KKK, anti-Muslim Facebook posts didn’t get town employees fired

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The three Hamilton Township employees that shared offensive posts on Facebook last week have received counseling and sensitivity training — but not pink slips — according to a statement issued by Mayor Kelly Yaede.

“I have been disappointed and disheartened by these instances, realizing the reality is that we cannot know of every example where an employee may have made or shared disturbing material,” Yaede said in her statement. “I will continue to educate our workforce on social media civility.”

The township is also looking into further sensitivity training that can be applied to their entire staff and is in the process of reviewing potential social media and conduct policies, the Republican mayor said.

The training is a far cry from the call for resignation Yaede sent out a few days earlier when the township’s public defender, also a Republican and former town councilman, shared a meme comparing Democrats wearing white to members of the Ku Klux Klan. Edward Gore, the public defender, retired in the wake of the incident.

One of the three other township employees caught sharing memes posted the same one that got Gore in trouble. The other two employees posted a photo of a Muslim man sitting on a toilet saying Muslims, “don’t use toilet paper. They use their hand.”

Earlier this week, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for the dismissal of all three employees.

“Of course what they did was legal but it was offensive,” said James Sues, the director of New Jersey’s chapter of CAIR. “We did want to call them out and we want to understand what the township of Hamilton thinks.”

Sues said the three employees have done a disservice to the diverse community that makes up New Jersey’s population.

Yaede said she has reached out to the organization, and hopes to start a dialogue that can help foster a more respectful workforce.

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