Philadelphia, PA –– As we reported Monday, Philadelphia’s archbishop praised the Roman Catholic school leaders who took it upon themselves to fire a married gay teacher who had been teaching religion at Waldron Mercy Academy, hailing the move as showing “character and common sense,” and being “honest.”
Early yesterday morning, Philly.com reported that Nell Stetset, the principal of the academy, sent out a letter to upset parents, revealing that the faculty has been “challenged to our core” and “shaken” by the decision to fire beloved staffer Margie Winters.
“Despite the discord and conflict deep within us,” she writes, “I believe our strength lies in the common passion we share for your children and their education. So with a humble heart, I am asking you to join me in the process of healing and rebuilding our Waldron Mercy community.”
The entire letter is printed below:
Our Waldron Mercy family has been shaken. We have been challenged to our core. Parents have contacted me, and I know many of us are hurting. I understand that there are feelings of frustration, disappointment, betrayal, anger, and sorrow. I, too, feel deep pain in this situation. These feelings weigh heavy in all our hearts.
Despite the discord and conflict deep within us, I believe our strength lies in the common passion we share for your children and their education. So with a humble heart, I am asking you to join me in the process of healing and rebuilding our Waldron community.
As the first step in this rebuilding process, our school will use a skilled facilitator to lead us in a series of productive conversations about the complex challenges that we face today. We’ll convene our first all-parents meeting before Waldron Mercy’s first day of school.
I believe these discussions will lay the foundation to address issues important to you, to our mission, to our identity and our values. The collaboration also will help us focus our energies on the work of rebuilding the compassionate, understanding and loving environment in which our students thrive.
Through this difficult time, I have been impressed and encouraged by the outpouring of heartfelt concern and passion of our community. Together, I know we can renew Waldron. I look forward to partnering with you as we look to our future together.
Prince Halloway, class of 1997, had intended to send his 2-year-old child to Waldron this fall, but has since backed out.
“How do you explain to your 2-year-old kid that you didn’t do the right thing?” he asked. “We were taught better than that and raised better than that.”