Catholic school under fire for allegedly 'forcing out two gay teachers'
A Catholic school has come under fire for allegedly "forcing out two gay teachers."
The incident took place at John F Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, Washington. It was made public when the school released a statement saying that two of its teachers, Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie, had "voluntarily resigned".
"They are highly capable, gifted, and qualified teachers, who have served our community with dedication and humility. Their loss will be felt deeply by their students and the entire community," the statement read, per CBS News.
However, it has now been claimed by Danforth's fiancé, Sean Nyberg, that he was forced out because of his sexuality.In this heartwarming video, two gay men propose to each other at the time:
Taking to social media, per the Mail, Nyberg revealed that after a 39-year teaching career, Danforth was forced out after getting engaged: "After teaching there for over five years, with a stellar record, he is no longer employed specifically because he and I got engaged."
"We entered into an agreement to take our relationship to the next level and enjoy the emotional, spiritual, and legal benefits that marriage provides," Nyberg wrote. "However, in our case, Paul no longer is employed because I had asked him to marry me and he said yes."
This wasn't an isolated incident either, and it happened to Michelle Beattie too, who was allegedly forced to leave the school after becoming engaged to a woman.
Now, a GoFundMe has been set up to help the two teachers while they search for new employment.
Nyberg has slammed the school for its actions, pointing out how damaging it will be for its LGBTQ+ students.
"This is not only personally painful," he wrote, "it also harms their former students who looked up to them, families that don't know how to explain this to their children, young LGBT students who will feel even more shame and guilt, and will weaken a community that seeks love and acceptance."
While the school's assertion that the resignations were voluntarily was backed up by the Archdiocese of Seattle, per the Seattle Times, King County council member David Upthegrove supported the teachers' claims that they were forced to leave the school because they are gay.
Upthegrove wrote on Facebook: "This is a reminder of the blatant discrimination that continues to exist in our community against members of the LGBT community.
"I hope everyone who values fairness and equality is as disgusted and outraged by the mean-spirited action of this anti-LGBT institution."
A statement on the teachers' GoFundMe page read: "Two beloved and extraordinary teachers at Kennedy Catholic High School 'voluntarily resigned' on February 13, 2020 because of their sexual orientation and desire to live authentically (and legally) married to their partners.
"In addition to the sadness felt by their community of supporters, Paul and Michelle are both now without jobs or incomes. In the middle of a school year it will be difficult for either of them to find employment immediately."
If you would like to donate to help Danforth and Beattie, you can do so here.