Target: Sister Mary Tracy, former Principal of Eastside Catholic School
Goal: Commend Sister Mary Tracy for resigning from her post as principal after she wrongfully fired a gay administrator
Up until he was fired in December 2013, Mark Zmuda was the well-loved principal at Eastside Catholic School. He was fired when it came to the attention of the school that he had married his longtime same-sex partner. As a Catholic school, part of Zmuda’s contract specified that same-sex marriages would result in a termination. Even though he knew he risked getting fired, Zmuda did what he felt was right and married the love of his life. His sudden termination caused an uproar from the student body and even some parents, all of whom loved Zmuda and everything he did for the students at Eastside. The protests have yet to result in Zmuda getting his job back, but they have had one surprising change: Sister Mary Tracy, the president of Eastside Catholic School, resigned.
While a better outcome would have been for Sister Mary Tracy to have offered Zmuda his job again, her resignation is the first step toward a victory for Zmuda. As long as she continued to preach antigay values that the students at Eastside Catholic School clearly do not uphold, Sister Mary Tracy did not have any business leading the school. Discrimination is not a value that children should be taught. Furthermore, during the initial fallout, Sister Mary Tracy make some remarks that contradicted the reality of the situation, including her statement that Zmuda resigned willingly. In reality, Zmuda was fired. His termination is a clear act of discrimination against gay individuals as was the clause against same-sex marriage in his contract. Commend Sister Mary Tracy for stepping down from a position she was not ready to handle.
Dear Sister Mary Tracy,
What happened at Eastside Catholic School in December 2013 was unfortunate. Zmuda just wanted to marry the man he loves. Marriage, after all, is a very important tradition within the Catholic religion. For his faithfulness to his partner, Zmuda was discriminated against. The loving ceremony was cited as a violation of his contract with Eastside and he was let go. This was a tragic mistake.
Not only was it a clear act of discrimination, but from the protests launched by students and parents, Zmuda was obviously a much-loved teacher. There was no cause to fire him. Furthermore, you released several statements that made claims that were contrary to how the situation actually occurred. Zmuda did not resign. You ended his employment because he was gay and dared to marry his partner is a legal ceremony.
You should never have fired Zmuda. Unfortunately, you did. You could have fixed the situation by apologizing and offering him his job back. Instead, you refused, hoping the situation would blow over. It hasn’t. Eastside students refuse to forget what happened or accept the termination of their favorite staff member. So you resigned. Thank you for doing that. While it does not fix the injustice of what happened, it at least opens up the opportunity for a more qualified person to lead Eastside. Hopefully they will hire someone who will follow the advice of the new Pope and focus on more important issues than loving same-sex marriages.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Cknopik via Wikimedia Commons