MACON, Ga. — An openly gay band director at a Macon, Ga., Catholic school has been fired after announcing plans to marry his partner later this year, and students and parents are protesting the firing to the school’s board of trustees.
Flint Dollar was fired from Mount de Sales Academy, where he has taught since 2010, and now his supporters want answers because they say his sexuality was never a secret.
School officials confirmed that it terminated Dollar’s contract after he announced plans to marry this summer in Minnesota, where same-sex marriage is legal, reported the Macon Telegraph.
Dollar said he made his sexual orientation very clear to leaders at the Catholic school when he was hired.
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“I said if this is a problem for you or the academy that I don’t need to be here because I would not change who I am for a job” he told WMAZ-TV.
Dollar said the academy told him that was not a problem as long as it did not interfere with his teaching. But last week, school officials changed their minds.
“I was told that there were no student complaints, no parent complaints. There was nothing in my personnel file,” he said. “It was not because I’m gay, but because I am marrying my partner, I will not be allowed to return” says Dollar.
At a rally on Friday, the band leader’s supporters carried signs that read “We love Mr. $,” “Save Mr. Dollar” and “Who am I to judge?” Others had dollar bills pinned to their shirts and carried their band instruments.
Article continues below“I speak for the entire band when I say (Dollar) changed our lives, not because of the fact that he loves another man, but because he’s an amazing human being,” Rosalyn Simpson, a senior who organized the rally, told those who gathered for the rally.
Several students, parents, and members of the community met with the school’s board of trustees on Friday looking for answers. The board didn’t allow media at the meeting, but did issue a statement, saying in part, “The personnel decision involving the band director is consistent with our duty as the Board of Trustees.”
The Catholic Diocese of Savannah, which oversees Macon, issued a brief statement supporting the school’s decision to fire Dollar, stressing the school’s Catholic values.
Dollar said Friday afternoon he was consulting with an Atlanta attorney to see what legal recourse he might have against the school.