Sister Mary Tracy probably realized that firing Mark Zmuda, the popular vice principal of Eastside Catholic High School in the Seattle area, was never going to sit well. Just how much of a firestorm it provoked must have caught her by surprise. Now it’s Tracy’s turn to look for a new job. She has resigned as president and CEO of the school, effective immediately.
“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 forward,” the school said in a statement.
Part of Tracy’s problem was the conflicting stories around Zmuda’s dismissal. She said that he tendered his resignation, which Zmuda insists he was terminated once the school found out he married his long-time partner. She didn’t help her case any when Zmuda also said that Tracy floated the idea that he get divorced in order to keep his job.
Meantime, the school has allowed another teacher to stay on under similar circumstances. Stephanie Morrow, a part-time music coach, plans to marry her female partner and told the school as much. However, the school is keeping her on as an independent contractor, not an employee.
Meanwhile, the protests against Zmuda’s firing continue. Last week, the Archdiocese of Seattle was presented with a petition signed by 30,000 people calling for Zmuda’s reinstatement. In response, Archbishop J. Peter Sartain said, “The recent personnel decision by the board and administrators of 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.”
Now how could firing someone for being gay ever be considered discriminatory?
Photo credit via Eastside Catholic High School