A Catholic high school in the Seattle area came under fire and started protests after being accused of resigning two fired LGBTQ teachers.
Officials at the John F Kennedy Catholic high school in Burien, Washington, issued a statement on Valentine’s Day saying that teachers Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie resigned ‘voluntarily’ last week.
“They are highly skilled, gifted, and qualified teachers who have served our community with dedication and humility. Their loss will be deeply felt by their students and the entire community, “the statement claimed.
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The teachers in Seattle, Paul Danforth (left) and Michelle Beattie (right) were reportedly evicted from their Catholic school after being engaged to their respective same-sex partners
Officials at the John F Kennedy Catholic high school in Burien, Washington, said the teachers “voluntarily resigned last week.” Someone later raised a gay pride flag outside the school in protest, but it was quickly removed
Danforth’s boyfriend, Sean Nyberg, introduced the English teacher on November 1, 2019 on a trip to Disneyland. He even had custom T-shirts made to mark the occasion
The couple made no secret of their relationship and shared photos on social media, including those that showed Danforth’s engagement ring
The happy couple is depicted in their tailor-made outfits, surrounded by their friends after Danforth said ‘Yes’
But Danforth’s fiancé, Sean Nyberg, maintains that his future husband has not stopped but was forced to accept his marriage proposal.
Danforth taught English and the school, while Beattie was a health and fitness teacher KING5.
Nyberg, a lawyer and podcaster, published a detailed statement on social media on Monday about the alleged rejection of his fiancé by the school where his father taught for 39 years.
“After having taught there for more than five years, with an excellent track record, he is no longer specifically employed because he and I are engaged,” he wrote.
Nyberg asked Danforth the question on 1 November 2019, during a four-day trip to Disneyland with their friends. He later shared a long Facebook message describing the surprise proposal, accompanied by photos of the happy couple in their custom Mickey Mouse themed T-shirts with the text “I Asked” and “I Said Yes.”
On Tuesday a large group of students, parents and alumni protested outside the archdiocese of Seattle and at the school in Burien.
Nyberg and Danforth have never made a secret of their sexual orientation or same-sex relationship based on social media posts.
“We have entered into an agreement to take our relationship to a higher level and enjoy the emotional, spiritual and legal benefits that marriage offers,” Nyberg wrote in his st. “In our case, however, Paul is no longer employed because I asked him to marry me and he said yes.”
Nyberg further said that although teachers and school officials cannot comment on the situation, he is not obliged to remain silent.
‘This is not only personally painful, it also hurts their former students who looked up to them, families who don’t know how to explain this to their children, young LGBT students who feel even more ashamed and guilty, and a community that loves and look for acceptance, “he said.
According to Nyberg, the employee of his fiancé, Beattie, also resigned after being engaged to her same-sex partner.
When the news about the situation of Danforth and Beattie spread, the Archdiocese of Seattle issued a statement stating that the teachers left voluntarily, without going further because of the staff.
Nyberg, who is a lawyer, has issued a detailed statement saying: “Paul is no longer working because I asked him to marry me and he said yes.” He added that the school’s decision to force the two gay teachers is harmful to LGBTQ youth
On the day Danforth and Beattie left school, King County Council member David Upthegrove contacted Facebook and publicly accused the public of dropping them off because they were gay / lesbian.
“This is a reminder of the blatant discrimination that still exists in our community against members of the LGBT community,” he wrote. “I hope that everyone who values honesty and equality is just as disgusted and indignant about the mean action of this anti-LGBT institution.”
During the weekend someone ran a gay pride flag on the pole outside the school, but it was quickly broken down.
On Tuesday, a large group of students, parents, and alumni protested outside of the Archdiocese of Seattle and at the school in Burien, holding up rainbow flags and home-made signs with the words “Love is love” and “Not OK” singing for reference to the alleged ouster of Danforth and Beattie.
Some students took part in a sit-in, while others were planning to leave the classroom and join the demonstrators in the afternoon.
In the meantime, a supporter has one GoFundMe campaign to help the two now unemployed teachers financially while looking for work. More than $ 32,000 was collected from Tuesday afternoon.