Oregon elementary school principal says he’s losing his job because he is gay

Tom Klansnic

Tom Klansnic

GRESHAM, Ore. — About a dozen parents and students wore pink T-shirts to the Thursday night school board meeting in Gresham in support of a principal who said he’s losing his job because he’s gay.

North Gresham Elementary School Principal Tom Klansnic was told by the district Thursday that his contract would not be renewed at the end of the year. He has been principal for 10 years.

Tom Klansnic

Klansnic’s lawyer, Judy Snyder, told KOIN-TV she may sue the Gresham Barlow School District for discrimination and retaliation.

“He’s been a very successful principal and he’s continued to be a very successful principal even under close scrutiny of the last two years,” Snyder said.

Several years ago, during his seventh year as principal, Klansnic and his wife divorced. He revealed to family and friends that he is gay. Snyder said Klansnic’s supervisors’ treatment of her client changed dramatically in wake of the revelation.

Snyder points out that her client’s contract with the district had been renewed twice without performance complaints before he revealed he was gay.

The district said it could not comment on a personnel matter — it has not provided a reason for its decision.

Snyder said the district’s treatment of Klansnic changed dramatically several years ago after he disclosed he is gay.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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