What hope I experienced upon reading of the three fifth-grade girls who left their classroom to report the unethical and unprofessional behavior of their substitute teacher (“Substitute who told fifth graders that being gay is ‘a sin’ is fired,” Dec. 3).

Here are three 11- or 12-year-olds who exercised moral courage to speak up in defense of their classmate and report to the relevant authority the wrong perpetrated by the “teacher.” They are well-educated young people and their choice to be witnesses rather than bystanders led to the termination of the employee by Kelly Services.

Commendations also to Kelly and the principal for taking the necessary action and sending a message that such behavior will not be tolerated. Both sets of actions will surely help bring about healing over time for the young student who bravely shared his gratitude in class and to the rest of his family.

Is it possible that we adults can learn from these strong citizens to have zero tolerance for verbal assaults, and to speak up, to be witnesses, and to terminate from work or office, those who perpetrate such violence, whether it be in schools or in the halls of elected officialdom?

Christina Gringeri, Salt Lake City