A transgender woman who was using the women’s bathroom at Fred & Ethel’s Lantern Light Restaurant and Tavern in Historic Smithville ended up being the focus of a harassment and assault incident by a woman and man attending a Renaissance Fair Saturday.
The woman has been identified as Lisa Smurro and the man, her husband, Mike Smurro who works as a vice-principal of Neptune Middle School in Monmouth County. After Smurro’s wife verbally assaulted the staff and woman, complaining about her presence in the restroom, the school principal threw his beer at a victim who was recording her transphobic rant.
“There’s a man pissing in the bathroom,” his wife said. “She’s a man, she was pissing in the bathroom. She’s a man, she’s not a woman.”
“Here ya go pal,” the school principal said as he threw his beer at a table of patrons recording his wife. “C’mon, now you can come out. Now you can come out.”
Murro challenged patrons to a fight and after refusing, he taunted them more
“That’s what I thought. Soon as you went there, you’d be zero,” he yelled.
The restaurant said all people are welcome and hate has no home in their restaurant. The restaurant offers a family bathroom which is also available for transgender patrons but said it is not marked.
The Neptune School District has express their concern over the video.
“As most of you know, a video of a Neptune Township School District staff member engaging in an unfortunate and inappropriate interaction at a restaurant over the weekend has essentially “gone viral” and has been brought to our attention,” said Dr. Tami R. Crader, Superintendent. “This event is troubling as its perception potentially threatens the social-emotional well-being and climate of belonging that our Neptune School District community represents. Although we cannot comment on the details of confidential personnel matters, we can say the Board of Education and Administration are taking this matter seriously.”
Crader continued, “In our district, we celebrate our diversity and the uniqueness of all of our school community members. The actions shown in the video do not reflect our district’s commitment to inclusivity, cooperation, respect, and non-violence. The Board of Education and Superintendent will respond to this incident in a manner that is appropriate and relative to the seriousness of the situation and that takes into consideration the impact this incident has had on the reputation of our wonderful district.”