The president of a Seattle Catholic
high school has resigned as students protest the school's decision to
fire a gay vice principal who married.
to the AP, Sister Mary Tracy's resignation from Eastside Catholic
School is effective immediately.
“Sister Mary came to this decision
after much prayer and reflection,” school trustees said in an email
sent to parents and staff. “For Sister Mary it was a difficult but
necessary decision so that a new leader can be brought in to ensure
the entire Eastside Catholic community is on a positive path
Mark “Mr. Z” Zmuda, a popular
teacher, coach and vice principal, lost his job on December 18 after
school officials learned that he had married his longtime partner
over the summer.
Students rallied to Zmuda's side,
launching a campaign calling for school administrators to reconsider
to Zmuda, Tracy told him that he could keep his job if he
consented to divorce his husband.
Last week, supporters delivered a
by more than 20,000 Christians.
“Please listen to the students at
Eastside Catholic and reinstate their vice principal,” reads the
petition addressed to Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. “If
Pope Francis says he won't judge gays and lesbians, you shouldn't be
In a written statement, Sartain
defended the school's decision to terminate Zmuda.
“Catholic teaching in all its breadth
is the hallmark of Catholic schools and we have a right and
responsibility to help them uphold their principles and traditions,”
“Leaders of Catholic schools are
charged with the responsibility of both imparting and modeling our
teaching. The recent personnel decision by the board and
administrators at Eastside Catholic regarding Mr. Zmuda was made
after a great deal of prayer and consultation. In no way was their
goal to be discriminatory to anyone but to be faithful to their
mission as a Catholic school. The Archdiocese supports their
decision. The decision has been misunderstood and mischaracterized
by some, and we now have an opportunity to help our students learn
even more about Catholic teaching.”