Tell Beaverton School District: Student Teachers Shouldn't Be Fired Over Sexual Orientation
  • Petitioned Maureen Wheeler

This petition was delivered to:

Spokesperson, Beaverton School District
Maureen Wheeler
Principal, Beavertown School District
Donald Martin
Jerome Colonna
Administrative Assistant
Mary Hawkins

Tell Beaverton School District: Student Teachers Shouldn't Be Fired Over Sexual Orientation

    1. Petition by


October 2010


After receiving more than 5,000 emails from members, the Beaverton School District has decided to reinstate a gay student teacher who was removed from the classroom after answering a student's question about marriage.

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who signed this petition! After more than 5,000 emails, the Beaverton School District announced that they made a mistake in removing Stambaugh from the classroom, and have worked with administrators at Lewis & Clark College to place him back inside the classroom. Thanks to all who took action! For more information, check out this piece.

A gay student teacher in Oregon was removed from the classroom by the Beaverton School District because he told a student that it was illegal for same-sex couples to get married in the state.

According to this article from The Portland Mercury, Seth Stambaugh was asked by one of his students whether he'd get married someday. Stambaugh responded that it was illlegal for him to get married, because same-sex marriage is illegal in the state of Oregon. When the student followed up by asking if that meant Stambaugh liked hanging out with men, Stambaugh responded yes.

After this conversation, a parent caught wind of the story and reported it to school officials. Afterwards, school officials approached Stambaugh, as well as his college (Lewis and Clark), and told him that he'd have to seek a student teaching placement elsewhere. His conversation, according to the Beaverton School District, was "inappropriate."

Is this the culture that Beaverton officials want to integrate into their schools? Where a teacher can be removed from the classroom solely for owning up to their identity, and being honest with a student?

Send the Beaverton School District a message that they were way out of bounds here, and shouldn't be disciplining student teachers on the basis of their sexual orientation. It's unprofessional, wrong, and a detriment to the culture of integrity that school districts should be looking to foster for their students.

Recent signatures


    1. DeMint: If You Have Sex With Your Boyfriend, You Shouldn’t Be a Teacher

      Alex DiBranco
      Petition Organizer

      When I was a kid, it never occurred to me that my teachers had a personal life outside of the classroom. I'm not sure when exactly it dawned on me that, when three o'clock rolled around, the people who taught me to read and multiply stepped out to do...

    2. Gay Student Teacher Fired for Saying He Wanted to Marry a Man?

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Many of us have had student teachers, those juniors and seniors in college who step into elementary school, middle school and high school classrooms to get some 'on-the-job' training. For anyone getting their degree in education, student teaching is...


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