End employment discrimination against Mr. Eledge and future faculty
Mr. Matthew Eledge has been an English teacher and speech coach at Skutt Catholic since 2010. Since then, he has created a legacy. Not only has he changed students’ lives in the classroom, but he has also made Skutt a premier school for speech competition. Under his leadership, the students have won five consecutive conference and district titles and capped another successful year with its fourth straight state championship this past March. Unfortunately, this legacy will be coming to an end. Mr. Eledge is being fired from Skutt Catholic for being in a gay relationship.
In December of 2014, Matt and his partner, Elliot Dougherty, made the decision to get engaged. He went to the administration to let them know, and they told him he would not be invited to teach next year. Furthermore, if he told students, he would be fired immediately.
A living example of what it means to be a SkyHawk, Mr. Eledge has spent hundreds of hours striving to make sure that the students at Skutt have an incredible high school experience. He soars above the rest in accolades, talent, and character for Skutt Catholic. After months of contemplation, Mr. Eledge discussed the idea of postponing the wedding so he could come back to Skutt Catholic. He was then informed that he must end his relationship with Elliot.
A core belief at Skutt Catholic is to inspire “moral and ethical leadership by not only educating, but also requiring students to provide service to, embrace diversity within, and seek justice for their communities and the marginalized in our society”. As parents, former teachers, alumni, and individuals who support the Skutt Catholic community: we demand the administration embrace diversity and stand up for justice by not discriminating against a teacher that has inspired hundreds of students and future leaders in the community.
When Mr. Eledge, or any other teacher, becomes engaged, what they do in their private life is between themselves and God. Not for us to assume or judge. Furthermore, if they fire Mr. Eledge for engaging in a same-sex relationship, they must avoid discrimination. They will need to fire any single teacher who is living with their partner or engaging in sexual activity, any divorced person who has remarried without an annulment, or any married couple using contraceptives.
We believe Mr. Eledge should not be fired because of his sexual orientation. We must take action and demand equality for a great teacher, a successful coach, and an even better human being.
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