"He's a really, really good teacher," she said. "He understands. You can speak to him about anything."
But school officials say Van Voorhis may have gone too far when he gave his 11th graders a graphic short story about masturbation involving a carrot, among other things.
After learning of the explicit reading, the Department of Education re-assigned Van Voorhis to an administrative office, pending the outcome of an investigation.
Some students, meanwhile, have launched a Facebook campaign to "Save Mr. V."
"I don't feel there was nothing bad about it," Henriquez said. "It was just a story. We read it outside of class, so why can't we read it inside class?"
But Louella Hatch, who has a grandson in the tenth grade at the school, isn't laughing.
"If it is true, he can't still be around the school, you know?" she said.
Alec Nightengale is also an English teacher at the school and a personal friend of Van Voorhis. He says his colleague deserves to be back in the classroom.
"I've known him all my life, and I know he had the best of intentions," Nightengale said. "And he only wants what's best for the kids."
WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King
NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS
EMAIL EDUCATION UNIT || REPORT TYPO || GET WIDGET
EYEWITNESS TWITTER || FIND US ON FACEBOOK