3,000+ Sign Letter Protesting Catholic School’s Firing of Lesbian Educator

13932949_10205355535047285_376919962604286558_n_zqkpbh

Kate Drumgoole, left, with wife, Jaclyn Vanore

Thousands of alumni and others have organized against a Catholic school’s decision to fire lesbian educator Kate Drumgoole.

In just 24 hours, more than 3,000 Paramus Catholic High School alumni and school supporters signed an open letter calling upon school officials to apologize to Drumgoole, who was the head of the guidance department and basketball coach, and implement LGBT non-discrimination protections. The letter opened:

“We, the alumni of Paramus Catholic, are devastated that you have terminated Dean Kate Drumgoole’s employment because of her same-sex marriage. We are disappointed that, by abandoning Kate Drumgoole, you have abandoned the pride that we share in our diversity. . .

“At Paramus Catholic, our community was diverse in race, ethnicity, nationality, religious and spiritual affiliation, biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual attraction, romantic attraction, language, socioeconomic background, age, and ability—whether or not we were thoughtful and patient enough as adolescents to appreciate diversity as we do now.”

The signers, organized under “Concerned Alumni of Paramus Catholic High School,” said the firing will “perpetuate misinformed hate against individuals on the basis of their gender and sexuality” and deny LGBT students “a psychologically safe learning environment.” These Concerned Alumni include signatories from every graduating class dating back to the school’s founding in 1969.

The letter ends with a series of requests from Paramus administrators to rectify the injustice done to Drumgoole in some way. These requests include formal apologies to the fired educator and to the school’s students, along with the adoption of comprehensive non-discrimination policies for staff and students alike, and diversity trainings for the school’s community. If you are connected to the school and interested in adding your name to the letter, click here.

In related news, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Lisa Perez Friscia denied a motion by the school to dismiss Drumgoole’s discrimination lawsuit which Bondings 2.0 reported on Monday. The judge’s decision said a more extended discovery process was necessary, reported The Recordto determine “whether Drumgoole worked in a ministerial capacity and whether the dispute is secular or ecclesiastical.” If Drumgoole is considered a minister, it may allow the school to claim a religious exemption from state non-discrimination protections under the First Amendment.

Paramus Catholic officials fired Drumgoole in January because she had married her wife, Jaclyn Vanore, two years earlier. Their marriage came to light after Venore’s sister submitted pictures of the couple to Paramus Catholic social media pages and school president James P. Veil, following a family dispute.

By all accounts, Dean Kate Drumgoole was a respected and beloved member of the school community. With more than 3,000 signatures and growing on the alumni letter, Paramus Catholic officials will hopefully recognize the error of their decision and seek reconciliation.

For Bondings 2.0‘s full coverage of this story, and other LGBT-related church worker disputes, click the ‘Employment Issues‘ category to the right or here. You can click here to find a full listing of the more than 60 incidents since 2007 where church workers have lost their jobs over LGBT identity, same-sex marriages, or public support for equality.

–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

 

9 Responses to 3,000+ Sign Letter Protesting Catholic School’s Firing of Lesbian Educator

  1. What a wonderful and inspiring turn of events!

    Yes, may Paramus Catholic officials have the humility to admit their error. And may both parties here be an example of reconciliation and unity.

  2. Loretta says:

    How sad that this firing was a result of an act of anger by a family member of the woman who didn’t even work there. When family members are the impetus it hurts a thousand times more.

  3. Kaitskyler@msn.com says:

    I cannot believe that in this day and age my beloved Catholic Church is still in the dark ages over this. Is this behavior Christian? I think not. I ask what would Jesus do?

  4. […] has also publicly supported fired lesbian educator Kate Drumgoole, whom Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey fired last January after her same-gender marriage […]

  5. […] month, Drumgoole filed a discrimination lawsuit against the high school and the Archdiocese of Newark. A judge denied Paramus Catholic’s […]

  6. […] marriage. The much beloved former Dean of Guidance and women’s basketball coach is now suing the school and the archdiocese. Hall has been suspended from active ministry, in part for […]

  7. […] became public in August when Drumgoole filed a lawsuit against the school and archdiocese, and an alumni letter supporting her received more than 3,000 signatures in just a day. Later, Fr. Warren Hall was […]

  8. […] Paramus Catholic High School for being in a same-gender marriage. As New Ways Ministry reported earlier, Paramus Catholic’s alumni organized and signed an open letter condemning the school’s decision […]

  9. […] secundaria católica por estar en un matrimonio del mismo sexo. Como Nueva Ways Ministry informó anteriormente , alumnos de Paramus Católica organizó y firmaron una carta abierta condenando la decisión de la […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: