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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abigchocoholic

Typical.


The homophobic Christian zealot talked some trash.


And when people stood up to him, he caved like the little wussy he really is.


Bye, bye. The system is better off without people like him.


copperhead

I think you are missing the bigger problem here. A man expresses his opinion and the hyper sensitive left calls for his head and his job. What is happening here is the suppression of ideas and debate.


Agree with us or you better keep your mouth shut or we will kill you and take away your right to earn a living,


That’s a lot more scary to me than some fictional being in the sky.


abigchocoholic

Agree with us or you better keep your mouth shut or we will kill you and take away your right to earn a living,

————

Is this a persecution fantasy?


The only thing that happened, in reality, is that people commented on his comments. As if he can comment but nobody else can?


SamLouis

What’s really sad is the naive mayor (by 40 votes) of SLO felt she had to pop-off with her own prejudiced comments. What a wasted paycheck.


easymoney

Well, best get ready for more childlike comments from ms harmon.

Yes, she is a “nice” person, but has no experience or logic to bring to the table. She is a shill of the radical left that is the basis of the current legislature in this once great state… And as we see daily, this current legislature continues to lead from behind and at our expense…


straddle

she may be inexperienced but you need to back up the “no logic” accusation. Makes you look like a shill of the extreme right.


JimF

What about Colbert’s c*ckholster joke? — establishment “media on the left” went to great lengths to paint the entire right as being a bunch of triggered snowflakes who want Colbert fired for inappropriate comments. MSNBC and CNN keep referencing some poll that purportedly shows that upwards of 40% of conservatives don’t believe in freedom of speech and don’t want democracy. Of course this is all tripe, but people who watch these outlets actually believe conservatives are literally anti-american nutjobs.


Now take all of the Berkeley nonsense where you had dozens of black bloc anarchists causing problems (most of whom were in their late teens and early 20s). There’s probably 2million+ libs living in and around the bay area – a vast majority of which were not throwing rocks – but the establishment “media on the right” tried to spin it as though every lefty hates the first amendment.


It’s human nature to become a bit defensive when someone says something that conflicts with your worldview – but most of the mainstream media spin everyone has been up in arms about is nothing more than divide-and-conquer propaganda. Mainstream media news, right or left, is establishment propaganda. These media corporations collude together to control the narrative and set the national agenda. They want the people to fight amongst themselves and not work together to put an end to all the looting that’s been taking place over the past 30+ years.


straddle

So NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN are all colluding to control the narrative and set the national agenda! Seriously? I would argue instead that they are giving their customers what they want to see….and people want to see Spicey look uncomfortable apparently.


JimF

When was the last time you heard these networks discuss anything of meaningful policy substance that goes against the status quo? — Beyond platitudes and one-liners?


straddle

Discussing the status quo is their job. Status quo = current state of affairs.


News = current state of affairs.


Opinion and punditry are different things altogether and apparently what you’re looking for.


Reporting on the status quo/current state of affairs doesn’t mean there is any collusion.


To go against the status quo would mean trying to change things — which is really what you seem to be railing against. I think you’re might confused.


Kaiser Bill

When did this area where I was born and raised become the domain of liberals from San Francisco?


SamLouis

SLO Mayer (by 40 votes) Heidi Harmon is from Pasadena. I wish people like her would return to their hometowns, because they do nothing but harm mine.


Kaiser Bill

SamLouis, virtually NONE of the Powers that Be are from here. People like Gibson, Hill, Harmon, and Lichtig are all Transplants. And gone are the days when transplants like Ken Schwartz came here, appreciated what we had, and didn’t work to make this area into a liberal urban soulless mass but worked with the locals to save our way of life.


Pelican1

The irony here is that the teacher chose to take a quote from the most read book in the history of the world. Interesting and troubling times to say the least.


SamLouis

The banner is marked as “1AngryOldLesbian.org” in the lower right hand corner.


That seems oddly fitting…


Jorge Estrada

I smell a legal issue brewing.


still laughing

There are numerous cases of people who railed against homosexuals but it was just to hide the fact that they were closet homosexuals themselves.


SamLouis

Your comment sounds a lot like that “1 in 10 myth” that was pushed so hard a number of years ago.


straddle

Public thinks up to 25% of population is gay, but only about 4% self-identify as gay so it’s in the middle there somewhere. Remember Ted Haggard and Larry Craig?


SamLouis

Who is this “public” you speak of? The homosexual community?


I just read the homosexual population is .3% of the total. That sounds close — maybe a bit high still. So your continued lies are readily identifiable as such.


straddle

http://www.gallup.com/poll/183383/americans-greatly-overestimate-percent-gay-lesbian.aspx


That’s were I got my numbers. No lies. Calling me a liar when I can back-up my numbers is slander


Why don’t you tell all of us where you’re getting your numbers?


Rambunctious

Having a fascistic viewpoint is far worse and extremely more damaging and dangerous than bigoted opinions. Why don’t they teach that in school?


Rambunctious

Say something the left disagrees with and get hounded from your job….hmmmmm there is a word for that I think it’s Fascism. It sure doesn’t reflect our Values, that is for sure and it harms the protesters more than anyone else. Telling someone to shut up because you don’t like what he or she is saying is child like….stop it and grow up.


straddle

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


You think someone who uses this quote (which Cal Coast News conveniently ignored) should be teaching kids?


If you had a gay child at SLO high would you want this Stack dude teaching that child?