Students protest snubbing of gay teacher

James Patrick Carraghan

James Patrick Carraghan is an award-winning activist, writer, librarian and student at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. He spends his free time gardening, hording books and flirting. You can follow him on tumblr at http://thelibrarynevercloses.tumblr.com/

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On Wednesday, 150 students, alumni and others walked out of Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines, Iowa, after a substitute teacher was denied a full time job when the administration learned that he was gay.

Tyler McCubbin taught athletics and social studies at the school since autumn, and had applied for a full-time position when school administrators learned that he was engaged to another man. After this discovery, his application was denied and he was refused any more work as a substitute.

A letter was sent to students and their families explaining this decision: ‘You may be aware that we withdrew an offer of a full time position to a substitute teacher based on discovering late in the employment process that his lifestyle was inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

‘As a Catholic school we have an obligation to uphold the church’s teachings as they are defined.’

‘It broke my heart,’ Mr. McCubbin said in an interview with the Des Moine Register. ‘I want [LGBTStudents in Iowa have made a moving protest against their school’s decision to snub a gay teacher.] students to know I want to be there for them, but I’m not allowed to be there because I’ve been true to myself.’

Iowa law exempts religious institutions from the state’s civil rights act, which prohibits discriminatory hiring practices based on sexual orientation.

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