Miami University Decisions on the Ousting Article Paper

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REQUIRMENT: Gay Catholic school teacher ousted; Alter principal calls it ‘unfortunate’ (Links to an external site.) April 28, 2020 By Jeremy P. Kelley (Links to an external site.), Staff Writer KETTERING — Alter High School recently non-renewed the contract of a longtime teacher who is gay, sparking anger from some in the school community over Catholic policies. Alter Principal Lourdes Lambert said the contract decision was made by officials at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati after someone sent a “concern” about the teacher directly to the office of Archbishop Dennis Schnurr. Lambert said she was not trying to duck responsibility, saying, “I’m the Archdiocese, too.” She said she has not been told who the concern came from, but confirmed it had nothing to do with any incident between the teacher and students at the Kettering school. She said the teacher — an Alter graduate who has taught at the school for more than 20 years — is finishing out this school year as students continue to learn from home, and the contract non-renewal is for 2020-21. “It’s a very unfortunate circumstance for the teacher and the Alter community,” Lambert said. “Some things are taken out of our hands as an Archdiocese-owned school.” The teacher declined comment Tuesday and is not being named in this story. Teachers in Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati schools sign an annual “teacher-minister” contract that includes an agreement to refrain from any conduct that is “in contradiction to Catholic social doctrine or morals.” Examples listed in the contract include “cohabitation outside marriage, sexual activity out of wedlock and same-sex sexual activity,” among several others. The contract also says promoting such conduct as being acceptable also is a violation. Several Alter High School graduates and supporters of the teacher argued on social media against the removal this week, with one calling the moving hypocritical and another saying she would stop donating to the school. Others praised the educator’s ability as a teacher, while one said the teacher displayed “Jesus’ teachings of love and acceptance.” The school posted a statement on its Facebook page Monday, citing “a great deal of online and social media discussion” on the issue, and saying the school must “adhere to Archdiocesan policy.” The post later was taken down. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 ruled Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. But according to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, no Ohio law prohibits employment discrimination based on a person’s status as gay or lesbian. Jennifer Schack, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese, said the church “values all of our teachers,” but she would comment only generally about personnel matters. “Our Catholic schools expect teachers and staff to be witnesses to the teaching of the Catholic Church in both word and deed. Public witness is a critical part of Catholic education,” Schack said. “These expectations are clearly articulated in our teacher-minister contracts.” Schack provided the Catholic Church’s official catechism, or teaching, which calls homosexual acts “acts of grave depravity,” and says “under no circumstances can they be approved.” The following passage of the church’s catechism says of people with “homosexual tendencies” that “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided,” but that the church calls them not to act on their feelings, instead living a life of chastity. Archbishop writes to Alter families, explains removal of gay teacher (Links to an external site.) May 02, 2020 By Jeremy P. Kelley (Links to an external site.), Staff Writer Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr sent a message to the Alter High School community on Friday afternoon, further explaining the Catholic church’s position on the ousting of gay teacher Jim Zimmerman. The letter, while not naming Zimmerman, described him as a “longtime and highly valued teacher” and acknowledged that the move caused “a great outpouring of sadness and anger.” Zimmerman’s contract was not renewed for next school year after someone sent his marriage certificate to the archdiocese. He annually signed the archdiocese’s teacher-minister contract, which includes an agreement to refrain from any conduct that is “in contradiction to Catholic social doctrine or morals.” Schnurr’s letter said the “inherent dignity of every human being” does not mean that all behavior is to be condoned by the church. “Behaviors that are not regrettable mistakes but are rather confirmed life choices contrary to Catholic teaching cannot be offered to young people as a witness to the faith, no matter the many other outstanding attributes a person may possess,” he wrote. “Sometimes, personal decisions mean that an individual and an organization are simply no longer compatible — nothing more, nothing less.” Zimmerman is an Alter graduate, a 23-year English teacher at the school, and one of the 3% of teachers nationally who earned National Board Certification status. Dozens of his students rallied in support of him Friday evening, saying he cared deeply about their futures. “He teaches us very important lessons, not just about literature or English but about being a good person, how to stand up for yourself, how to think creatively,” said Alter student Meredith Russ at the rally. “I think Mr. Zimmerman exemplifies everything it means to be a teacher and to be a disciple of God.” Schnurr said the policies guiding archdiocesan schools are informed by “the enduring teaching of the Catholic church — not by hate, bigotry or homophobia, as some have alleged.” The catechism, or enduring teaching, of the Catholic church says of heterosexual people that “the plan of God regarding man and woman” is that they are called to “an intimate communion of life and of love in marriage” and told to “be fruitful and multiply.” Archdiocesan officials said the catechism says gay people are not gay by choice, but they are not allowed under church law to act on their feelings, instead living a life of chastity because “Sacred Scripture … presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity.” Schnurr’s letter goes on to say, “We respect and love all our brothers and sisters because they and we are each made in the image and likeness of God.” Schnurr also urged people to stop mean-spirited comments and personal attacks against Alter Principal Lourdes Lambert and her family, calling them “immoral and unfair.” “Mrs. Lambert is faithfully fulfilling her responsibility as principal of a Catholic high school and employee of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati,” Schnurr wrote. transparency: this is my alma mater. jim zimmerman, the unnamed teacher in this article, but who is named in other public articles and the change.org petition that is circulating i'd like you to consider this story and your values: ▪ ▪ ▪ religious/secular + inclusive of marginalized identities/not concerned with marginalized identities + valuing private education/valuing public education + ▪ about power ... personal power (the fired teacher, jim) and power of position (the principal, mrs. lambert) and power of authority (the archdiocese, rev. schnurr) WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE? the teacher? the principal? the archbishop? ............write at least two pages (and single space) addressing what actions you would take for EACH role label your paragraphs "the teacher" and "the principal" and "the archbishop" so it's clear from what role you're talking.........
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Running head: DECISIONS ON THE OUSTING

Decisions on the Ousting
Student’s Name:
Academic Institution:
Date:

DECISIONS ON THE OUSTING

Introduction
The ousting of the catholic school teacher for allegations of being gay needed much
reconsideration. For instance, there was a need to weigh concerns from several grounds, such as
professionalism, religious extremities, change, and personal spirituality. The teacher had
committed a serious offense against the teachings of the catholic doctrines if there was a
substantial set of evidence that proved he had engaged in such matters as alleged for. On the
other hand, the uproar between management and part of the students who have benefited from
Jim's teachings was strong enough to express the desire of the students that the teacher is
retained and spared the punishment as they argued Jesus' teachings are for love and forgiveness
which is a bit if not much of a truth. The administration also needed to weigh how the teacher
impacted on the minors in his profession and refrained from interfering with his relations with
God. Spirituality is confidential because it works differently for each of us. Lastly, it could have
been better if the school looked keenly into their rules to examine whether they address issues
that are of benefit to students' education because some of them may seem irrelevant (Jordan,
2000). This is because it's a school, intended to impart knowledge to students and not to train
pastors. Below is reasoning from the three parties involved that could make aid in the making of
better decisions regarding the issue of concern.
The Teacher...


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