Iowa

Catholic students stage walkout to protest school’s refusal to hire gay teacher

walkout-students

Students at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, walkout in protest of the school’s refusal to hire a gay teacher.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Students and alumni staged a walkout Wednesday in protest of a West Des Moines Catholic high school opting to not hire a substitute teacher full time after learning he was gay.

The event was organized by students at Dowling Catholic High School in response to the school’s decision to not offer a job to Tyler McCubbin, a substitute teacher who is engaged to a man with whom he is in a same-sex relationship.

Tyler McCubbin

Tyler McCubbin

Des Moines Catholic Schools administrators sent a letter to parents Tuesday that said the applicant’s personal life was at odds with church teaching. The letter didn’t mention McCubbin by name.

Walkout participants signed a petition against the non-hire and ended the rally with a prayer.

The Des Moines Register reports many attendees at the walkout voiced their support for those who identify as LGBT at Dowling and beyond. Some of the speakers identified as LGBT themselves.

The event ended with a prayer and a call for people to continue the discussion.

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Legal experts say the school was within its rights to not extend a job contract. The state’s civil rights act prohibits hiring discrimination based on reasons that include sexual orientation but makes an exception for religious institutions.

The Des Moines Register has images from the walkout:

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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