A bunch of rainbow flags with #LoveWins sign filled the building of Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, Washington after students protested over the forced resignation of two teachers for ‘being gay’.
Teachers Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie resigned last week shortly after their engagement with their same-sex partners. In fact, the Archdiocese of Seattle said the teachers voluntarily resigned.
However, Danforth’s partner Sean Nyberg told CBC News that the Catholic School forced him to quit after their engagement last November in Disneyland. “This is not only personally painful, it also harms former students who looked up to them,” he says.
Danforth had been teaching English at the said school for five years. He followed his father’s footstep who also taught there for almost four decades. His co-teacher Beatie also recently got engaged to her same-sex partner.
Upon hearing the news, students walked out of their class – sitting in and blocking the corridors before protesting at the school’s front steps. The school even described the two as “highly capable” teachers in a letter sent out to parents. However, the school has not commented on why they left.
According to the report of Metro, employees of the school have to sign an agreement that their contracts can be revoked if their “lifestyle is incompatible with Catholic moral values” or if their conduct is at variance with the teachings of the Catholic faith.”
In fact, some parents also supported their children to execute the protest. Erika Dubois, mother of a Kennedy Catholic asked “Would it have been applied if a teacher were divorced and remarried? Or had children out of wedlock?”
“I’m sad about the message this sends to LGBTQ students: ‘We love and accept you but we can’t employ you,” she told The Seattle Times.
At the protest, students raised their rainbow flags in support of the two teachers. They held signs that read ‘Love is a human right,’ ‘Who would Jesus fire?’ and ‘I’m Gay! What’s Next? Am I expelled?
Unfortunately, the Roman Catholic Church regards same-sex relationships as ‘sinful.’ Nyberg also spoke with the West Seattle Blog quoting, “The drive and the willingness to maybe get in trouble is pretty inspiring.”
Furthermore, parent Jennifer Southwell said everyone backs the LGBT rights protest. “Everybody is supportive of these teachers and supportive of the kids and everybody wants to make a change.”
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