- An English teacher and a soccer coach resigned from Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, Washington, last week.
- School officials told KING5 that English teacher Paul Danforth and soccer coach Michelle Beattie “voluntarily resigned” from the school, though they say they were forced out over their engagements to same-sex partners.
- Students walked out of their classes on Tuesday in protest of the teachers’ resignations.
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Students at a Catholic school outside Seattle, Washington, walked out of their classes on Tuesday after two teachers said they were forced out because they are gay.
English teacher Paul Danforth and soccer coach Michelle Beattie “voluntarily resigned” from Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, Washington, last week, school officials said in a statement to KING5, though the teachers have said they were pushed out over engagements to same-sex partners.
As students participated in a sit-in outside their classrooms Tuesday morning to protest Danforth and Beattie’s resignations, about 100 parents and alumni visited the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle to protest.
Danforth’s fiancé Sean Nyberg called the students “brave” for participating in a protest.
“I hope they realize, they are the future of not just this community but the Catholic church…and that what they are doing is really brave, and probably more brave than what I’ve seen any adults do. The willingness to maybe get in trouble..it’s pretty inspiring. The rest of the world is watching,” Nyberg told KOMO News.
Nyberg told KING5 that Danforth “is no longer employed specifically because he and I got engaged.”
The couple got engaged last year at Disneyland. Nyberg said Beattie had also recently gotten engaged.
Students at the school told local news stations that they were in “disbelief” over the resignations.
Audrey Porter, a senior at Kennedy Catholic High School, told KOMO News: “And to have it happen to quickly – knowing we wouldn’t be able to say goodbye to them – it was heart wrenching. So, I think it’s just that time that we know it’s right and we know we have to stand up and do something.”
Student Meagan Cook held a towel that said “Love Wins” during Tuesday’s protest.
“I’m also part of the LGBT community, and I felt like it’s unfair for teachers to lose their jobs over something so simple as loving someone,” she said. “It’s honestly, religion or not, it’s not fair to treat people unjustly and make them lose their jobs.”
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