On Feb. 13, John F. Kennedy Catholic High School teachers Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie were forced to resign after telling Principal Mike Prato about their plans to both marry a same-sex partner. It seems that even with the amount of progress made for the LGBTQ+ community, the Archdiocese of Seattle can’t give them the respect they deserve.
It’s shocking that in 2020, we’re still seeing a loss of livelihood on the basis of something as frivolous as sexual orientation. To be fair, it is reasonable for the Archdiocese of Seattle to have an interest in hiring teachers that have comparable religious beliefs to their own. That the teacher should only be expected to be comfortable with being around Catholic ideology while they are teaching and nothing more.
Just because the school has a religious affiliation it gives them no right to expect them to live lifestyles that they consider moral. What is not reasonable, however, is to fire two respected and well-liked teachers just because they don’t fit with archaic sexual “morals.” Beattie and Danforth are victims of sexual prejudice and discrimination that has not only always been immoral but has long since been out of style.
JFK and the Archdiocese have certainly landed themselves in hot water, and as of Feb. 25 Principle Mike Prato has been put on a leave of absence. In their statement about his leave, the school wrote that Prato is a “respected leader” and that people should keep “praying for him.” Anybody who cannot realize that love is love is somebody who cannot be respected and should not be a leader.
The students, though under the “leadership” of Prato, have been in support of Beattie and Danforth. The students, thankfully, are a product of the progressive times we live in and not the bigoted environment they are taught in. Shortly after Beattie and Danforth were forced to quit, the students engaged in a walkout to protest the administration and their poor judgment. JFK only asked for parents to excuse their children if they were to participate.
It’s not in my area of expertise to say whether or not Mike Prato should be prayed for. Frankly, I don’t care. Prato should be the one who’s forced to resign. If it’s true what the Catholic church says, that we are all God’s children, then why is it that Beattie and Danforth are treated as unwanted bastard children, just because of their sexual preference. Perhaps if I was a religious man, I’d suggest whoever is reading this to pray for Prato. But all I can ask you to do is pity him for his ignorance, bigotry and hubris.