An 11-year old faced harsh judgement from a substitute teacher when he said during a class discussion that he was thankful for his two adoptive dads. The internet is applauding the swift response from his classmates who didn’t hesitate to defend him and report the teacher, as well as the undisclosed Utah school district’s decision to ban her from teaching there again after she tried to use the boy’s family as a negative example to push her anti-gay views.

The incident was reported by local news

Image credits: erinscafe

Image credits: erinscafe

Image credits: erinscafe

Louis van Amstel, a professional ballroom dancer and choreographer who has appeared on Dancing with the Stars, and his husband of almost three years, are in the process of adopting the 11-year-old.

Van Amstel was notified of the incident by the school’s administration and proceeded to post about it on social media, becoming emotional over his son Daniel’s words. He also told local news that Daniel had been afraid to stand up for himself for fear of causing an inconvenience that would dissuade van Amstel and his husband from going through with the adoption.

The couple has since met with the parents of the girls who reported the substitute teacher, thanking them for raising kids willing to take the side of a peer who’s being bullied even if the bully is a teacher.

Louis van Amstel posted on social media about the incident

Image credits: LouisVanAmstel

Image credits: LouisVanAmstel

Image credits: LouisVanAmstel

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A Twitter user who commented on the news shared statistics revealing the disparity between how many children in the US are eligible for adoption, and how many are successfully adopted. The 11-year-old’s fear that his adoption would fall through after he has already been through two failed adoptions is sadly common—studies have found children over the age of 9 being adopted at a much lower rate than younger children, despite making up almost half of children in foster care.

Considering these statistics, it’s especially reprehensible that a person in a position of authority would turn a child’s joyful news that he’s being adopted into an opportunity to spread a homophobic agenda because the parents are a gay couple.

Commenters passed on their congratulations to the family on the adoption, and applauded the girls for standing up to an adult who should really not be working with children.

Here’s what some commenters had to say

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