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Seattle Catholic School Students Protest 'Voluntary Resignation' of Gay Teachers

Students from John F Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, Washington, walked out on Tuesday, February 18, in support of two teachers who were allegedly fired for having same-sex relationships, local media reported.

Seattle Archbishop Paul D Etienne issued a press release saying Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie’s February 13 departure was a “voluntary resignation” on their part.

However, in a statement, Danforth’s fiance, Sean Nyberg, said that the teacher “is no longer employed specifically because he and I got engaged.”

Students at Kennedy Catholic staged a hallway sit-in and a walkout on Tuesday, which Nyberg attended. In a video he shared on Twitter, the students walk past a sign that reads, “Who would Jesus fire?”

Early Friday morning, the attorney for both teachers said in a statement to local media, “Paul and Michelle resigned because they were honest about being gay and being engaged to their respective same-sex partners” and they “were ultimately told that this was not compatible with continued employment at Kennedy.”

The students held a second rally and marched to the Archdiocese of Seattle on Friday, February 21. Credit: Sean Nyberg via Storyful