A special education teacher has resigned from his job at a California high school in the wake of writing a letter to the student newspaper saying the Bible says homosexuals “deserve to die.”
Michael Stack resigned from teaching at San Luis Obispo High School on Thursday after sparking a firestorm this week with a letter to the editor of the campus newspaper, Expressions, written in response to a recent cover story concerning the school’s LGBTQ community, openly-gay students and their experiences coming out.
“I love the staff and students at SLOHS. My students know that. But I love God more, so in obedience to Him, I am writing this letter,” Mr. Stack wrote.
“The Bible tells us that we are all accountable for our actions, and that teachers are especially accountable. I’m a teacher, and I don’t want to displease God any more than I already have with my sinful life, so in obedience to Him, I’m asking you to please slowly read and consider the following excerpt from the book of Romans,” he continued.
The letter went on to quote a passage from the first chapter of the New Testament epistle, which condemns homosexual sex as unnatural and says that “God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die.”
“It describes a deception that has happened in the past, and is happening again right now, not only at SLOHS, but throughout the world,” Mr. Stack wrote.
Expressions published the teacher’s letter in full Tuesday and quickly garnered similarly heated reactions ranging all the way to City Hall.
“This is unacceptable,” Mayor Heidi Harmon wrote on her Facebook page Wednesday. “A teacher at SLO High wrote this shaming letter against the LGBT community — a community that already has a high degree of suicide.”
The San Luis Coastal Unified School District defended the teacher in the wake of Tuesday’s letter and said it wouldn’t fire him for exercising his right to free speech.
“A bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable,” School District Superintendent Eric Prater and Principal Leslie O’Connor said in a joint statement Wednesday.
Mr. Stack nonetheless resigned Thursday, the San Luis Tribune reported, writing: “the community apparently wants me out, so I hereby grant them their desires.”
“I exercised my First Amendment rights and submitted my opinion to a public forum,” he wrote in Thursday’ resignation letter. “Now people are exercising THEIR First Amendment rights by responding to that letter. This is how America is designed to function.”
Mr. Stack was still in his probationary period at SLOHS, and administrators previously decided in February not to hire him for next school year, the Tribune reported.
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