The Oregon student teacher fired for discussing gay marriage with a fourth-grader says his dismissal sends students the message that “queer is not okay.”

At a press conference on Friday in Portland, Seth Stambaugh called his reinstatement “a great first step.”

Stambaugh, 23, was fired for answering a fourth-grade student's question about his marital status. He told the student that he could not marry because it would be illegal for him to marry a man, and answered in the affirmative when the student asked him if he hanged out with other guys.

Stambaugh, a student at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education, was notified on September 15 that he would not be allowed back to teach at Sexton Mountain Elementary School following a complaint by a parent. He said he was only told that his comments were “inappropriate.”

“The decision to reinstate me is a great first step, but does not address the larger issue at hand, which, quite frankly, is killing our students: that somehow queer is not okay,” he told reporters.

“My hasty disappearance from Sexton Mountain is an express example that sends this message to children, many of whom are perceived to be different, may live in LGBT families, or may be queer themselves. All parents have a valid right to voice any question or concern they may have regarding their child's public school education. But public schools have a responsibility to ensure that they are not favoring an educational model that discriminates against queer people, or any other minority.”

The graduate student also said that he was never “informed nor had any indication that discussions of marital status were 'inappropriate' or 'unprofessional,'” and added that he has yet to hear an apology.

In a letter in support of Stambaugh, twenty-two parents of students at the school said he had a “positive rapport” with his students.