NEW YORK TIMES

9-24-72

 

HOMOSEXUAL GAINS AUTHORITY TO TEACH

Special to the New York Times

 

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 23

—Joseph Acanfora 3d, whose [homosexuality] led to his suspension as a student teacher, has been certified to teach in this state.

John C. Pittenger, the State Secretary of Education, approved Mr. Acanfora’s credentials yesterday. But he said he would not have done so if Mr. Acanfora had ever been convicted of homosexual activities.

As a student at Pennsylvania State University last February, Mr. Acanfora brought suit against the university, seeking equal rights for homosexuals, which he contended the university denied.

When his suit became public, however, he was promptly dismissed as a student teacher at Park Forest Junior High School, University Park. He was reinstated by court action.

After he was graduated in June, the University Teachers Certification Council deadlocked, 3 to 3, on whether Mr. Acanfora could meet provisions of state law requiring teachers to be of “good moral character.” It is believed to be the first time the education secretary has had to act without a recommendation from the council.

Mr. Acanfora, of Brick Township, N. J., is now teaching eighth grade earth science at Parkland Junior High School, Rockville, Md. He said his superiors did not know he was a homosexual until he told them after Mr. Pittenger’s announcement.