By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
Just when you think you’ve heard it all when it comes to anti-lgbt statements, a special education teacher Michael Stack, at San Luis Obispo High School in Northern California, resigned last Thursday after writing a letter to the San Luis Obispo High School student newspaper where he said that “People engaging in homosexuality “deserve to die”.
According to the High School, the letter was a response to the May issue of the student boy newspaper which spotlighted LGBT issues and showed a same-sex couple kissing on the newspaper’s front page.
“The community apparently wants me out, so I hereby grant them their desires,” said Stack in an email he sent out following his resignation. “I exercised my First Amendment rights and submitted my opinion to a public forum. In it I quoted, verbatim, Romans 1: 16-32. Now people are exercising THEIR First Amendment rights by responding to that letter. This is how America is designed to function.” said Mack.
Prior to Stack’s resignation, San Luis Coastal Unified School District Superintendent Eric Prater and Principal Leslie O’Connor immediately released a joint statement stating that Michael Stack while they do not agree with his statement, he would not be disciplined over the letter due to the fact that it falls within Mr. Stack’s First Amendment rights.
“As a district, we understand that students do not shed their First Amendment rights at school, and we respect the rights of our students to speak on controversial topics. We applaud the high school’s commitment to open dialogue and a free exchange of ideas in its student newspaper. In a similar manner, we acknowledge the right of our staff to voice their opinions.” said the official statement from Mr. Prater and Mrs. O’Connor.
The statement further added that it was decided in February that Michael Stack, a probationary teacher, would not be kept on staff for the coming school year. However, assistant superintendent Kimberly McGrath stated that Mr. Stack wanted to retire at the end of the school year anyway.