Christian school defends decision to fire teacher for being gay
A school has defended its decision to dismiss a teacher for being gay.
Craig Campbell was removed from his job at South Coast Baptist College in Western Australia, after students found “evidence” about his sexuality on Facebook.
The teacher confirmed to his employers that he was gay. But rather than defend the teacher, who had been at the school for more than two years, the school’s principal sacked him.
In a statement the principal Des Mitchell insisted that Mr Campbell’s sexuality was “inconsistent” with being a teacher.
Mr Mitchell said: “I shared with him that at present there is an inconsistency with his beliefs on sexuality and the college’s beliefs.
“At the time Craig requested to be a relief teacher at SCBC, he had a very clear knowledge of the college’s Christian values and related beliefs.”
He admitted previously: “At present, for us, we choose not to employ someone who’s openly gay.”
The school is exempt from anti-discrimination schools under rules that protect faith bodies.
Speaking to ABC, WA’s LGBTI Advocacy Group called for the rules to be changed to protect gay employees like Mr Campbell.
The group said: “That exemption is now out of date and out of step with community feeling.
“This is no longer a political issue. This is a human rights issue.”
But Christian Schools Australia, which represents faith schools across the country, insists that the “freedoms are important”.
School principal Des Mitchell (7 news perth)Campbell, who was a student at the college and attends its church, said he was harangued by pupils after they discovered his Facebook.
‘We went to my aunt’s wedding, and there were three kids from my school in the back of the room,” he told OUTInPerth.
“It got to this point where I was like, ‘I can’t hide this anymore.’”
Campbell also remembered how hard it was to hide his sexuality at the school.
“I could see there were a number of kids who were struggling with it as well,” he said, “and I’m sure their experience is just like it was for me.”
So he decided to inform his department head that he was gay, and that his partner was a man.
“I told them I was in a relationship, and obviously this is something that I believe is fine from both a moral and a theological standpoint,” Campbell said.
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Weeks later, his colleagues let him know that he’d been taken off the list of supply teachers.
Even later than that, the principal said he should have been told he was fired – just earlier.
Mitchell regretted not letting him know before his fellow teachers told him, according to OUTInPerth.