Words: Steve Brown
Hundreds of students have staged a mass walk-out after their Catholic school fired two teachers because they are gay.
Last week, Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie ‘voluntarily resigned’ from John F Kennedy Catholic School in Washington but supporters claimed the two teachers were forced out by school officials.
According to reports, it’s claimed that the school appeared to fire them after they both decided marry their respective partners.
Now, hundreds of students staged a massive sit-in this week, blocking the school corridors, in response and took their protest onto the school’s front lawn.
Many of the students held signs reading ‘Love is a human right’, ‘Who would Jesus fire?’ and ‘I’m gay! What’s next? Am I expelled?’
A sea of rainbow gay pride flags and “love is love” signs filled the front steps of Burien’s John F. Kennedy Catholic High School Tuesday afternoon, as hundreds of students walked out of class to protest the resignation of two gay teachers ⤵️ https://t.co/2FNem6MPME pic.twitter.com/dfBBG7sGQC— KIRO Radio 97.3 FM🎙 (@KIRORadio) February 19, 2020
A Pride flag was raised on the school’s flagpole outside the school but was quickly removed, the Seattle Times reported.
According to the school’s employment contracts, it says they can fire teachers if their ‘life-style is incompatible with Catholic moral values or if his/her conduct is at variance with Catholic teaching’.
Students and supporters have set up a Go Fund Me page for the ‘two beloved and extraordinary’ teachers.
Kennedy Catholic High School did a walk out yesterday in support of two teachers who “voluntarily” resigned because of the school’s issues with their sexual orientation.
Look at them storming out, shits beautiful😭! (Footage from B-town blog on FB) pic.twitter.com/rQfTrj9i85— De Andra Morgan (@de_andramorgan) February 19, 2020
The page reads: “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.
“No doubt these two will find positions for the 2020-2021 school year. But until then, anything we can do to help ease their financial burden as they face several months without a paycheck will be helpful.”