Students walk out of school that denied gay teacher a job

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Catholic school in Des Moines, Iowa, turned down a substitute teacher’s application for a full time job after learning he is gay.

150 students walked out in protest after learning that a popular substitute teacher had been turned down from a full time job, because he is gay. A letter was sent to students and their families stating: “You may be aware that we withdrew an offer of a full time position to a substitute teacher based on discovering late in the employment process that his lifestyle was inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

“As a Catholic school we have an obligation to uphold the church’s teachings as they are defined.”

Tyler McCubbin had been teaching athletics and social studies at Dowling Catholic High School as a substitute since autumn, and had applied for a full time position – which he was told he would be given – before school administrators discovered he was engaged to a man. They turned down his application, and refused to offer him any more substitute work.

Mr McCubbin told The Des Moine Register: “It broke my heart. I want [LGBT] students to know I want to be there for them, but I’m not allowed to be there because I’ve been true to myself.”

In Iowa law, religious organisations are exempted from employment anti-discrimination laws, meaning the school are within their legal rights to refuse to hire him. Around 1000 students and alumni joined a Facebook group to protest Mr McCubbin’s rejection, and 150 students walked out in protest.

“I applaud those who are exercising their right to protest in terms of social justice,” Mr McCubbin said.

Parent Brendan Comito said: “It saddens me that our school treated someone in that manner. I don’t think this is how Christ would act.”