Teachers are quitting a Christian school because it teaches children that homosexuality is ‘unnatural’
Several teachers have resigned from their jobs at a Christian school because they think its increasingly anti-LGBT+ stance is putting students at risk.
King’s High School is a private, non-denominational Christian school in Shoreline, Washington. It is run by CRISTA Ministries, which also runs camps, radio stations and retirement communities.
According to the Seattle Times, at least five teachers have quit
But a Facebook page was set up last month called King’s Schools is Anti-Lgbt+, which says it “serves to shed light on the bigoted and anti-LGBT+ views of King’s Schools”, claims as many as nine teachers have quit in protest.
The Facebook page posted a copy of an email sent to parents at the start of term to clarify how staff at the school “address various social issues”.
It said: “King’s upholds the historical Biblical standard of morality that sexual expression is confined within the marriage of one man and one woman.”
The Seattle Times reported that in a follow-up email, staff members were told: “You can continue to work at King’s if you are a Christian, confirm understanding and alignment with our doctrinal statement and willingly conduct your personal life and professional role of educating our students in a manner that is not in disunity with King’s theological beliefs.”
A private Facebook group has also been created for parents, called King’s families in support of LGBTQ kids.
A teacher who resigned said the school “creates policies” which “ostracise” students.
Megan Troutman is an English teacher who resigned from King’s High School in July.
She told the Seattle Times: “Working at King’s was an amazing experience. However, I cannot, in good faith or conscience, teach in a place that creates policies that negatively impact an entire section of the student population.
“I could not be complicit in a policy that could harm or ostracise any student.”
The school also approved a textbook for its 11th grade Bible class which tells students that homosexuality is “unnatural” and “a result of the failure to worship God”.
One former student posted an open letter on social media in response to the school’s letter to parents.
He wrote: “This letter is in response to CRISTA’s recent statement which outlined their core values and opinions when it comes to cultural hot-button issues – such as the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.
“I am writing this letter as an alumni of King’s Schools/CRISTA Ministries… As some of you know, my connection to the LGBTQ+ community is very personal, as some very dear family members and friends belong to the community.
“I strive to be an ally to these people, which is why I feel the need to speak up about CRISTA’s statement in which they denounced the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and insisted that marriage should only exist between a man and a woman.
“I am ashamed of CRISTA as an institution, and I am deeply concerned for the wellbeing of current students at King’s who are part of the LGBTQ+ community…
“CRISTA’s narrow-minded interpretation of religious principles has isolated these students, has communicated an attitude of hate and exclusivity, and has caused many wonderful teachers and employees – who would have been supportive of these students – to resign from their positions.”
He added: “My heart is with the families and employees of CRISTA who are hurt by this news like I am. I want to publicly state that I stand as an ally to the students and employees of CRISTA who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
“As an alumni of King’s, I stand opposed to CRISTA’s opinions and I am ashamed by their hateful attitude.”
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The CEO of the Christian organisation which operates the school has an anti-LGBT+ record.
The CEO of CRISTA, Jacinta Tegman, has a long anti-LGBT+ record.
According to The Spokesman-Review, she is the former executive director of Sound the Alarm, a group which said in 2006 that laws to protect LGBT+ people from discrimination were “part of a systematic effort to normalise homosexuality and to take us one dramatic step closer to same-sex marriage and the silencing of our pulpits”.
In 2004 she also worked for Sound the Alarm to “preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” according to the Associated Press.
Earlier this year, US Education Secretary Betsy Devos rolled back anti-discrimination protections for trans children, and then admitted she knew it would cause them harm.
PinkNews has contacted King’s High School and CRISTA Ministries for comment.