And the purge continues. Trish Cameron, a fifth-grade teacher at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Moorhead, Minnesota, will not be back in the fall. The reason? She personally supports marriage equality.
Cameron has been teaching at St. Joseph's for eleven years. Eleven years of dedication to the children of St. Joseph's and their education, all down the toilet, just because she personally supports marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.
The incident apparently came about after Cameron was asked to fill out a self-evaluation. When asked whether she supported Catholic teaching, she responded:
I do not agree w/ all Church teachings on a personal level but I do not bring my own opinions into our religion classes. We tend to focus on respect and love for one another and living out our call as servants whenever a ‘political’ topic crops (which it rarely, if ever, does).In a follow-up conversation with the school administration, she specified that she did not agree with the Church's stance on marriage equality. That was all it took. She was asked to write a letter of resignation.
Families and staff also received a letter signed by Principal Toby Bierl and Superintendent and church Monsignor Mike Foltz. That letter stated that because of “an unfortunate circumstance” and the school’s “fiduciary responsibility” as a “Catholic-Christian school,” Cameron was asked to resign.Very sad indeed. Very sad that a perfectly qualified teacher who has been at St. Joseph's for eleven years, helped build a drama club, and by the school's own admission has a "love of teaching" and a "giving heart" is sacked because of her personal position on a civil rights issue. But I guess it was to be expected, since the Church has informed its priests that there will be no "open dissension" over the Church's backing of the anti-gay Minnesota amendment. The Catholic Church is running a tight ship, but it seems to be mainly on this particular issue.
In the letter, the school officials credited Cameron with being instrumental in developing St. Joseph’s drama club and for “her love of teaching and her kind and giving heart.” The situation “leaves the school with an air of sadness,” the letter stated.
Foltz could not be reached for comment.
Cameron says that she does not want to discuss her forced resignation further.
In my honest to goodness heart, I want the interest in this story to build bridges for all the right reasons, not to tear things down. I feel like perhaps there is a wave of interest that may need to come and go before I speak about this.What a strange world we live in, when dissension over marriage equality matters more to school officials than actually being, you know, qualified as a teacher. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot.