk or seize any of your papers, or anything like that, from the school authorities?

A:No, not as far as I know.

Q:In fact, they didn’t?

A:No.

Q:Is that correct?

A:As far as I know, they didn’t.

Q:Do you have any reason to believe that somebody from the school authorities came in and took some papers?

A:No, I don’t.

Q:Has there been any invasion of your physical solitude by anyone from the school authorities?

A Well, I am not sure that the term physical solitude would be something --

Q:Has there been any surveillance of you, or anything like that?

A:Well, I don’t know. I am going to ask you. I have been limited as to where I can and cannot go. I don’t know if that is what --

Q:That, is not my question. Has anybody invaded your privacy in the sense of a violation of your physical solitude?

A:No, I don’t think so.

Q:Do you contend they have invaded your privacy by making known your homosexuality?

A:No, I did not say that.

Q:I take it you don’t attribute the fact that the public knows that you are a homosexual to them -- was not their decision. That was your decision, was it not?

A:I would say their actions certainly brought forth before the entire Montgomery County that I am a homosexual.

Q:Who put the article in the New York Times?

A:I don’t know. I suppose Secretary Pittenger did by calling a press conference.

Q:But nobody from Montgomery County, to your knowledge, did that? In fact, the first time they ever knew about it was when they became aware of an article in the New York Times, is that correct?

A:Yes.

Q:To your knowledge, is that correct?

A:Yes.

Q:Now, you have also claimed there has been invasion of your freedom of association. I believe that is also a paragraph of your claim. Could you tell me just what you mean by that?

MR. COHEN: I am going to object to that, Your Honor, insofar as, once again, it seems to me Mr. Baron is asking for a legal conclusion.

MR. BARON: I am asking for the facts underlying the claim.

THE COURT: So the witness won’t misunderstand, the questions that are being asked of you, Mr. Acanfora, are not intended to get from you your legal conclusions or connotations attached to them. If you have any facts or actions you attribute to any of the defendants in the areas that you are being questioned on, that is what you should give. You should give the actual situation, as opposed to what your understanding is.

THE WITNESS: Yes, there are several facts behind my contention that my freedom of association has been denied.

First of all, I have been clearly instructed I cannot associate with students. My transfer out of the classroom has been a positive action in that denial. I cannot associate with teachers or resource teachers who will -- I am not saying I cannot --it’s made very, very difficult for me to do that, working six miles away from school -- to work with teachers to advise me.

I have been, I feel, punished for associating with the Homophiles organization or with homosexual people by the actions of the school board.

BY MR. BARON:

Q:Have you resigned from the Homophiles Society?

A:I no longer consider myself a member.

Q:Is that because of the Montgomery County School Board or as that just a desision you made?

A:No, I am saying that the actions of the School Board, I feel would stifle me from ever joining again, because obviously, the Montgomery County School Board takes positive actions against you when you do things like that.

Q:Then you have left the Homophiles Society before the Montgomery County School Board ever knew anything about your homosexuality or took any steps against it, isn’t that true?

A:I moved to Washington, yes,

Q:But when you graduated, you were no longer a member of the Homophile Society at Penn State University, because you were no longer at Penn State, isn’t that true?

A:That is true.

Q:How about the “Gay Alliance”? Are you a member of that organization?

A:Which “Gay Alliance”?

Q:Washington.

A:No, I am not an official member of the organization.

Q:Do you participate in their activities? Whether you pay dues, I mean, is irrelevant. Do you participate in their activities?

A:Not really, no.

Q:Do you participate in the activities of any “Gay Alliance”? You seem to indicate which one. It there another one in which you are a participate?

A:There is a group of gay teachers within the National Educational Association, who are working together to have NEA adopt at the Portland convention, the national convention, in June, certain resolutions protecting the rights of employment for homosexual teachers, and I have been partially involved in that.

Q:In fact, you are planning to attend the convention as a delegate, are you not?

A:If I become appointed.

Q:Are you running for that position or soliciting support for that appointment?

A:Yes.

Q:Since when has that activity been going on?

A:The last two months, perhaps.

Q:Are there any other so-called gay organizations of which you are an active participant or literally a member?

A:No, there aren’t.

Q:Isn’t it a fact, Mr. Acanfora, that, in connection with the activity of this “Gay Caucus” of NEA, to which you have referred, that your telephone number was published in a newspaper known as The Gay Blade as a contact for people who were interested in participating in this activity?

A:Yes, several friends who knew of the gay teachers caucus did an article and they have my phone number and it was put in the Gay Blade. This is true.

Q:Did you get any calls? Was there a response to this fact that your number was in there?

A:I don’t -- I have had some calls, which I don’t know the exact number, and I don’t know whether that had anything to do with it or not.

Q:And your decision to participate in this gay caucus took place since all the activities you have talked about by Montgomery School authorities, isn’t that true?

A:Yes, it is true.

Q:Let me show you Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 2. Do you recognize it?

A:Yes, it is the contract I signed.

Q:Let me direct your attention to the first full sentence of the first paragraph.

Have you had a chance to read it?

A:Yes.

Q:Did you read it before you signed the contract?

A:I did.

Q:Isn’t it a fact then that you understood in signing the contract that you were subjecting yourself to the possibility that you might be assigned by the county superintendent or transferred to some other position within the county?

MR. COHEN: Objection, insofar as he is asking the witness for a legal conclusion as to what a contract provision stands for.

MR. BARON: I am not asking him that. I am asking him what his understanding was.

THE COURT: Overrule the objection. Go ahead.

BY MR. BARON:

Q:Did you not understand that one of the possibilities, by signing this contract, was that you might be transferred by the county superintendent, subject only to the fact that you would be entitled to your salary that you had contracted for at the outset? Did you not understand that?

A:Technically, that is what I understood the agreement to be, yes.

Q:Now, let me also direct your attention to Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 3, which is the application, and ask you to take a look at it just to be sure.

A:Yes, that is it.

Q:Now, you have already testified, have you not, with regard to the answers to Questions 32, which called for you to list the professional services and/or fraternal organizations of which you are a member, and 34, which called on you to list your extracurricular activities which you participated in.

Now, you made a conscious decision not to list your affiliation with the Homophiles at Penn State, is that true?

A:Yes, that’s what I said.

Q:Now, let me direct your attention to this last page of this application, specifically No. 39. I wonder if you would read that, please.

A:39 says that the information I submitted on this application is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I concur in both statements and requirements. I understand the falsification of any information submitted on this application shall be cause for dismissal from service. I have signed this application form in the presence of a notary public, whose signature and seal appears below.

Q: Is it not a fact that you had lied on that application by unconsciously withholding certain information you thought they would probably like to know and, yet, you still signed it before a notary swearing it was true?

A:What was the question? I did what?

Q:Is it not a fact that you falsely signed that document, swearing that the information contained was true, knowing that you had consciously withheld certain information that the Montgomery County School authorities would deem relevant?

A:I signed saying that everything I put on this application was accurate. As far as I am concerned, everything that is on this application is accurate.

Q:Oh, you thought it was okay if you left off certain things, as long as what you put on was accurate?

A:Yes.

Q:But you knew that they probably would want to know that, didn’t you? You consciously decided not to put it on because you thought that would be very significant?

A:Yes, I did believe it would be significant.

Q:So, you told the truth when you singed that last line, 39?

A:Yes.

Q:Is that true?

A:Yes.

Q:Let’s go back to Homophyles of Penn State University. Would you repeat for me what the purposes were you understood that organization to represent?

A:As I understood them, I believed that the Homophyles of Penn State was organized and existed to help erase the great misunderstanding and discrimination and fear and hatred, and that sort of thing, which exists between the heterosexual and homosexual communities of our society.

Several way of achieving this was to work through legislative action to erase laws which discriminated against gay people; to work through the legislative action to protect certain employment rights and housing rights; and that sort of thing, for homosexual people. To allow people who were homosexuals and who knew they were homosexuals to live comfortably with themselves, instead of living in a thing of guilt and self-hate, which was self-destructing.

Q:Is it fair to say that at least part of the purpose of the Homophyles of Penn State was to bring homosexuality out of the darkness, to let people know that there were homosexuals and they have rights?

A:Yes.

Q:Is that correct? To bring homosexuality out, to make it observable, instead of something surreptitious, is that correct?

A:To show that it is a fact of life, yes.

Q:And that there were people who were participating?

A:To show that homosexuals do exist.

Q:Well, then, why did you lie on your application? Why didn’t you say that on your application?

A:I have already stated that I did not put it on my application because I felt if I had, I would not be judged fairly and on a par with every other applicant in the school system and, therefore, would not be able to teach, had no chance of teaching in the Montgomery County Schools.

MR. BARON: Would you please mark this as Defendants’ Exhibit 1. for identification? [Thereupon, letter dated October 26, 1972 from plaintiff to Mr. Schneider was marked as Defendant’s Exhibit No. 1. for identification]

BY MR. BARON:

Q:Do you recognize that?

A:Yes, I do.

Q:What is that?

A:This is a memorandum I sent to Mr. Norman Schneider on October 26th requesting an extended lunch hour.

Q:You said you wanted to attend to some important concerns at that tine?

A:Yes.

Q:Isn’t it a fact that that important concern was that you were going on television at that time to do a show?

A:Yes, “Panorama.”

Q:Why didn’t you tell Mr. Schneider what you were going to do?

A:I was told when I got there by Nancy Houn that it was common practice that if you needed some time off for personal reasons, that, you know, you were not bound in a classroom situation and that time was a little more flexible. You simply had to request it. As long as you made up the time, it would be no problem. She didn’t say that it was necessary to explain what you were going to do during that extended time off.

Q:Did you make a conscious decision that you weren’t going to tell Mr. Schneider that you, were going on the air to discuss your homosexuality?

A: Yes, I guess I did.

Q:Isn’t it a fact that you withheld certain information that you thought he might not like to know because of what you were going to do?

A:Yes.

Q:He might not be too happy if he knew it, is that correct?

A:Yes.

Q:Did you regard this as a private matter that you were going to do?

A:No, it certainly wasn’t private.

MR. BARON: I move its admission into evidence, Your Honor.

MR. COHEN: No objection.

THE COURT: Let it be admitted. [Thereupon, Defendant’s Exhibit No. 1, heretofore marked for identification, was admitted in evidence as Defendant’s Exhibit No. 1.]

MR. BARON: Your Honor, excuse me I would like to withdraw it from evidence at this time and leave it only as identified.

THE COURT: Very well, let it be withdrawn from evidence. [Thereupon, Defendant’s Exhibit No. 1was withdrawn and marked as Defendent’s Exhibit 1 for identification.]

BY MR. BARON:

Q:Did you ever participate in the activities of the “Gay Alliance” of Washington, D.C.?

A:I have attended several meetings.

Q:Is there a membership, as such, by virtue of the fact that one pays dues or does one simply go or not go?

A:It is pretty much that simply one goes or does not go.

Q:So, to the extent that one is a member, you have participated in their activities, is that correct? Is there anything more you do to be a member?

A:Welt, active members are publicly stated members of GA, Washington, I guess.

Q:When did you become active, in any way, in connection with their activities?

A:I attended several meetings is all I did, and that was, well, now and again, from the time I have been in Washington.

Q:Which began about when?

A:August to the present time.

Q:Approximately how many of their meetings have you gone to?

A:In those six months, perhaps ten - but – perhaps ten.

MR. BARON: May we have this marked as Defendant’s Exhibit No. 2 for identification? Thereupon, flyer of GAA, was marked as Defendant’s Exhibit No. 2 for identification.]

BY MR. BARON:

Q:Will you take a look at Defendant’s Exhibit 2 for identificafion. Have you ever seen that before?

A:Yes.

Q:Could you tell me what it is?

A:It is a flyer that was produced by the “Gay Alliance of Washington” and distributed at several. Board of Education candidate meetings before the election.

Q:Were you aware that it was going to be used before it was put on the street?

A:Well, it was distributed at the candidates’ meetings. I knew they were going to be distributed there.

Q:You knew it was going to be put out the first time it was ever put out? In other words, you didn’t find out about it by having someone hand it to you, did you?

A:No, I was told it was going to be put out.

Q:Did you object to it being put out? Did you object to the use of your picture or your name?

A:I didn’t object to it, no.

Q:Mr. Acanfora, when you were a member of the Homophyles of Penn State, I believe your testimony earlier was that the organization was an its early stage of existence.

A:Yes.

Q:Is that a fair statement?

A:Yes, it is.

Q:Did you over hold any office in that organization?

A:Yes, I was the treasurer.

Q:Were you elected or appointed to that position? How did you get that office?

A:I guess election, you could call it.

Q:About how many members were in the group, as a whole?

A:It ranged over the years as low as 20 to as high as 100.

Q:When you were elected, how many people were in the group, approximately?

A:Probably 15.

Q:How long did you hold that office?

A:Just about a year.

Q:When you agreed to serve as plaintiff in the lawsuit to which there has been reference earlier were you still then an officeholder in the organization?

A:I don ’t think I had yet been chosen as treasurer.

Q:Why were you the one? How did it happen that you were the one that became named plaintiff in that lawsuit?

MR. COHEN: We are going to object, Your Honor, on the ground that the record does not demonstrate that Mr. Acanfora was the sole named plaintiff.

MR BARON: Well, I could amend it to one of the plaintiffs.

THE COURT: I think on direct examination, he gave his reasons as having been one of the ones. He did not say he was the only one.

MR. BARON: I understand his reasons.

Q:How did it happen? Did somebody select you? Did you volunteer? What was the process? Were you elected?

A:The attorneys were drawing together the lawsuit and those people who felt strongly enough about the violations of the constitutional rights of the members were allowed to become plaintiffs.

Q:Now, you said that the membership consisted of both homosexual and heterosexual persons?

A:Yes.

Q:I take it – did you fall into the homosexual category at that time?

A:I have already stated that I am a homosexual.

Q:I was wondering about at that time. Was that a continuing thing at that period of your life, also?

A: Yes, I was looking back over the fact that the definition was the same definition of saying I am a homosexual now as I did then.

Q:Now, how much total classroom experience do you have, given your student teaching time and your time at Parkland Junior High?

A:Just over three months.

Q:All right, and during the time that you were at Penn State doing the student teaching as part of your Penn State curriculum, were you on your own in the classroom or was there someone in the classroom with you?

A:It varied. In the beginning I was observed. In the very beginning, I observed the classroom teaching and then I took over more and more classes, being observed by one of the classroom teachers or by the supervisor of Penn State, and then during the final two and a half or three weeks, I was most of the time on my own.

Q:Let’s go back for a minute.

You put in a total number of ten weeks, was it, as a student teacher?

A:Yes.

Q:Let’s start at. the beginning, the first period when you were there – when you were simply the observer watching another teacher conduct the class. How long was that period?

A:That was a matter of three or four days.

Q:Three or four days?

A:Yes.

Q:I take it a week of teaching is five days.

A:Yes.

Q:Now, at what point did you then participate with the teacher in the conduct of the class in something more than an observer capacity?

A:At what point?

Q:Well, you said after three or four days –

A:After three or four days, I began working with small groups of students in the class.

Q:While another teacher was there?

A:While another teacher was there.

Q:How long did that last?

A:That lasted approximately a week.

Q:Five days?

A:Five days.

Q:Now, what was the next stage after those roughly first two weeks of your tenure? What was your next assignment?

A:The next stage was to take over the classroom with my cooperating teacher as an observer.

Q:How long did that last?

A:That lasted, like I said, until about the final two and a half to three weeks.

Q:That lasted approximately four or five weeks? That would cover about seven weeks of the total ten, is that right?

A:Yes.

Q:Now, you are saying that the last two and a half to three weeks --

A:The last two and a half to three weeks, yes.

Q:Then did you conduct the class by yourself?

A:I had done that for – I would say - the last six or seven weeks.

Q:I mean with no one else there - that is what I am talking about - with no other teacher in the room.

A:Yes, I did that for the last two and a half weeks. Occasionally, as I said, there was a teacher who would come in to observe.

Q:Now, while you were at Parkland, you were there for a total of about 15 teaching day, is that true, approximately three weeks?

A:Yes, three, three and a half weeks.

Q:During that time, approximately how much of the time were you with another teacher in the room or some observer watching you?

A:There were only three -- perhaps three periods that I was observed.

Q:Then your total teaching experience, without anyone else observing you and no one else as a participant, is roughly five and a half to six weeks, approximately 30 teaching days, something like that?

A:Something like that.

Q:Now, you have testified that you believed that under no circumstances would you become involved with any students in your classroom, is that correct?

A:Yes.

Q:You believe that?

A:Yes.

Q:Is it not a fact that you are basing that essentially on about six weeks testing on your classroom conditions when no one else was in the room? Isn’t that true?

A:I am basing it on the fact I would not or did not.

Q:That you would not?

A:No, I am basing that on a whole lifetime of developing a moral code of ethics, or whatever.

Q:Which has been tested about six weeks in the classroom, isn’t that true, total?

A:If you look at it that way, yes.

Q:That is a fact, is it not?

A:Yes.

THE COURT: Anything else, Mr. Baron?

MR. BARON: Yes, Your Honor.

BY MR. BARON:

Q:Mr. Acanfora, have you ever been arrested?

A:No, I have not.

Q:Have you ever gone by any other name other than Joseph Acanfora?

A:No, I have not.

Q:At Parkland Junior High School, isn’t it a fact, Mr. Acanfora, that you had duties other than the classroom duties which would bring you in contact with such students, isn’t that true?

A:Yes, that is true.

Q:What would they be?

A:I had a short homeroom, as I stated earlier, where I took attendance and distributed forms out, and things like that.

Occasionally, several weeks throughout the school year, you are required to serve on bus duty to see that the students get on the buses in an orderly fashion or lunch duty, and things like that.

Q:Did you ever have any counseling duties where you might meet with one or two or three students to discuss matters with them?

A:Within the classroom, I would often -- I would on occasion, you know, discuss individual problem they had with their work, or something like that. I didn’t consider that counseling.

Q:Well, if a student said he wanted to talk with you about something after school -- you know, he was having a problem with his science questions, or something like that, I take it you would consider that part of your duties to meet with him and discuss what his problems were.

A:Most teachers would, yes.

Q:Would you?

A:Yes.

Q:You indicated in your testimony that you applied to approximately 12 different school districts for a job. You listed a few of them, in Maryland, in New Jersey, I believe, and perhaps one or two others.

A:Yes.

Q:On their applications, were you asked question concerning your extracurricular activities at college and any organizations that you might belong to? Were you asked questions similar, in other words, to the ones you were asked by the Montgomery County application?

A:Yes, they are pretty much all the same.

Q:And were your answers as candid on those questionnaires as they were on the Montgomery County one?

MR. COHEN: I object to the form of the question, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Well, I think maybe the use of the word “candid, ” I would suppose.

BY MR. BARON:

Q:Did you reveal on those applications that you were a member of the Homophyle Society of Penn State University?

A:No, I didn’t, and I didn’t do it for the same reasons.

Q:Now, you indicated that your areas of teaching expertise were earth science and general science, is that correct?

A:Yes.

Q:Would general science encompass biology?

A:No, usually general science is considered to cover physics, chemistry, that sort of thing. Biology is pretty much separate from general science.

Q:Are you qualified to teach biology?

A:No, I am not.

Q:Are any of your qualifications such that you might teach, in the sense of a scientific discussion in the classroom, sexual matters -- not in terns, necessarily, of human sexuality but sexuality, as such?

A:No, I am only trained and certified in physical sciences.

MR. BARON: Your Honor, that would conclude our cross—examination, subject to possible further recall.

THE COURT: Very well. Any redirect?

MR. COHEN: Yes, Your Honor.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION

MR. COHEN:

Q:Now, Joe, you just testified concerning the gay teachers’ Caucus and made reference to that. being part of the NEA.

Would you tell us what the NEA is?

A:NEA stands f or National Educational Association. It as the largest professional educational organization in the country. It is made up of educators. That. is what the NEA is, and the gay teachers’ caucus within that is a group of professional educators who are coming together to make certain motions that the NEA help protect the employment rights of gay teachers.

Q:Would it be fair to say that in your judgment the gay teachers’ caucus is a political organization within the NEA?

A:That is pretty much what it is.

Q:In your judgment?

A:Yes.

Q:Now, insofar as you have any personal knowledge, are any of the members of the gay eachers’ caucus of the NEA, in fact, classroom teachers in states or counties around the United States?

A:Yes, as far as I know, they are.

Q:Incidentally, Joe, I show to you what has been marked as Defendant’s Exhibit 2 and I show you the right-hand side of this document, the picture opposite yours with the name “Whitman.” Do you know which particular individual that was intended to refer to?

A:Yes, that stands for Walter Whitman, the writer.

Q:Do you know whether or not, from your own personal knowledge, there is an elementary school in Montgomery County named after Walter Whitman?

MR. BARON: I object, Your Honor, I don’t. see the relevance of this.

THE COURT: Well, I don’t know if it is relevant. What would be the relevance?

MR. COHEN: The relevance is, Your Honor, that on the one hand an individual has been removed from the school system and transferred from the school system because of his homosexuality and an elementary school has been named after an avowed homosexual.

THE COURT: There is no Socrates School, is there?

[Laughter]

THE COURT: I will override the objection.

BY MR. COHEN:

Q:Now, in response to some questions that had just been posed to you on cross-examination concerning your certainty as to whether or not you would have any tendency to attempt to engage or engage in physical homosexual acts with any student that you now have or might prospectively have -- Do you recall that question?

A:Yes.

Q:Do you recall your response in terms that you had only had that experience factor of approximately six weeks, do you recall that?

A: Yes.

Q:Now, on what basis could you or did you respond that you certain that you would not have the problem?

A:Every person has to establish for themselves some sort of general moral belief, and if they are going into the educational profession, a more specific one, as far as education goes, and I know that I, myself, have not and would never have any kind of relationship with a student, and I know that for a fact, you know, that I will not do that.

Q:Are you convinced of that fact as an individual?

A:Yes.

MR. COHEN: I have no further questions.

RECROSS - EXAMINATION

BY MR. BARON:

Q: Mr. Acanfora, to your knowledge, does the student body at Parkland Junior High know of your homosexuality now? Is at common knowledge in the school, do you know?

A:I have not been back there; so, I could not say for sure. All I can do is assume that it is.

Q:It is common knowledge?

A:Yes.

MR. BARON: Nothing further at this time.

THE COURT: Anything else?

MR. COHEN: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Thank you, sir. You may step down.

[WITNESS EXCUSED]