Over on Reddit, the r/teenagers subreddit featured a heartwarming post about teens taking a stand for a beloved gay vice principal, titled “The principal of my school has been fired for announcing that he is gay and will be married to his partner. Today our whole school is sitting in the cafeteria as protest.”
Teen Redditor u/violentfap took the image shown in the original post, and explained that students have been not only fighting the decision by a local diocese at their own school in Seattle — but that several other local Catholic prep school students have joined the protests in solidarity.
The images posted to social media by students are moving, showing dozens of teens sitting in, holding signs, and otherwise refusing to stand down as they fight the forced resignation of former Eastside Catholic High School vice principal Mark Zmuda.
Eastside senior Caelan Colburn said of the mass protests in Seattle:
“[Students] need to stand up for what they believe in, whether it’s what the administration teaches or what the archdiocese preaches, being part of a progressive place like Seattle we’ve come to a point where we accept gay rights, accept homosexuals, and I think you ought to stand up for that no matter what anyone says. It’s your beliefs and you’re entitled to your own opinion. And today really showed that Eastside Catholic is a family and not only is a family but the entire community of Seattle Catholic schools are a family.”
Some tweets from the protests across Seattle Catholic high schools showed giant crowds of kids on December 19, quietly protesting the diocese’s decision:
— Conall Komenda (@conallkomenda_) December 19, 2013
— Griffin Crow (@GriffinCrow) December 19, 2013
— Alison Morrow (@AlisonMorrowTV) December 19, 2013
— Savannah Salem (@SavannahSalem) December 19, 2013
As students rallied, Zmuda addressed them, saying in part:
“I am first a teacher and administrator. And, I try my best to be an educator to each and every one of you. And, I hope that no matter what happens to me and to the school, that all of you guys will seek a career and work very hard, find the love of your life, hopefully one day get married as well. At the same time, no matter what happens, strive to do your best.”
The area diocese said that despite the massive outcry across Seattle-area Catholic prep school students, Catholic teachings prevent them from reinstating Mr. Zmuda to his position at Eastside.