Students Shut Down School as Gay Vice Principal Fired
Catholic school says he violated contract with same-sex wedding
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Dec 20, 2013 3:52 PM CST
Students from Eastside Catholic protest in this screenshot from a YouTube video.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – A Seattle-area Catholic high school canceled classes today, partially because there was snow in the forecast, but also "in light of the difficult day" it had just been through. The difficulty? Hundreds of students staged a rally yesterday at Eastside Catholic High School to protest the termination of vice principal and swim coach Mark Zmuda, who was forced out after other administrators learned he had married his male partner over the summer, the Seattle Times reports. The protest even went viral and spread to nearby Catholic schools, with more protests taking place today.

At one point, Zmuda went outside to tell the story from his perspective. "He was crying and told us what we were doing meant a lot to him," one student says. As the news went national, some alumni began contacting the school and threatening to stop donating, KIRO 7 reports, and a Change.org petition to reinstate Zmuda has already garnered more than 14,000 signatures. But officials are holding fast. In a letter to parents, the school said Zmuda's marriage violated his employment contract. "It was clear that this is the teaching of the church. I know what we need to do," said sister Mary Tracy, the school president. A lawyer for the school said Zmuda was a "great administrator" and would get a "glowing reference."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Students Shut Down School as Gay Vice Principal Fired is...
4%
4%
4%
55%
4%
29%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 237 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Dec 23, 2013 4:56 PM CST
Religious organizations can discriminate on hiring and firing based on religious issues. It can be as simple as not believing the same Bible version as they do. Jehovah's Witness believe their Bible is the only true Godly text. If you don't sign on that their Bible is the true inerrant word of God, you cannot get a job with them. Sure, go ahead and file a lawsuit against them and see how far it gets. When I did work for a religious organization this guy came out as gay. He was immediately terminated. He was told he could return only after he signed a letter of repentance and got counseling by a recognized homosexual counselor (deprogramming). Lets say you want to work with TBN, the TV network. In the interview, they will ask you, "Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior and do you have a missionary's true heart?" You answer no and they will say, "Sorry, we won't hire you." Go ahead and file a suit and you will lose. You get the job with TBN and the boss tells you that next week it will be your turn to lead the daily morning devotions at 9AM and the Wednesday noon chapel service. You say, "That's not my deal." You are fired for not following the religious requirements of the job. You sue and lose. So, bottom line, if you work for a religious organization, get ready for some religious requirements established as a part of your existence with them.
fractal
Dec 22, 2013 11:45 AM CST
Notice how fundy trolls here have turned the topic from student activism to the Bibble as the word of God? They just love it when we give them a chance to proselytize; more notches on their soul. Lets stay on topic, not debate them, which only gives these wackos more space than they deserve.
Holly Williams
Dec 21, 2013 3:23 PM CST
In my opinion, this is ridiculous. For one thing, this school had every right to fire this man if he violated their ethics clause (or whatever they call it) which apparently he did. For another, when did we get to the point that a school can be shut down because the students protest? Are schools going to be shut down because students protest over the bad quality of their food next?