Monday, February 14, 2011

In face of discrimination, a generous gift from Seth Stambaugh

Last fall, Seth Stambaugh was dismissed from his student teaching position in the Beaverton school district for following interaction:
The class had been working on a journal activity when a student asked Stambaugh if he was married. Stambaugh replied that he wasn’t, and when the student asked him why, he replied that it was not legal in Oregon, because he would choose to marry another man. A fellow student overheard the conversation and that student’s parent contacted Sexton Mountain Principal Don Martin, who in turn contacted the district to ask for Stambaugh’s removal from the school. The official cause given for the dismissal was not that Stambaugh came out to his class, but that his remarks regarding the legality of gay marriage were inappropriate and unprofessional in the classroom setting.
Local attorney Lake Perriguey (and p:ear supporter) helped get Stambaugh reinstated and worked with the Beaverton school district to update their equal rights policies to include the phrases "gender identity" and "gender expression." Stambough is also donating a portion of the settlement with the Beaverton school district to p:ear, a very generous and appreciated gesture. "We are deeply touched by Seth's broad civic thinking," said program director Pippa Arend, "and this donation supports the non-discriminatory, open and safe atmosphere that p:ear has always offered for youth."

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