SLO teacher resigns as community protests letter about gays

May 12, 2017

A San Luis Obispo teacher who penned a letter to the editor quoting a bible passage critical of homosexuality resigned Thursday as Central Coast residents voiced outrage over alleged shaming of the LGBT community. Also, the San Luis Coastal Unified School District said it received a call from an anonymous person who threatened to kill the teacher.

Last week, the San Luis Obispo High School student newspaper Expressions published an edition devoted to LGBT issues, which displayed a photo of two girls kissing on the cover. Former SLO High special education teacher Michael Slack later responded by authoring a letter to the editor that quoted a bible passage stating sinful, wicked people commit a variety of sins, including gay sex, and they they deserve to die.

Stack did not explicitly state in his letter that homosexuals deserve to die, and he concluded by wishing that “those who have stumbled” return to “the right path.” Expressions published the letter on its website earlier this week.

After it was published, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon stated on Facebook the letter was unacceptable, and she encouraged community members to complain to the San Luis Coastal School Board and SLO High School administration. The SLO Tribune then published an articled headlined, “Gay people ‘deserve to die,’ SLO High teacher’s letter to student newspaper says.”

On Thursday, about 40 people protested outside the SLO High School campus. Around 9 a.m., the San Luis Coastal office received a death threat directed toward Stack, said Ryan Pinkerton, the assistant superintendent for the school district.

“Someone called in around 9 a.m. and made a statement basically threatening Mr. Stack. Something like I am going to kill Mr. Stack,” Pinkerton said.

Stack opted not to show up to work Thursday morning. Instead, he sent an email to the school district announcing his resignation.

“God knows my heart, and my students know my actions, but the community apparently wants me out, so I hereby grant them their desires and immediately resign my position as teacher at SLCUSD,” Stack wrote.

Stack stated in the resignation letter that he was concerned about SLO High School promoting any sexual orientation.

“I guess my question is ‘Why is San Luis Obispo High School promoting any sexual orientation to our minor children? That shows a complete disregard for parental rights,” Stack wrote.

After Expressions published its LGBT issue numerous students expressed shock and disgust, Stack said in his resignation email. The teacher told the students to write letters to the editor, but as far as he knew, they did not follow his advice.

“To my knowledge, none of those students wrote to Expressions and why would they? In order to subject themselves to hysterical rehearsed hate speech for the entirety of their high school years? I can’t blame them,” Stack wrote.

Stack said he then exercised his First Amendment rights by submitting his opinion and that other people in turn exercised their First Amendment rights by responding to the letter.

“This is how America is designed to function,” Stack wrote.

Stack also used his resignation letter to take issue with “media bias, slander and defamation of character.”

The teacher wrote that he conducted an interview with a KSBY reporter and followed it up with an email statement. But, KSBY aired a report that mentioned neither the interview, nor the email statement, implying he had refused to comment, Stack wrote.

Stack’s resignation occurred with about four weeks remaining in the school year. Stack was not expected to return to campus as a teacher in the upcoming academic year.

In his resignation letter, Stack said he was a probationary teacher, and he was informed in February that he would be a non-elect for next year. Stack said the administration criticized everything form his penmanship, to his voice to his presence.

The school district, however, said it had no concerns with Stack until the letter to the editor.

“He was a good man,” Pinkerton said.

Michael Stack’s resignation letter, excluding his responses to online commenters:

“Dear SLCUSD Personnel Office,

“Last week the San Luis Obispo High School newspaper cover featured a same-sex couple apparently kissing. Numerous students expressed their shock and disgust with it, asking such question as: “Can they do this?”, “Why are they doing this?”,and making statements such as “That’s disgusting!” and “That’s just wrong!” One student even threw the paper to the ground and stomped on it in disgust. In each and every instance I suggested they write a letter to the editor and express their concerns.

“I guess my question is “Why is San Luis Obispo High School promoting ANY sexual orientation to our minor children? That shows a complete disregard for parental rights.

“To my knowledge, none of those students wrote to Expressions, and why would they? In order to subject themselves to hysterical, rehearsed hate speech for the entirety of their high school years? I can’t blame them.

“I exercised my First Amendment rights and submitted my opinion to a public forum. In it I quoted, verbatim, Romans 1: 16-32. Now people are exercising THEIR First Amendment rights by responding to that letter. This is how America is designed to function.

“The above paragraph is my written response to a KSBY TV reporter regarding this issue. It was emailed to my administrator in order to be passed on to her, prior to her deadline for the 6:00 news. I had met with her face to face earlier in the day and answered her every question. When the story aired, she failed to mention the email statement, or the interview, indicating instead that I had refused to comment, making me appear guilty or ashamed of something. I’m NOT ashamed of the Gospel!

“Yes, there is such a thing as media bias, slander and defamation of character.

“When I started to receive replies to my letter to the editor, I answered nearly every one of the six that appeared that day. My replies were, as of last night, not visible to the online public, but I took screen shots of them and here are my replies, verbatim:

“May God guide, bless and protect each and every one of us.

“Sincerely

“Michael Stack”







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51 Comments

  1. sweethome says:

    Let’s face it; Jesus was gay. Get over it.

    (-6) 24 Total Votes - 9 up - 15 down

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