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Thursday, November 4, 2010

After Controversy, Parent Pulls Son Out of Gay Beaverton Teacher's Class

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Seth Stambaugh, right, and his pro bono lawyer Lake Perriguey
  • Seth Stambaugh, right, and his pro bono lawyer Lake Perriguey
Well, it turns out the whole Seth Stambaugh case doesn't have an entirely happy ending. Where last we left off, Stambaugh had gotten his job back as a student teacher in the Beaverton School District and the district administration had promised to reform its approach to LGBT issues. Stambaugh started teaching again last Thursday, October 28. Hurrah.

Sadly, this Monday, October 25, the parent who originally complained about the gay marriage comment Stambaugh made in class sent out a mass email saying he was pulling his son out of Stambaugh's class at Sexton Mountain Elementary.

"We have been called every name under the sun. We are not bigots, homophobes, or religious fanatics," wrote the parent, Aaron Krikava, in the email that was forwarded to me by one of the numerous parents who received it. "What began as a simple event of a responsible parent expressing a valid concern quickly turned into an opportunity to push a political agenda."

Krikava goes on to say that the family felt "threatened" by a phone conversation Stambaugh's pro bono attorney, Lake Perriguey, had with the student's mother, Allison. Krikava writes that Perriguey told the mother that if the family did not ask the district to reinstate Stambaugh, "he may not be able to continue to keep our names, and our phone numbers, including our sons, out of the press."

Perriguey, characterizes the phone conversation in question as a "very cordial, factual conversation with a mother of a student, whom I will not name, about the district's discriminatory actions." It's worth noting that at the time this conversation took place, Stambaugh had a public letter of support from 27 Sexton Mountain teachers, 22 Sexton Mountain parents, and nearly 5,000 people who signed an online petition to reinstate him.

Krikava describes the classroom as a "compromised situation" and concludes that it would be "irresponsible" to leave his son there.

We're printing Krikava's name now because he has given up the expectation of privacy granted any private citizen in this situation by sending out a mass email about the case signed with his full name.

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