When you take any position in the world of education it is because you are passionate. You are passionate about life, about the future generations to come, and you aspire to provide them with the tools and knowledge that will help them create a spark for seeking out the world around them.
A friend of mine has been attacked. She is one of those humans who you are lucky to meet in your lifetime. She has inspired hundreds of students at Lewis and Clark College and beyond. I am deeply saddened that she will not be able to work directly with high school students in Portland because of two words: prejudice and fear.
The year is now 2015. Why then I wonder do we still accept the fact that organizations, schools, and public officials openly oppose the very essence of someone else’s ability to love. Who is to say what someone should or should not do with their life? Why is it that it is acceptable for public or private organizations to oppose and secretly pay off people to not share the hateful doctrine from which they build their work upon? It is not acceptable. Nor is it morally founded no matter how it is spun. Have we learned nothing from previous generations who toiled, fought, and sought justice to speak freely, educate, and empower human beings? This situation is a problem, it is not ethical, it is appalling.
Please do not tell me that St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Oregon is not opposing her life choices, because they are. They would rather pay off this woman with money and benefits than have her be honest, open, and outstanding in her job position at their school. This is another tried and true event based in the fundamentals of fear.
Fear as defined by Webster’s dictionary states: : to be afraid of (something or someone); to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant); to be afraid and worried.
My friend is none of these things. There is nothing bad or unpleasant about someone merely asking a clarifying question regarding a statement that was presented to her in an email. Why is it that people are so afraid of another person’s happiness?
Did not Pope Francis say, “This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.” Why is it considered moral or good to let a hired faculty member go and then, when they refuse to sign paperwork agreeing to such, go so far as to pay off someone for their silence about a topic which embeds and is their life? Is it really good when someone is dismissed without the consideration of their moral character, their work history, and job qualifications?
Pope Francis also stated that, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Lauren went to the interview, was offered the job, provided valid and glowing references, recommended to apply for a higher administration position, stated that she was wondering IF it would be alright to bring her girlfriend to social gatherings for faculty members at the school, was she then asked to leave quietly without even beginning her work? One word again my friends: fear, not religion, not morality of the doctrine founded in Catholicism, it is fear.
I believe in the power of change, in the power of love, and the power of free speech. My friend is standing up for what is right and this practice will never ‘get old.’ She is taking a stand and living her life honestly and openly. She is a beautiful example of what too many men and women have had to hide for decades. We should not be judged or discriminated against based upon how we love or whom we love in this life. Her human character is outstanding, her belief in the hopes to inspire a future generation of students to stand up for what they believe in and in equal rights is well founded. I hope that her stance will help let the young LGBTQ generation and organization flourish. You have my full support Lauren Brown.
If you would also like to show your support for this woman, please share, and stand up for what you believe in. Thank you Lauren for being a brave and wonderful human!
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