School teacher disappears after saying gays deserve to die
Californian teacher Michael Stack, above, has reportedly vanished after row erupted over a letter he wrote to his school’s student newspaper, saying that those who commit homosexual acts ‘deserve to die’.
The San Luis Obispo High School teacher went missing after he resigned in the face of widespread outrage.
According to this report, Stack did not show up to work last Thursday but sent the school an email which he also copied to Fox News, tendering his resignation. In it he said:
The community apparently wants me out, so I hereby grant them their desires.
Late on Thursday morning, someone reportedly called the school and threatened Stack’s life, according to San Luis Coastal Unified School District Superintendent Eric Prate, who said:
We are concerned for his safety.
Prater and San Luis Obispo High School Principal Leslie O’Connor added that school officials were already concerned about Stack when he didn’t show up to work and they were unable to contact him. They called the police and sent two assistant principals to check on him at his home.
They weren’t able to locate him but spoke to a relative there, who did not know his whereabouts.
On Thursday evening, school officials said they had no direct communication with Stack since he left campus before the end of the school day Wednesday. They don’t believe Stack was aware of Thursday’s death threat.
In his resignation letter Stack defended his right to free speech, saying:
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.
Prater said that the district has asked its education attorney, Mike Smith, to determine if Stack – by submitting the letter, had essentially been proselytising.
Officials wanted to know whether he should have been disciplined or whether he would have been protected under the First Amendment.
Their initial position was that his letter fell under First Amendment protections.
Stack’s letter received widespread community criticism that it was inappropriate for a teacher at a public school to bang on about his religious beliefs. But some community members in online forums supported his right to express his views outside of the classroom in the form of a letter.
Stack’s letter was published online last Tuesday in response to the May issue of the student newspaper, Expressions, which contained three articles focusing on LGBTQ issues. The cover photo of that edition featured two women kissing.
An estimated 60 people showed up to protest against Stack in front of San Luis Obispo High School on May 11. Rally organiser Michelle Call said she was aware of at least two students who were afraid to attend school while Stack, who wrote a letter saying gay people “deserve to die”, remained employed there.
In his letter to the editor, which the student newspaper staff decided to publish in consultation with its teacher adviser, Stack cited an excerpt from the Book of Romans referring to the sinfulness of homosexuality.
He wrote that the passage describes:
A deception that has happened in the past, and is happening again right now, not only at SLOHS, but throughout the world.
The passage states that women and men who engage in homosexual acts were abandoned by God and their lives became:
Full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.
Stack wrote that he’s “not ashamed of the Gospel” and attempted to reply to six comments on the student newspaper’s website, but his replies didn’t appear on the site.
O’Connor said that the student journalists shut down public comments on the letter to try to calm the heated public debate.
O’Connor also said that he conducted an investigation into a gay student’s comments that, during a study-skills class, Stack had requested a private conversation with her about religion at some later time.
O’Connor spoke with the student and others present and verified that Stack made the request.
It’s inappropriate and poor judgment when a teacher or school official in public education wants to have a private conversation about religion with a student.
That conversation took place before Stack’s letter to the editor was published, school officials said.
School officials said that given his letter, Stack’s request to speak privately with a student about religion could have warranted disciplinary review.
O’Connor said that Stack’s viewpoint comes from a place of religious conviction, adding that he believes Stack is a “very good and decent” person.
He is also, according to this Daily Kos report, a complete idiot who believes in the literal truth of the Bible. He wrote:
Without divine intervention it would be mathematically impossible to write a book filled with hundreds of predictions over thousands of years with 100% accuracy regarding their fulfillment, yet the Bible has done exactly that, with just a few prophecies yet to be fulfilled.
Walter Einenkel, writing for the Daily Kos, said:
The harsh fact of the matter is that the Bible and all of the books it contains is not 100 percent accurate in its own logic, let alone its ‘predictions’.
Mr Stack clearly is the one that needs to go back to school. I suggest a non-apologetics-based history and literary criticism of the Bible. Something where the teacher acknowledges that the earth is more than 6,000 years old.