HINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - A Hingham High School teacher is apologizing to students after he posted statements that were considered homophobic on Twitter, the principal said.

In a letter to the school community, Hingham High School Principal Rick Swanson said he became aware Thursday that an unnamed teacher “had used a personal Twitter account to publicly post statements that were perceived by many to be homophobic and thus contrary to the values of our school.”

“The offending comments have since been removed and the Twitter account (previously public) has been privatized,” Swanson wrote in the letter. “In apologizing to me last night, and to his students today, this teacher acknowledged a ‘very poor choice of words’ that failed to convey the message he had intended to deliver. ‘I am truly sorry for making a statement that clearly offended and hurt people,’ he said. ‘I respect and value all of my students, and I deeply regret making statements that might suggest otherwise.'”

Swanson said he believed the teacher was sincere in his apology and described him as a “well-respected professional with a long record of service to our students.”

“Over the course of many years, I have known him to be a person of integrity who treats all students with respect.  However, I remain very disappointed by the Twitter comments, since they did not reflect the spirit of community we work so hard to build in our school,” Swanson wrote. “Student groups like the HHS Gay-Straight Alliance (an established part of our school culture for two decades) contribute enormously to this effort, and the teacher will meet with this group tomorrow (at his request) to extend to them a personal apology.”

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