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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SamLouis

The photo above is interesting. A photo of an Episcopal minister. A Christian fellowship that is literally in the process of dying before our very eyes.


It’s dying because it embraces a non-Christian view of engaging in homosexual sex acts. It’s on life-support because it promotes the lie that is homosexual “marriage.” It’s dying because it promotes the sexist folly of women clergy.


Water-down Christianity with enough moral relativism and people end-up leaving because it’s no longer the practice of the Christian faith. How terribly sad.


paragon

Nice assumption that any minister who wears a clerical collar is Episcopal, however Catholics and other denominations wear one too.


The Episcopal church has had a slight decline over the years, as have pretty much every other mainline church in this country (other than LDS), but it is hardly dying. And if that is a metric for how “good” a religion is, then you might note that Islamic faith is growing faster than most Christian sects.


Also, I think you forgot to mention the Episcopal church’s stance against racial segregation and discrimination (another practice I’m sure you find is abhorrent and un-Christian) as another reason for their decline.


SamLouis

First, I happen to recognize the above minister. He is the pastor of St. Stephen’s Episcopal in SLO. Think before you speak…


Second, the LDS is not Mainline Protestant. You’re wrong there.


Third, while much of Mainline Protestantism is also withering away, none is in the throes of death like the Episcopal fellowship is. The entire Anglican Communion is failing.


The reasons you suggest for the Episcopal fellowship’s decline are nonsense.


Kidholm

Has an investigation been launched to find the person who threatened Stack’s life? When caught, will that person be charged with domestic terrorism?


DocT

Free Speech: Used to mean we could express our opinions and beliefs about things.


“New” Free Speech: means we cannot express our opinions and beliefs about things.


Diversity: Used to mean that we all benefited from a rich and varied group of friends, ideas, backgrounds, customs and religious expression.


“New” Diversity: means that certain friends, ideas, backgrounds, customs and religious expression is horrible, hateful, threatening and bigotry.


Christians and their ideas are out folks. Everyone else is “in.”


Genital mutilation is good, all kinds of sex is good….death threats against teachers is good…..pretty much everything is good except Christ and the Bible.


straddle

If one religion says genital mutilation is ok


and another says death to gay folks


which one is correct?


kettle

“Your Logical Fallacy Is black-or-white.


You presented two alternative states as the only possibilities, when in fact more possibilities exist.

Also known as the false dilemma, this insidious tactic has the appearance of forming a logical argument, but under closer scrutiny it becomes evident that there are more possibilities than the either/or choice that is presented. Binary, black-or-white thinking doesn’t allow for the many different variables, conditions, and contexts in which there would exist more than just the two possibilities put forth. It frames the argument misleadingly and obscures rational, honest debate.”


KimM

He should move to Georgia. It’s beautiful here & he would be welcome with open arms with his conservative Christian views. We always need good teachers.


SamLouis

Shame on you, Heidi Harmon! Shame on you, Tribune! Shame on you, CCN!


Doing everything in your power to foment division and hatred. You’re doing nothing but practicing character assassination.


Keep pushing your self-professed “progressive” (and utterly naive/obtuse/bigoted) agenda, Harmon. Just don’t forget you won your election by a mere 40 votes…


Pete

Good riddance to a fruitcake. I wish the school had fired him though, he ought to be run out of town on a rail. We are a nation of people, not religion. The state and religion are separate and they should not be mixed up in any way. His manic rantings about the bible make me wonder just who hired this freak in the first place.


Our political system has been mightily damaged by interference from religious nut jobs. If we had any sense of fairness we would yank the tax exempt status of all churches and let those who want to patronize them pay for it.


Templetukian

Ah, the intolerance of the Left.

Views of bigots like this will make it hard for us to continue to Make American Great Again!


Pete

Ah, making america great again. What a fine slogan. Great like when we toppled democratic governments all across the world, despoiled the earth with no concern for the environment, like when we banned women and ‘darkies’ from voting in this here land of the free and home of the brave? Is that when america was great?

Just when were we so great and when did we lose that?


A cute slogan for the simple minded.


How about ‘draining the swamp’? Great job with that one. So far the Fuehrer (no umlaut available) has filled the swamp with gas, fierce ideologues and dangerous beasts (albeit ignorant and foolish ones). Wise and well thought out programs and policies are being gutted every minute by the swine rising to the top like slag on molten metal.


Do you brainiacs have any other childish insults to hurl my way?


SamLouis

Talk about manic… Your posting is a great example of a hateful, name-calling, anti-faith bigot. Shame on you.


Try as hard as you like, you’ll never be able to strip faith in God from the state as you so clearly crave to do. We don’t live in the former USSR. We have a constitutionally guaranteed right in the US to celebrate our faith out in the open.


No places of worship in the US are paid for by the US government. Those of us with the gift of faith already pay our own away — and then some.


Pete

No, you are all wrong. By getting massive tax breaks all the churches get us to pay for their facilities and often, bigoted and racist politics.

Read the fanatic’s letter, could have been written by a bomb thrower into a day care center.

The churches (and their stupid little book, based on nothing), should pay their way just like the rest of us do, individually and in our groups.


SamLouis

Please stop lying. MANY non-profits — from the Elks to the Freemasons to the Sierra Club get tax breaks.


You’re just showing your prejudice against those with faith. Sorry but no sale.


The anger and hatred you project in your postings is troubling — and a little hilarious.


Snoid

Stupid little book eh. People with your mindset are the most hateful angry examples of humanity I’ve ever seen in my 55 years of life, fooking disgusting really, your immaturity and inability to respect others opinions or beliefs is beyond comprehension. People with ignorance like yours is what is causing folks to hate and take sides, and haters like you will now be rewarded with a win.


Snoid

TYPO!! that is NOT rewarded with a win.


demiseofslo

Why is everyone so sensitive? I could careless what some bible thumping wingnut thinks about people’s sexual orientation.


Fedup

Because these freaks force their selves on the rest of society. They act like their rights are the only ones that matter.


SamLouis

Just look at you two. Labeling others as a “bible thumping wingnut” and members of a”freaks force.” You two sound rude, bitter and angry. It must really suck to be you two.


demiseofslo

Cool story bro.


giblets56

It amazes me that a society promotes teaching our children about people who CHOOSE to have sexual preferences that are not normal. What is next? Pedophilia? Those who prey on children can argue ” they are born that way”, too but does society not have the right and responsibility to protect it’s children? Schools should not be promoting such filth and should be cut off from government funding.

The teacher should contact Jay Seckulow so he can represent his right to freedom of religion and speech!

Those with the signs?… quit parading your sexual perversion and focus on getting an education!


Snoid

I was thinking more along the lines of marrying your donkey or goat perhaps. After all its about “Love” thats all.


r0y

I see that photo of the people with the sign, and I want to make another sign and stand next to them; it would read:


“Hating someone because you disagree or they don’t like your lifestyle is also bigotry.”


straddle

big difference between hating someone and advocation for their death.


A quote from Stack’s letter, “They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway.”


Having a teacher that publicly states you deserve to die is just not cool and I cannot believe all the “christians” supporting Stack. Bunch of freaking hypocrites.


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