START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Catholic Teens Protest Firing of Gay Vice Principal

Catholic Teens Protest Firing of Gay Vice Principal

What should be a depressing story about yet another employee of the Catholic Church being fired for being gay actually has an uplifting twist:  the youth community rallying in support of same-sex marriage.

In a refreshing sign of the changing times, teenagers in Washington walked out of school to protest discrimination against the termination of their vice principal. We’re not just talking the Gay-Straight Alliance either – hundreds of students participated, nearly the entire student body, along with some faculty members, as well.

Mark Zmuda, an administration at Eastside Catholic High School, married his husband this past summer, but it wasn’t until school officials learned of this fact a couple of weeks ago that he encountered any problems. Though there’s some argument over whether Zmuda was fired or forced to resign, one thing is certain: one way or another, Zmuda would not be able to keep his job because of his sexual orientation.

Fortunately, there’s no need to tell residents of Eastside how bogus this situation is. The youth community has rebelled to make it clear that it won’t stand for the discrimination and intolerance. Using Twitter and other forms of social media, students organized both a sit-in and walk-out to demonstrate their support for Zmuda. Simultaneously, students at other local Catholic schools staged similar protests to show their solidarity.

According to students, Zmuda’s sexuality did not influence his job performance. “We did not know he was gay before today,” said Christian Leider, a senior. “He’s always looking out for the best in everyone and he always wants everyone to do their best.”

The fact that most of the students identify as Catholic is also significant. Though church officials still preach an adherence to “traditional” morality, the Catholic population is growing increasingly liberal.

“Just because I’m Catholic doesn’t mean I need to believe every rule the church has,” said freshman Sophia Cerino. “We think the rule over gay marriage is totally unfair. Everyone seems to think the same thing — that we should all be treated equal.”

When speaking to the media, many Eastside students referenced the Pope’s views on homosexuality. Earlier this year, Pope Francis indicated that the Catholic Church puts too much emphasis on condemning homosexuality and that other moral issues warranted more attention instead.

Even with the support of Catholic youth – and perhaps Pope Francis – it doesn’t seem likely that Zmuda will win his job back. The order for Zmuda’s termination came down from the Archdiocese of Seattle. According to lawyers for the church, Zmuda broke his employment contract that forbids same-sex marriage.

Whether or not he regains his position, Zmuda will have a lifelong impact on his students. Addressing the student body at a rally in his honor, Zmuda said, “My personal life is a small part of who I am. I am first a teacher and administrator and I try my best to be an educator to each and every one of you. I hope that no matter what happens to me and to the school, that all of you guys will seek a career and work very hard, find the love of your life, hopefully one day get married as well. At the same time, no matter what happens, strive to do your best.”

Read more: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photo Credit: Eric Jensen

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

136 comments

+ add your own
9:47PM PST on Mar 3, 2014

Thank you.

7:23PM PST on Jan 22, 2014

ty

4:38PM PST on Jan 12, 2014

noted

2:39PM PST on Jan 4, 2014

Thank you

3:28AM PST on Dec 30, 2013

A contract is a legally binding document so they were well within their rights to fire him. However, it is good to see the students showing tolerance, loyalty and support for him even though he is legally in the wrong for breaking his contract - not for his lifestyle choices.

1:29PM PST on Dec 29, 2013

good for them

11:05AM PST on Dec 27, 2013

Mutiny....THANKS FOR THE GOOD NEWS!

8:04AM PST on Dec 27, 2013

Great job kids!! Remember to keep it peaceful and legal, okay? Otherwise you put your vice-principal in a situation even more uncomfortable than the one he's already in. Make him proud.

7:01AM PST on Dec 27, 2013

Hurray for these children for doing the good thing, the right thing, the hard thing. They will learn a lot from this, both good and bad.

12:57AM PST on Dec 26, 2013

ty

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

I too liked the article however have to agree with Grace M and that Care2 can be the change by running…

The author may want to check "confirmation bias" as this seems to be a perfect example...

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.