Catholic Church has school's back on firing

Sandusky Central Catholic School's forced resignation gains national attention, outraged alumnus creates blog to follow story.
Alissa Widman Neese
Jan 13, 2014


The Catholic Church broke tradition Monday, releasing an official statement in support of a band and choir director's recent departure from Sandusky Central Catholic School.

Meanwhile, a group of outraged alumni are assembling on a blog and social media, expressing support and aiming to springboard the story to national media outlets.

Brian Panetta, who was in his fifth year of employment with Sandusky Central Catholic School, was forced to resign this past week after announcing plans to pursue a gay marriage next year.

He initially received an unsigned letter of termination indicating he was fired, but school officials and representatives from the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, which oversees the school, later agreed he could resign.

Click here for all Register coverage of this story.

Panetta, who identifies as Catholic, plans to marry his fiancé in July 2015.

A newly created blog,, is advocating for Panetta's rehire. It also links to a petition, which netted more than 200 signatures and supportive comments in its first day.

"Everyone loved him, even people who aren't in favor of gay marriage, because they loved him as a person and a teacher," said alumnus Fred Staffeld, who is managing the new blog from Washington D.C. "We're outraged by the hypocrisy. Instead of firing others who are breaking rules, they only fired somebody who was just upfront and honest about who he is."

Staffeld graduated from St. Mary Central Catholic High School in 1982, during what he calls the "glory days" of band, when John Kustec, now a Perkins Schools employee, was his director.

Panetta reminded Staffeld of a young Kustec, because he ignited passion in his students and more than doubled the once dwindling band's size.

When Staffeld received mixed messages about who was responsible for Panetta's abrupt resignation, and later learned the truth, he felt inspired to take action, he said.

"I've received some angry messages about creating a circus of this," Staffeld said. "If this school didn't want a circus, it shouldn't have discriminated in 2014. It's going to create a firestorm."

The story has since picked up national attention, most recently being featured on and LGBTQ Nation, two of the world's largest websites for gay rights news.

Panetta issued a public statement about the matter Friday, which permitted the Catholic Diocese of Toledo to respond today, according to its statement. The diocese typically doesn't comment on personnel matters, in order to protect individuals, it said.

"In light of the Church's clear teaching on sacred marriage and the fact that Mr. Panetta himself has publicly indicated his marriage plans are contrary to Church teachings and are the issue at the heart of this matter, the leadership of Sandusky Central Catholic School properly determined that his employment could not continue," the diocese stated. 

"When Sandusky Central Catholic School informed the diocese of the situation, the diocese fully concurred it was the correct decision and in keeping with the terms of his teacher-minister contract," it concluded.

Click here to read the full statement.

The statement offers little, if any, new insight, as the diocese's spokeswoman offered a brief comment this past week, in which she also stated Panetta's forced resignation was a "local decision," and the diocese only offered consultation.

All Sandusky Central Catholic School employees sign a contract stating they will live a lifestyle according to the Catholic faith.

After he became engaged on Christmas Day, Panetta told school principal Melody Curtis about his wedding plans, anticipating the pair would agree an end-of-the-year resignation would be the most appropriate way to ensure no conflicts resulted. He received his letter of termination later that night.

His five-year relationship with his now-fiancé, Nathan David, was not a secret, as David often attended school events and met several students and their families, Panetta said.

Panetta has no plans to take any legal action against Sandusky Central Catholic School.

He cares deeply for the school, its faculty and its students, and only wants to perpetuate the truth about why he can no longer teach them, he said.

He is currently a graduate student at Bowling Green State University. He plans to graduate in May and seek employment elsewhere, possibly near his hometown in North Carolina, or David's hometown in Illinois.

Sandusky Central Catholic School issued a news release this past week about the matter, simply stating Panetta had resigned. It also provided a link to Panetta's statement, in which he called himself a "proud and gay Catholic."


Other Catholic school firings circulate in national media

Sandusky Central Catholic School's forced resignation of its gay band and choir director addresses a hot-button issue constantly circulating in national media.

On Friday, the same day Panetta issued a statement about his resignation, Michael Griffin, a gay teacher at a Catholic school in Pennsylvania, was fired after filing for a marriage license with his partner. 

The pair had a civil union and the teacher wore a ring, and as with Panetta, school administrators knew he was gay. 

Their relationship didn't become a problem until Griffin emailed school administrators about his marriage license, which they interpreted as a public statement.

Earlier this month, Mark Zmuda, a gay vice principal in Washington, was also fired for marrying his partner. School officials suggested Zmuda get a divorce to keep his job, but he rejected the idea, he said.

Students have rallied in support of Zmuda and actively protested his departure, staging a sit-in and then walking out in solidarity, effectively shutting down their school. They have also rallied a social media campaign and crafted an online petition with now more than 32,000 signatures.

The most prominent firing case in Ohio involved a Catholic school in Columbus, whose officials fired lesbian teacher Carla Hale for listing her female partner in her mother's obituary in The Columbus Dispatch this past year.



Student I am 100% Conservative, I watch FOX, Mark Levin is my hero, my favorite book of all times is Liberty and Tyranny, I abhor the lefts co opting of the gay movement to push their agenda. But... I do know the difference between right and wrong, hypocrisy and a campus that has promoted arrogance in a select few. It's KARMA baby. Now I wonder how many students even know what MSNBC is????


The simple fact that your last statement there was a sorry attempt to belittle not one STUDENT but the entire STUDENT body tells me a lot about your character. I also don't think you're giving enough credit the the young minds in America who, by the way, will be running the country in the not-so-distant future. Assuming you're an adult, please act like one.


Now that's a funny post, are you always that uptight and serious, chill out.


It's funny that we're on the same side of this, since I'm about as curmudgeonly a 26-year-old leftist as there is in this area, and have to put up with a family who worships at the altars of Mark Levin and Glenn! :)

Strange bedfellows and all...


Can't forget Rush! When somebody I care about gets hurt I can be a pitbull.


You confused me for about 3 seconds until I re-read my post, since the Boys from Canada are my favorite musical group (and, it's caused a bit of confusion when I say something about 'em on my FB feed)! Lol!

John Harville

SMCC STUDENT... It's good to know Panther Dynasty is alive and flailing.

There is no hatred toward your school, students, religion (properly named since there is little evidence of faith).

There is expressed here in so many ways sadness that your President-Principal did not consider the profound effect her actions would have on said students, school and religion.

I will play the 'youth card' for you and give you great latitude for daring to comment on matters of which you have no understanding. I taught students like you who are so full of religious zeal but have little knowledge of your faith.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen".. Chapter 11:1 of Paul's Letter to the Hebrews.
You really need to examine your Faith, that inner voice of Jesus speaking to your heart - not the profane words of a teacher or principal or parent - and especially not me.
I know what I believe, what Jesus shares with me daily, and I know Jesus NEVER would condone the actions of your President-Principal which have brought hurt and anguish - and pledges to withhold funding - on your school.
"this is my commandment. I command you to love one another as I have loved you." That would be Jesus's ONLY commandment to us.

So I ask... where is YOUR love?

Smcc Alum

Agree to disagree. Our church is against the marrying, and sexual acts of homosexuals. Millions of others are for homosexuals being married. Nobody is going to change anyone's mind. We live in a great country where we are able to agree and disagree with each others opinions. The school did nothing illegal and based their decisions off of the church's teachings. If you have a problem with the actions taken by the diocese, whining over online message boards is not going to help you succeed in the war that the majority of the commentators on here are fighting with the Catholic Church. Write a letter to the diocese. Bashing Catholics is not going to get you anywhere.

John Harville

Way ahead of ya, kid. Already wrote my letter to the Diocese - and the Pope.
"..based their decisions off of the church's teachings.."
Exactly where is this position listed in the Catechism (careful... reading the words of a Confirmation teacher here)? The Catechism teaches against fornication (any act of sexual gratification outside holy matrimony) which includes masturbation, oral gratification, manipulation, petting to orgasm, pedophilia, etc.
And did you learn your poor grammar and punctuation at SMCC? (and no, you can't blame auto-correct).


You taunted a kid? Internet tough guy.

You really need to take a break. Have a gyro.


Says the "tough guy" who harassed a woman all day. More hypocrisy, it's quite nauseating.


There's a woman on here? Who is it?


Student this is exactly what this board is made for. If the comments are upsetting to you don't read them.


Student: Way to stand up and voice your opinion. You're entitled to it just as much as anyone else here. I'm sure your parents are proud to have a child who defends their personal beliefs, school, and community.


Doesn't Perkins have enough of it's own issues? Clean up your own back yard first. Student better toughen up, it's a big ugly world out here.


Student seems to be doing just well. His/her faith will serve well in the "big ugly" world.


Only if he/she or anyone in his/her family aren't gay.

John Harville

I do hope you see this.

Our church is against any act of unchastity - which include sexual acts of any nature outside the bonds of marriage in the Church.

But before any of this began - long before - your school and church hired people who do not meet the standards. Non-Catholic teachers are not married within the bounds of the Church and do not subscribe to the Church's rules against contraception. Still others cohabit, attend baptisms of children conceived in surrogacy or in-vitro... you even have a couple of priests within the Sandusky community who baptized such children of 'properly' wed Catholic parents.
You're right about the whining... that's why I went to the Diocese with my concerns and complaints - as have several others.

John Harville

The Catholic Church has the back.... of all those pedophile priests.

Donald Szpozors's picture
Donald Szpozors

I breathe a great sigh of disgust when I read these ignorant, backwards comments. Sandusky continues to be shaming and moralistic as ever. We have to continue to have these LGBT, civil & equal rights discussions because its pointedly obvious how much we still must grow if we want to be a proactive and progressive Ohio community!

It is essential that we actively have these conversations or you'll continue to hear disgusting, vile comments like those previously posted here - "Will it be men in thongs sporting sex toys - and women completely naked walking the streets like in San Fran? Will it be open sex acts during LGBT parades like in San Fran?..Your little dream world is one of total debauchery."

Ignorant comments like those are ones that are blatantly false, damning, slanderous, and promote negative stereotypes.

This young teacher clearly proved that LGBTs can be healthy, functioning and very successful contributors to your community and our youth! He has proven his skill beyond measure how he drastically changed the arts programs into a vital, living, positive and impactful thing!

And finally, I must echo previous statements that compared the neighboring community of Fremont. As a longtime resident of Sandusky who works in Fremont, these observations of 'closet cases' are 100% true! I have met beyond compare, many married & engaged men at work and social functions who identify as straight, but 'behind closed doors' are different people- traveling to the nearest gay bars and LGBT functions in Sandusky or Toledo. Their biggest fears? Their church and their religious background/history. So wives, you may want to pry open those closet doors. Check the cell phone history. Check the Internet. See where he sneaks out to! Fremont and Sandusky is full of closet cases. And sadly, in many situations- they fear what religion has instilled in them.

True Blue

I can't believe they'll let a good teacher go, but other people go unnoticed, even when they are told, until they retire. Shame, Shame, Shame.


SR, you have done an outstanding job of fabricating (yet again) your own story. Mr. Panetta signed a contract. When the contract was breached, he was offered the opportunity to resign, which he willingly accepted as he understand the teachings of the Catholic Church. The Church has backed SCCS and Mr. Panetta has gone on his own way. The only reason this is even a story is because YOU, the media, have turned it into one.

Like it or not, readers, Mr. Panetta is not coming back to SCCS and nothing you do will make the Church change its teachings on homosexual activity. Instead of chastising SCCS and the Church, why not encourage local or non-local schools to hire Mr. Panetta? (Granted, I'm aware some of you have done just that.) He clearly has a gift for the arts and is a well-loved and respected teacher that any school would be lucky to employ. He will do just fine outside of SCCS.

John Harville

MEANWHILE... YOUR assistant band director was ready and waiting in the wings to ADD SCCS Band/music to his portfolio. It almost seems it was pre-arranged. He must have friends in good places.

We all just hope he is squeaky clean enough to survive.

Panther Student

As a current student at SMCC, I'd like to offer my perspective... The past few days of school have sucked, to put it blatantly. The student body has seen the comments on here, and it hurts. You people are angry at the admins and the Church... but who does this hurt the most? We scroll through these comments and see people picking our school apart... tearing it down brick by brick. This affects us, too - and I would ask that anyone who has hard feelings to please consider the students before you comment on here. I have read some very nasty things and it pains me to see people talk about my school this way. Have we forgotten what defines a school? The student body... I believe that we as students have accomplished great things within the school and in the community - we've represented our school well. We're the foundation of this school. And although we will miss Mr. Panetta, I know that this is happening for a reason and I am praying for the strength to cope with the hateful comments and current situation. To the alums that are angry, remember what highschool was like? This school was the base of your future... it prepared you for whatever journey you are on now. Please, please consider the students through this. The media has twisted this into something it is not... People have made us out to be a "homophobic institution," but we are so very far from that. We all knew Mr. Panetta was gay, but that didn't change our opinion of him. We loved him regardless... The school did not make him resign because he was gay, as I have seen several people say. Mr. Panetta knew what the consequences of the engagement were. And I am happy for him, but that does not change the fact that, as Mr. Panetta said, the Church does not yet support gay marriage. It was this factor that lead to his resignation, not the fact that he was gay. So before you are quick to judge this decision, please think of who your words will affect. Thank you.


Panther Student, I'm a 2004 SMCC alumni and I support the school 100%. It pains me to see all these hateful people ripping up our school. I'm also seeing a lot of SMCC alumni rip the school, and I condone their words strongly. They forget where they came from. Maybe because they have moved onto trendy cities that they think are way cooler than Sandusky, but I have digressed. SMCC is more than one teacher who used to work there. Lower your head and press on. Do well at school, and someday when you can call SMCC your alumni, support the school. SMCC does so much for the community that a lot of people here willfully ignore. Go Panthers!

Panther Student

It is nice to see an alum that stands up for its alma mater... Thank you for understanding.

John Harville

"I'm also seeing a lot of SMCC alumni rip the school, and I condone their words strongly."

You 'condone their words'?
Did that come from your SMCC education or something you picked up at OSU?
PANTHER DYNASTY is alive and flailing.

John Harville

Perhaps with a little more experience in a less-Catholic intensified atmosphere you'll realize how your comments sound.

This issue is far beyond the local players.

Our school and Diocese created a contract that requires its employees to sacrifice basic Constitutional rights of FREE SPEECH in order to teach at our school.

You have the advantage of living in a Catholic Church - and attending Catholic school - in an incredibly more relaxed environment. have you ever been taught by a nun in a habit? Have you ever attended Mass EVERY MORNING before the day started? ...ever known a Church when all the girls had to cover their heads to enter the church? ...ever been required to fast from Midnight Saturday until after Sunday Mass? ...ever been ordered not to read the Bible because to do so would be heresy? ...ever taken Eucharist when you could only touch the Host with your tongue? ...ever walked heeltoeheeltoe down the hallways?

And yes... the school DID make him resign because he is gay - just couldn't do so until he took an action the school could use as a weapon to be rid of him.

...have you ever celebrated the Mass in Latin because it was required?

John Harville

Smcc Student: Have you asked yourself if Melody Curtis thought even a moment what repercussions her actions would have on you and other students, on the SCCS image in the community, that people might "have made us out to be a 'homophobic institution'?
If given the chance before all this happened, would you have asked Mrs. Curtis "Please, please consider the students through this"?
If only...


Hey Panther Student, you are bright and I can tell you are going to do great things in your life. People know that St. Mary students are not homophobic. Quite the opposite and that is what makes this story so compelling in a weird kind of way, because we know he was loved by students and parents. But here is the thing: everything that you are witnessing now is the issue of our day. It's the civil rights of our day. And things are changing rapidly. I know Sandusky is small and high school can sometimes be like a bubble. But actions have consequences, and I'm not sure why the school leadership decided to handle Brian's termination in the way they did. But they had to know it would create a national firestorm, and I'm sorry it has made high school suck in the last week. What happened to Brian is becoming increasingly unacceptable throughout the country, even for Catholic schools. In Seattle students are protesting the firing of a loved principal. The nuns told him he could keep his job – if he divorced his husband. Ridiculous, don't you think? Think about it, really. And this is the kind of thing puts the spotlight on a school when a gay person is fired. I know the students in St. Mary are compassionate and have a good heart. But in a few years, people will look back and say that this was not the school's best moment.I don't know if you are band kid but if you are not, reach out to them, maybe even give them a hug, as they are mourning the loss of their director. I wish you well. I want you to learn, to challenge yourself, to stretch that imagination, dream of new things. I want your life to be thrilling. Good luck!


Fred, you - more than ANY other person - have hurt the current students at SMCC. Your relentless pursuit to spread this story to media outlets is quite sickening. You have posted and promoted information that is just, plain WRONG. You yourself have stated that you have never met Brian, yet you have used him - and our school - to promote our own personal agenda. I am sorry that you have differences of opinion about the Catholic faith, but it is what it is. Brian knew that, did the right thing, and has moved on. Why can't you?

When's the last time you stepped foot in the halls of SMCC, or even met a current SMCC student? I'm guessing it's been a very, very long time. The students have been amazingly mature in this situation. THEY get it. The leadership, compassion, and understanding they have shown during this difficult time would blow you away. Unfortunately, it's adults - many of whom have absolutely no connection to the school - who have behaved horribly. How disheartening it must be for kids to see alumni speak so poorly about the place and the people they love.

I'm very glad that you renounced your alumni membership - because I certainly wouldn't want students to think all alumni are as "supportive" as you. But, should you ever change your mind, stop in at our alma mater and meet some of the people who continue to carry the torch for Catholic education, because you will see absolutely NO examples of bigotry or hypocrisy, and plenty of examples of compassionate, service oriented, and free-thinking kids.

This national firestorm was created by the Register to make money (more hits on their website means more dollars in their pockets) and fueled by YOU. You have sacrificed our school, and by proxy our students, for your own personal issues. Sad. The school will continue moving forward in very positive direction, and instead of this being "not our best moment" may become a teaching moment that strengthens the faithful because it reminds us what the SACRAMENT of marriage is all about.


And what of the possibly 10-15 LGBT kids who are in that school? Heck with 'em and throw 'em to the wolves? Is that supposed to be "positive"? Deny it as much as possible, but there ARE kids in that school who have either come out or are grappling with their sexuality, and calling this something that "strengthens the faithful" is only another example of how we LGBT get kicked to the curb when push comes to shove.


Who said the school has kicked LGBT kids to the curb or denies they exist?? That has not happened - in fact, there HAVE been plenty of LGBT kids who have graduated in recent years, and they are accepted as who they are. Have you ever even stepped foot inside of a Catholic school?

The Catholic church is not against gay people. They strongly believe through their faith that marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman and expect their employees to model that same belief. No one is judging other faiths for having different ideas about marriage. Geez....if you don't like Catholic beliefs - don't be a Catholic, teach in a Catholic school, accept charity from Catholic institutions, etc.! It's really that simple.

John Harville

So glad you posted this.
You clearly demonstrated the firing of the teacher was a homophobic act.
You state: " fact, there HAVE been plenty of LGBT kids who have graduated in recent years, and they are accepted as who they are..."

To be LGBT is to at some time participate in the lifestyle and support the lifestyle...

And I HAVE stepped foot in a Catholic school and had children in Catholic schools and taught the Catechism in Catholic school. Bigger question - have YOU? Even non-Catholic parents are expected to embrace the principles and beliefs of the Catholic Church and instill the same attitudes in their children. Read your Catechism, beginning with 2537.

As for "...marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman and expect their employees to model that same belief." BULL! How can a non-Catholic second-marriage (adulterous) teacher 'model' sacramental marriage? SCCC has non-Catholic employees - yes, even teachers! - (and even a couple Catholic ones) who liver in relationships the Church considers adulterous.


John, I'm sensing you have a problem with the Catholic church. Let me suggest you try a different faith. It's OK if the Catholic religion isn't a good fit for you.


I love the school, and I want it to do better. I live by the values that were instilled in me by my Catholic education at Sandusky St. Mary. As a member of the very active Facebook band alumni group, all I wanted was for the school to reconsider Brian's termination for the sake of the band kids and the continuity of the music program. Read the comments on the online petition: Students, parents,alumni members - even people opposed to the gay agenda- loved Brian and were amazed at what he had done with the band. Alumni members were always so excited when a new video of a band performance was posted. He was a good ambassador for the school. As to the Sandusky Register, my guess is that they covered this because every time a gay teacher gets fired from a Catholic school it becomes instant news. Gay rights is the civil rights of today. Its the issue of today. And anything having to do with the firing of a much-loved gay teacher makes instant, national news. It has in Seattle and in some other cities. Drinking from a separate water fountain sounds ridiculous today, don't you think? Increasingly, people all across the country are feeling the same about about gay civil rights. I understand that the school has already hired a new band director. I wish him/her well. Let this be a teachable moment for everyone. Actions always have consequences. I simply chose to follow my conscience and be on the right side of history. Sanduskymom, I wish you well and God bless you.


How can you say you love the school when you have spent so much time this week trying to take it down? You, and the other poster "Sugar" have said horrible things that have affected the kids. (What makes Sugar's postings even worse is the fact that she has grandkids at the school!) I too am an alumni and member of the Band Alumni Facebook group. You (and others) posted simply awful things. You forced a discussion about something that is bigger than SMCC, but sacrificed us and Brian in the process. Sadly, you have no first hand knowledge of what was actually happening, nor do you even know Brian, yet you were able to cause a firestorm for a place you love?

You say you were trying to make things better for the kids - yet you don't know any of them or how they are dealing with this? They have been amazing. They get it! They are our next generation and may or may not take on the cause in their lifetimes. I can say they do love Brian, and are sad to see him go. But.....they understand why! Brian signed a contract every year committing to model a Catholic lifestyle he knew he wasn't living. End of story! They're excited to get to know their new director, and from all early reports, they really, really like him.

SMCC / SCCS is much, much different than when you and I were there. Kids today are different too. The culture there is very much like one of a family. I often see older kids helping younger kids - older kids coaching or attending their sporting events, older kids serving as leaders to emerging band students, older kids actually talking to and encouraging younger kids. It's fantastic - they take care of each other! A great example would be our high school robotics team. A 7th grader had a great interest in robotics, so the high schoolers welcomed him into their group. Imagine the impact those older kids had on that one kid - and how they helped set him up for success. Examples like this happen everyday.

I've said it before, Fred, I invite you to come back to visit SMCC - perhaps at homecoming? Bring your instrument and play with the band. Get to know Brian and bring him back with you too! I think you'd be impressed. I can guarantee you - you would be welcomed with open arms and be glad that you came back.


Agreed, Fred you have done way more to harm SMCC than help.

It's this simple. Brian broke a rule of his contract. Regardless if he was a good teacher, he broke a rule. Should we make
an exception for him? Well then what would be the point of rules.

It's not SMCC's decision. They are a Catholic school and they follow what the Church says. Until the Church changes, back off the school. Didn't you go there?


Did you read this before you posted? You're all over the place, first we are awful for expressing our feelings and views, then you invite DC to play with the band? You're hysterical.


I thank Fred in the face of such hate and hypocrisy to have the courage to speak out.

Panther Student

Please do the community a favor and stop commenting. There is a MAJOR difference between having an opinion and being disrespectful. Maybe if you approached the subject in a more mature way people wouldn't be so quick to argue with you. Calling us arrogant a**** and bigots is sickening. You bicker with others for supporting the school's decision and then you call us names. We NEVER judged Mr. Panetta, but yet you are here judging a whole school. You don't know anything about my school, so who gave you the right to judge? Isn't that what you're trying to convince people not to do - judging others? YOU are the hypocrite here. Clearly you've never taken the time to see what the students and staff are like at SCCS.

John Harville

Perhaps you should use the education - and educators - of which you are so proud to learn more about the history of your religion.

LOOK at the contract. In order to teach in the system, teachers must sacrifice their Constitutional right of FREE SPEECH. They cannot publicly have opinions on any subject the Church considers sacred.

A priest recently told me that children conceived in-vitro "have no souls". The Church is opposed to in-vitro because it doesn't involve intercourse - even though both parents contribute the sperm and ovum. Do you truly BELIEVE that such a child has no soul and no place in Kingdom of God? Are you proud to be part of a religion that holds such beliefs?
The Church likewise proscribes surrogacy - and yet claims that procreation is the primary purpose of human love.
"We NEVER judged Mr. Panetta..." you now are delegated to be spokesperson for ALL STUDENTS at SCCS.
Clearly you have no idea to whom you are speaking and how much time I've taken to know what the students and staff are like...

Panther Student

My comment was directed towards sugar. The reason that IVF is not supported by the Catholic Church is because it takes away from the conjugal aspect of sex, you are right - BUT there is no teaching that says these children have no souls. IVF is actual seen as violating the child's right to human dignity (to be born within the procreative and conjugal act). You are letting one priest define a whole religion. What you are forgetting is that not all of the embryos are implanted into the woman's body, and the remaining embryos are usually destroyed or used for some scientific research. The Church recognizes this as the killing of innocent human lives. The Church does not support the use of embryos for scientific research, because this is also the destruction of human life. However, there are a few exceptions that would allow a married couple to use IVF to conceive a child, such as sterility. Maybe you want to step down from your claim that I don't "use" my education. I took a class on issues like this and am VERY well informed. I am proud to be a Catholic, and I always will be. I'm living my faith everyday to the best of my ability. I find it funny that a person from the outside thinks they know more about a school than a student who has actually attended the school since kindergarten. Talk to the rest of my fellow peers... They would say the same about Mr. Panetta. I also find it amusing that you seem to be making us out as a bunch of homophobes. We loved Mr. Panetta and what he did for the school - and guess what? Him being gay didn't change our opinion.


And sugar responds, please go to between the lines post to read my comment to Karma it's for you too. What no school today? Up awful late for a student. A thank you to John Harville and Cody for the informative posts. Student attacking my position on the issue does not negate or change one fact here.

Panther Student

I'm going to assume you never stayed up late when you were in school. When you can respectfully present your opinion without attacking my personal life please let me know. I am not "attacking" your opinion, rather I am saying that you are going about it the wrong way. Your language and attitude should not be condoned by anyone.


Here's a tip, you don't have to like anothers opinion, you just have to accept it for what it is. I will present myself as I see fit. Case closed.

Panther Student

That's fine. I don't expect you to understand when you're not a student or staff member.

Smcc Alum


You're so hypocritical. You were crying on another page that users were "engaging you" and that you were "done responding". Now you're saying that you will, "present myself as I see fit".

Here is a comparison for you! The Catholic Church is presenting their beliefs based on what they see fit. Little something called Church doctrine. And guess what sugar?! They disagree with marriage of homosexuals. So stop playing the victimized liberal role and look at things from the other side.

Here comes the Ironic, counter-argument, word for word from your above post.

"Here's a tip, you don't have to like anthers opinion, you just have to accept it for what it is". The Church is presenting themselves as they see fit.

So please sugar, listen to your own advice and stop beating a dead horse.


John Harville

Sandusky Mom... MELODY CURTIS more than anyone else has damaged SCCS students K-12.

Continuing her self-aggrandizing zeal from her former post, she gave no regard to the effect her actions would/could have on SCCS, its students, donors, supporters.

All of you should be EXTREMELY grateful Mr. Panetta has no plans to take action against SCCS. Merely filing such a lawsuit would be destructive.

The Church/Diocese still has not recovered from the negative publicity of five men who sued for the actions of pedophile priests. Have you not noticed declining mass attendance and fewer masses? Closed churches? Diocesan campaigns to bring back runaway Catholics are in Phase III.

Look what already has happened to our schools - consolidations, closed buildings, a President, diminishing enrollment.

What do you think would be the impact of a federal lawsuit (it WOULD be federal because it would name the Diocese) on Catholic schools in Sandusky and the surrounding area?

You and others best get down on your knees a long time this weekend and say a few Ave Marias (sorry, that's my old-school Catholicism).


All of you can critize me for writting down lyrics to a song all you want. Its the principal of the song. He talks about same love for all, thats the way it should be. Like i said before what is this teaching our children? We are teaching them to hate and to hide from their own feelings. Biggest thing i wanna know how would you handle one of your children gay? Would you cast judgment on them like you are doin to this man? Just a thought!

thinkagain's picture

It wouldn’t be the first time a child would be out of sync with transcendent moral law.

Once a youth exercises their God given free will to engage in homosexual behavior, they are no different than any other individual given to destructive behavior.

Homosexuality, like drug addiction or alcoholism, is a destructive behavior that we should never encourage people or our children to continue.

The most important thing a Christian can do is try and enlighten one to the salvation under grace that is freely offered.

Christians who proclaim the truth that homosexuality is a sin are homosexuals' best friends, whether those in the homosexual community feel that way or not.

Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from everlasting death and cover over a multitude of sins.(James 5:20)


What about we atheists who couldn't give a monkey's backside about your little book of fables and the so-called "truth" that you want to put into LAW, even though you know full-well that you don't get the privilege to *force* me into believing ANYTHING?

The fact that LGBT and non-religious persons are starting to make a stand against the oppressive forces of modern-day Christianity that have taken over and made reasonable discourse a non-starter (Really? Calling US destructive when there are plenty of examples of HIV transmission among the hetero community? How about we start taking away rights and privileges just because of that, too? You're not innocent, either, since hetero sexual behavior can be JUST as destructive, if you're doing it wrong!) and the notion that we should have to go back into the closet and prostrate ourselves just to assuage the conscience of the hard-core Christian...

No. Not happening. We've made strides at the judicial and legislative levels, and people can wring their hands all they want, you've lost.

"The arc of equality bends toward justice."

John Harville

And yet hatred, hypocrisy and pride are much greater sins and much more destructive behavior.


One other thing: this article, as sugar mentioned earlier, has been picked up by the AP, Houston Chronicle, The Advocate, and numerous other LGBT blogs and websites. Those who are saying that this story is being "over-reported"...seeing as this has gone national, it's going to get a *ton* more airplay from the other outlets, over and above what is being reported here.

thinkagain's picture

Excellent! The whole country needs to know that homosexuality is a sin. You can’t spit in the face of God without consequence.


Ya know what? You're being REALLY pretentious, and it's people like *you* who pushed me (and many other persons my age) quite early-on into completely disavowing any notion of religious belief.

Threats and repercussions? HAHAHAHA! Ooooh, I'm so scared! Obviously Mr. Loving God isn't so "loving" if *that's* how he/she/it is going to act...

John Harville

But you spit in the eye of God on virtually comment you make on this or any other subject.

Your soul is so blackened by hatred you are incapable of realizing the wounds your language inflicts on innocent children K-12, their parents, Catholics who try to be loyal but face yet again an attack by their Church on things so long held sacred - like loving one another as Jesus loves us.

I'll light a candle for you.
And remember you can't pray 'forgive us our sins' until you 'forgive others'. Just sayin'

pigeon farmer

Brought to you by the protectors of Fr Gray. Be a good alter boy.

John Harville

...and the pedophile-protector Pope soon to be canonized.


Homosexuality, like drug addiction or alcoholism, is a destructive behavior that we should never encourage people or our children to continue
Thats statment right there is destructive alone. Do you know anyone that is gay? My cousin is gay and he has been with the same person for 20yrs. So how can you say that is destructive? Ive seen hetros more destructive than that.
I wanna know how everyone can quote the "bible" when noone knows who wrote it. Did god? Did jesus? Or all the disciples? I am not a very religious person but i do believe there is someone out there watching over us, and that person LOVES ALL OF US just not the peope who are supposably nonsinners. Bc in onne way or another we are all sinners


On top of it, what about all the kids coming out at 14-15-16 who are killing themselves, just because of that exact same sort of rhetoric?

And *that* is supposed to be "love"? They can keep their bill of goods, if that's what they're trying to sell...

thinkagain's picture

Once a youth becomes indoctrinated and chooses to engage in homosexual acts, some realize their deviancy in human behavior. They don't want to be homosexual, but the medical establishment doesn't offer them the help they desperately need to regain their mental health. On top of that, atheists like yourself, tell them that their heavenly Father, which loves them and wants them to come to Him, doesn’t exist. Feeling there is no other way out, unfortunately, some commit suicide. It is sad indeed how little regard you have for those you have corrupted.


You know what that's called?


It has maybe, just *maybe*, worked for a number of people that I could count on two hands, and those already people already had the indoctrination (your word!) of religious fervor already put in them by people who are of your ilk.

In a realistic society that doesn't hold to the silliness and retrograde moralistic notions that evangelical religion holds, we wouldn't be having this discussion about Sexual Orientation Change Efforts.

For a party and a worldview that so loves personal liberty, the notion of allowing religion and governance to dictate whom a person can *not* be attracted to under penalty of loss of legal rights...

I smell hypocrisy!


Wonder what would happen if ANY of them, teachers, faculty, parents, any parishioner gay or straight - got caught in a sex club like a BDSM deal?

It could happen ...then watch the fur fly

Hmmm.. something to ponder.

Donald Szpozors's picture
Donald Szpozors

I would only 'hope' that a faculty member, parent or parishioner (straight or gay) would get caught in a BDSM situation or something similarly scandalous! My neighboring parish priest inexplicably has had a male visitor very late in the evening at unusual hours. It has also been accepted as common knowledge by parishioners that he is 'gay' and many have joked of his blatant hypocrisy. But as long as it's "don't ask, don't tell", right? What a disgusting role model he is for his faith. I only hope that hypocrites like this are openly exposed as so we collectively can see the fallacies of the church, the school and closeted communities like Sandusky and surrounding smaller towns. LGBT youth constantly struggle to find a niche and identify their true, honest personalities. They need openly proud men like Mr. Panetta for guidance and support.

John Harville

Want some names?
Try Craigslist.
Or the Pier.
Or most any of the bars.


Doesn't matter to me what the names are. I'm not from Sandusky, nor Catholic... I just thought I'd throw that thought out there.

Just a Girl

St Mary's is a PRIVATE school. If an employee of a PRIVATE Mormon or Jewish school behaved against the teachings of these faiths, he/she too would be fired or asked to resign. A private school has the right to make its own rules. If an employee or student feels those rules are discriminatory, they have a choice not to be a part of the institution.

John Harville

St. Mary's is NOT a private school.
Go on the site.
Read how parents may obtain free lunches for their students
Read the Federal Income Guidelines for free lunch.
Do you know WHO provides those free lunches?
I do. And so does every other PUBLIC taxpayer.
To accept PUBLIC funds the school sacrifices its PRIVATE status.
The DIOCESE takes even more taxpayer funds - and surrenders its 'privacy'.
NO SCHOOL, public or private, legally can require ANY employee or student to surrender Constitutional rights of FREE SPEECH under the First Amendment - which is exactly what the contract requires. Such contract may now be declared null.
Private Mormon and Jewish schools truly believe in their PRIVACY and - like the Amish in their schools - decline/do not seek public funding.
Next fallacious argument, please?

Just a Girl

School vouchers allow a student to take state money — normally distributed only to public schools on a per-pupil basis — to a private school of his or her choice. (Additional funds allocated for students enrolled in free and reduced lunch programs are non-transferrable.) Therefore, St Mary's can still designate itself as a PRIVATE school. There is no violation of the 1st Amendment which states "The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. No one is prohibiting Mr Panetta from being Catholic; the issue is violating the terms of his contract. Your argument is fallacious, not mine.


Thank you, Melody, for clearing that up for us.

John Harville

...and for demonstrating complete lack of understanding of the First Amendment which says CONGRESS shall make no law and thus putting the burden on states and local governments.
... and for stating SCCS accepts student vouchers.

My Catholic relatives in Monroe, MI have little good to say about her or what she did to the school.


Reading comprehension a little weak today Harville? She didn't say SCCS accepts vouchers - she cited legal precedent that schools can accept vouchers where they are being issued without altering their private status.

As for the lunches, those are benefits being delivered directly to STUDENTS, whose rights are not diminished by their choice of school. You can also use Pell Grants and GI Bill money to attend Notre Dame or John Carroll. Retirees can take their Social Security money and put it in the collection plate on Sunday. You seem to have a real problem with this being a free country when people use their freedom to gather under ideals with which you disagree.


They do take vouchers, how many students are there this year being charged 10k but being paid for by the taxpayers?




What vouchers - there's no voucher program currently in effect.

John Harville

Nemesis... how many children have you had in Catholic school?

Lunches are not benefits delivered directly to students... the parents have to apply through the school and the money comes to the schools which then is required to meet certain standards of food amount, quality, and the money goes directly into school coffers like any other lunch money.

Have you ever had a student in a Catholic college or university? Grants and loans are made directly to the students and then paid to the college - which still has to file annual reports to the granting agency, the government, and the IRS.

Once my SS money goes through my bank account and I put it in the offering envelope and put it in the plate, the Church still has to provide a year-end report of my giving so I can take the deduction on my income taxes.

People can use their freedom to gather under any ideals including a gay wedding. But if it involves the Church getting money or other government considerations, the Church and School will lose some of its PRIVATE status.

I have a problem with this being a FREE country? Yeah. That's why I want churches, etc. to function in full light of the public - and not force individuals to sign away their Constitutional rights. Get a grip!


"Lunches are not benefits delivered directly to students... "
Oh? Then who exactly eats the food? Sorry, but when you are eating a tray full of food paid for by the government, you are the direct beneficiary. Colleges are not required to report anything, per se. The STUDENT has a requirement to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the grant, such as satisfactory academic progress. The school forwarding the evidence directly to the government is a service they offer their students. There is no requirement for a church to furnish donors with any year end tax report. Most churches do so as a courtesy to their appreciated donors, but it's not required. In fact, there are fundamentalist churches that refuse to furnish such reports because they don't believe their congregants should be taking a deduction for their contributions. The Salvation Army is actually an evangelical denomination/church, thus dropping something in the red kettle is just like putting it in the collection plate. Ever get a report on that?

You're just full of erroneous assumptions about the relationship between private entities and the government.

John Harville

Okay Melody, where did you find THAT reading of the First Amendment?
Regardless... "abridging the freedom of speech" covers that section of the Contract which states employees may not publicly participate in/comment on a whole range of items; may not publicly live together, may not participate in nor comment on in vitro or surrogacy....
Your argument is not merely fallacious - it is totally bogus. But thank you for posting it - and giving written evidence of the school's position.
BTW... those special reading programs, the computer programs in your feeder schools that are provided through public schools...THOSE are taxpayer funds.


1. Her reading of the 1st Amendment is correct. Under the Incorporation Clause of the 14th Amendment, NO government body in the USA, federal, state, or local, may make any law abridging the rights enumerated therein.

2. YOUR interpretation is a complete failure to comprehend the entire nature of the Constitution, which spells out what GOVERNMENT may not do. Private parties are perfectly free to contractually surrender their right to comment on an issue in exchange for something they perceive as being sufficiently valuable.

John Harville

The terms of his contract relate directly to Catholicism.
Do non-Catholics sign the same contract? As I have stated previously, I personally know at least three employees in the system who are not Catholic. And all three are divorced and on second or third marriages - which in terms of the Catholic Lifestyle makes them adulterers (that's one of the BIG TEN) and therefore a direct violation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
So you (Melody?) and the school discriminated against Bryan while allowing others to openly, publicly " to act and speak in a way that does not support the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings...thus serious actions contrary to the Church's teachings (including but not limited to publicly living together outside marriage, public support of abortion, public support or use of a surrogate, public use or support of in vitro fertilization or flagrant deceit or dishonesty) will not be tolerated."


Yes, non-catholics are subject to the contract. If your unnmamed three are NOT catholic, then odds are they were not married in the Catholic Church, and thus, according to one of your OWN comments, their prior marriages are not recognized by the Church, so how can they be considered adulterers by that church?

John Harville

C'mon Melody, you know that's not true. Or at least I hope Lourdes taught you that in six years of study.

Your school is not PRIVATE.

And please do NOT refer to Mormonism, Judaism, Protestantism - and especially Catholicism FAITH. Each is a RELIGION, a group of persons with like ideas who gather together to share (and sometimes force) their beliefs.

FAITH, however, is something that cannot be taught or learned. FAITH is experienced, realized, nurtured, grown, shared.
FAITH doesn't use the Bible as a weapon to beat people into submission.
FAITH prays for persons who take actions without considering consequences of those actions.
FAITH ponders ramifications of actions and words BEFORE acting.
FAITH is foreign to you, huh?


Faith, in the English language, can refer to a set of tenets held by a religion. Are you now so desperate for traction that you are stooping to sophomoric semantic sleight of hand?

John Harville

Contract Language:

" to act and speak in a way that supports the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings. I understand that serious actions contrary to the Church's teachings (including but not limited to publicly living together outside marriage, public support of abortion, public support or use of a surrogate, public use or support of in vitro fertilization or flagrant deceit or dishonesty) will not be tolerated."

So, check your US citizenship and the Constitution at the church/school door...along with your Christianity.


Not at all. The Constitution has no impact on a contract between private parties. It spells out the limits of what GOVERNMENT may do.

John Harville

"The Constitution has no impact on a contract between private parties"

What GOVERNMENT may do is make CONTRACT LAW which impacts a contract between private parties.


Actually, according to this nation's founding principles, the only contract law government may make is to enforce contracts and require that they be entered into freely.


Commerce clause. Unconstitutional but used every single day.


Yes, well don't get me started on Commerce Clause mission creep.

John Harville

I recently attended a baptism for a child conceived in vitro by two loving, committed, MARRIED IN THE CHURCH parents. The baptism was by a Catholic priest.

...and then there are those four employees openly living in a state of adultery - as defined by the Church and Jesus.

How do these fit with the contract language below...?

" to act and speak in a way that supports the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings. I understand that serious actions contrary to the Church's teachings (including but not limited to publicly living together outside marriage, public support of abortion, public support or use of a surrogate, public use or support of in vitro fertilization or flagrant deceit or dishonesty) will not be tolerated."


Again, the veiled accusations but never with any names.

First of all, did that priest KNOW how the child was conceived? Second, even if he did, there's no conflict here unless the parents openly declared a commitment to use in vitro fertilization again.

John Harville

Blog policies disallow naming names. Besides, a couple of them are very good friends.

First of all: the priest did know but believed the child still was a child of God.
Second: in-vitro seldom produces only one embryo. Are you saying then the priest would insist they leave the rest of the embryos on ice? Life begins at conception yes? So the remaining embryos are to be effectively aborted?

Seems you haven't read YOUR Catechism recently.


I somehow doubt they will remain good friends after you air their laundry on the web like this.

In many cases, all the viable embryos are implanted because most will not 'take.' Even if they do implant additional embryos, that's still another single instance of sin. There is no illusion that Catholics never sin - the issue of being at odds with any church's doctrine lies in unrepentant sin, which embodied in the case of your cited friends by a declared intent to continue sinning.


Why after employing this man for over 4 years did they fire one is addressing this. They knew about his private life. He in confidence went to Melody Curtis to discuss..within hours te diocses is involved and he is fired.
Two problems here why after so long aftr they knew about his life choice and Melody Curtis....she is the fire starter here ....Feeling sorry for SMCC, the kids and Brian ....She needs to go as well from what I have heard about what she has done at other schools.

John Harville

The firestorm Melody Curtis started for the school, the local church, the Diocese are more than sufficient to demand her resignation.

If she truly was living 'a lifestyle accoridng to the Catholic faith', she would have allowed him to resign quietly at the end of the year.

As it is, I think she will have no choice but to resign her position immediately and let the school, churches and communities move forward.

Simultaneously, the music teacher should be reinstated through the end of the year. Righ now no one knows whether he and his fiance have broken any Church rules regarding chastity, fornication and certainly they haven't gotten married in or out of the church.

Interestingly, marriages of heterosexual Catholic - or mixed faith couples - who marry outside the Church also are not recognized.


"Righ now no one knows whether he and his fiance have broken any Church rules regarding chastity, fornication and certainly they haven't gotten married in or out of the church."

They have openly and publicly declared their intention to do all of the above, which, according to Christian doctrine, is worse than any singular instance of the sinful acts, because it excludes repentance.

Marriages outside the Church ARE recognized, such as when already married couples become catholic.

John Harville

"...according to Christian doctrine..."

So you are saying this 'doctrine' condemns as 'sin' a persons 'intention' to do something? If someone states an 'intention' to rob a bank, is the person then guilty of bank robbery?

And exactly when BEFORE Melody Curtis and SCCS terminated his contract, did they declare intentions "openly and publicly"?

Just create 'factoids' as you go and then try to make them fit.


The Christian doctrine that forgiveness of sin requires repentance is well established in the Bible. Repentance means turning away from the sin, i.e. acknowledging that the sin is wrong and resolving to avoid repeating it. The Bible is very clear that those who do not repent are to be excluded from fellowship.

"And exactly when BEFORE Melody Curtis and SCCS terminated his contract, did they declare intentions "openly and publicly"?"

When they announced their engagement to be married.


Dancing with your significant other at Octoberfest is not public? The mistake Mr. Panetta made was thinking that everyone was on the up and up and loved and accepted him, all of him, which most did but apparently not all. He was used and backstabbed, how Christlike.


I've seen plenty of examples of people dancing with friends, although admittedly it's usually women with women. Nonetheless it doesn't constitute evidence that people are having sex, or else SCCS would never have a prom.

His mistake was in ignoring a fundamental conflict between his lifestyle and the philosophy of the institution with which he took a job. He wasn't backstabbed - he was given the opportunity to spend 4 years building his resume until he took actions that could not be ignored, and then he was given the opportunity to voluntarily resign. Most madrassas and most evangelical schools would not have been so accommodating.


All to my point of his qualities of providing an admirable music program being used. Comparing Catholicism to radical fundamentalism is not helping your argument, the church was created on the teaching of Jesus Christ and no where in any of Christs teachings does it say to discriminate against your fellow man, that ALL men were created in the likeness of God. Now you want to go along with human leaders who think they can decide who Jesus would keep in his presence, then go for it. But, like I said earlier, you cannot fill your rectories with priests, you cannot fill your schools with nuns and you cannot fill your pews with people. One more sad epic tale in the coffin of the Catholic Church.

John Harville

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures.
"Its psychological genesis remains LARGELY UNEXPLAINED. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." (NOTE: the exact same language in the Catechism to describe masturbation). They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life (THE SAME LANGUAGE USED IN REGARD TO THOSE WHO USE ANY CONTRACEPTION EXCEPT 'THE METHOD'). They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.



These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition."

Please show me the 'respect, compassion and sensitivity' from Melody Curtis.


Simple - in employing/retaining him for multiple years, she did not act on the mere fact of his orientation, or on mere speculation (however reasonable) regarding his conduct. She only took action when he himself presented unambiguous and explicit evidence of his intention to act in violation of his contract. He knowingly forced her hand, which was why he planned to resign at the end of the school year. The only point of contention between him and the school was a matter of timing.

John Harville

SHE did not employ him for multiple years. She only arrived in July.
SHE does not have the power - even under the new 'structure' in place that made her principal - unilaterally to terminate a legally-binding contract.

Think about it... They could have agreed on an end-of-year resignation, quietly, and saved all this AND international exposure of the school and its students.

She - and others - terribly mishandled this "point of contention".


She and her predecessor hired and retained him for multiple years. Of course they could have agreed to an end of year resignation, and he could also have waited until June to get engaged. He took the precipitating action which established violation of the contract, so the timing was his doing. "Flying under the radar" by avoiding "all this" isn't necessarily their goal. Their doctrines, unlike those of say, the Freemasons, are not secret - they have nothing to hide. Their goal is not to hide from or to appease the media or the masses; it is to serve what they believe to be God's will.


Amazing a few people who have the audacity to determine what is Gods will.


Well, then, what's the point of a church, anyway?


To commune in Gods presence, to share and support one another. Funny it has never felt that way in the Catholic Church.

John Harville

"May we live according to the nature
you gave us
and do the good you intend us to do."

Prayer of Melody Curtis while Executive Director at MCES in Monroe, Michigan.


John Harville

...the diocese can remove its support at any time without notice. Beware Ms. Curtis.


"Prayer of Melody Curtis while Executive Director at MCES in Monroe, Michigan."

... and your point is?

John Harville

Practice what you pray.


There is nothing in this story to indicate that the targets of your remarks are doing otherwise.

Truth or Dare

Organized (NOT FOR PROFIT) religious orgs. spend multi-millions lobbying on Capitol Hill to pass laws that intrude on the basic civil/human rights of all within this country, not to mention the millions spent in foreign countries and their human rights. Ex: Belize and the violent anti-gay agenda.

There is an organization that some here within our community may be interested in, it's "Americans United for the Separation of Church and State". I'll be sending articles regarding this issue to them, and too the SR, please know that I have permission to print this information. They actually like to have the information shared, as it may just possibly bring enlightenment to a country filled with bigotry and discrimination of all forms, this being one. May I also state, I have no problem as to how one worships, what church they belong too or choose to work within. What I have a problem with is their hierarchy and religious org. lobbying, shaking hands and making deals w/political representatives that pass laws across all states affecting an entire nation. I also have a major problem w/Supreme Court Justices that have aligned themselves w/orgs.. One would think such orgs. wouldn't be so anti-Middle East, as the majority of their people are against Homosexuality, and will just outright put one to death, right along with a law passed in Belize (Section 53) that supports imprisonment and the thought process too "Just Kill the Gays".

The TOP 10 to watch for, along with their NOT FOR PROFIT income that is used as bribery on Capitol Hill, as well in other countries that supports putting people to death:

First and foremost, the Catholic Church, of which no income is provided, but estimated in the BILLIONS.

Found within the November 2013 issue of "Church and State":

1. The Falwell Empire - $630 MILLION

2. The Robertson Empire - $400 MILLION

3. Focus on the Family - $98 MILLION

4. American Center For Law and Justice/Christian Advocates
Serving Evangelism - $59 MILLION

5. Alliance Defending Freedom - $40 MILLION

6. American Family Assoc. - $ 18 MILLION

7. Family Research Council $16 MILLION

8. Concerned Woman for America - $15 MILLION

9. National Org. for Marriage - $10 MILLION

10. Faith and Freedom Coalition - $4 MILLION

Another interesting article is "Thousands of Religious Right Activists Gather In Washington to Plot Strategy At The Values Summit". This was a summit that took place Oct. 11, 2013 in Washington, D.C., led by U.S. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), just a few guest speakers, Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, Ken Blackwell- former Ohio Treasurer, Senator Marco Rubio, U.S Rep. Michele Bachman - Information found in "Church and State", Nov. 2013 - Volume 66, Number 10.

Should one be so inclined, you may contact: Americans United for Separation of Church and State @ 1200 K St., N.W., Suite 850, East Tower, Washington, D.C. 20005, or you may call @ (202)466-3234.


So, you're saying that the First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances does not apply to people who have religious convictions?

John Harville

"...peaceably to assemble and petition...."
No one I can find is saying anything about this.


Truth or dare is - scroll up and follow the context.


Attention Panther band members: this is a letter meant for you, which was received via the Hire Brian Back blog:

Hi. I'm a recent graduate of a Seattle-area Catholic high school, and I wanted to let you know that there are a ton of us who support you. Just before Christmas break, the vice principal at one of the other Catholic high school in our Archdiocese was fired when it was found out that he had married his same-sex partner. Living up to Seattle's reputation for liberalism, the student sit-in at Eastside Catholic soon spread to other schools, and now there is a whole movement of young people who refuse to let this go. I only heard about what happened with you guys on tumblr and I don't think it's been widely reported, so not many people over hear have heard, but I strongly urge the Sandusky Central students to visit the KeepMrZ2013 page on Facebook or the blog on tumblr to get in contact with a huge group of people who stand with them and want to change the world. I don't know if this is the most effective way to get the word out to you guys, but I couldn't find any way that I might contact the student body or a group opposed to Mr. Panetta losing his job. I promise that you will find overwhelming support from your fellow Catholic school kids out here in Washington state if you just say hi on the movement's Facebook page. We're behind you 100%.


Alert: Story being reported in Europe- this has now gone global!


Global???? wow

John Harville

It is time for Melody Curtis to resign and apologize to the SCCS community - and especially to the students who unwillingly have been thrown into the midst of global inspection.

If he hasn't already, Joel Miller (Perkins 2001) should marry quickly within the church to remove any doubt or wonder


I'm not sure how the St Mary school board operates these days, but they better start providing vigorous oversight of the school's administration. Going forward, the problem St. Mary is going to have is that in bandgate they kept referring to the contractual violation that cost Mr. Panetta his job, fine. And if other employees are in violation of some clause of the contract too, then the school needs to be consistent and fire those people too. Because if they don't, then is not only hypocritical, but also discriminatory. Recently, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati lost a case in Federal court. The school claimed the contractual thing, but the jury did not buy it. Lack consistency can be a problem.


John, are you saying that the new band director hired by St. Mary's has a baby momma, not a wife?

John Harville

I didn't SAY anything. I advised he should "live the Catholic lifestyle" before people start doubting his chastity.

Still investigating how a person can hold both PUBLIC and CATHOLIC school contracts to do the same work.

Also find it fascinating he was so 'available' especially since Melody had changed her profile to list herself as Music Director at SCCS.


Is there a reason to doubt his chastity? If so, then state it openly - your endless innuendo is tiresome.

"Still investigating how a person can hold both PUBLIC and CATHOLIC school contracts to do the same work."

The same way a painter can accept a contract to pain the classroom walls at SCCS and another to paint the walls in City Hall - are you TRYING to be obtuse?

John Harville

DIOCESAN ADMINISTRATOR: “the role of the Administrator is to essentially maintain the operations of the diocese—to keep the status quo—and provide for the needs of the faithful until the next bishop is named by the Holy Father.” -DIOCESAN WEBSITE

The status quo does NOT allow for terminating contracts without suspension and hearing... check Diocesan rules. I have contacted the Diocese about the actions of Melody Curtis. I will ask that they investigate her actions in light of Diocesan policies on employment and termination. I already have raised questions about the legality of the contract language with regard to federal laws.
.... and I used my legal name in the process.


John - The school has moved past this and Brian understands why this happened. Why can't you do the same? If the Catholic faith doesn't agree with your personal beliefs, there are many other faiths to choose from. Let it go!


Sanduskymom, john just feels strongly about it. He will move on when he is ready to. Hey, everyone gets their say- what a wonderful thing!

John Harville

This issue is so much larger than the school - which BTW has not moved on.

This is about FREEDOM OF SPEECH. It's about people speaking for the Church who have no idea for what the Church stands - you leading the pack.

It's about Sandusky parish priests and deacons who have not been heard at all.

The contract is illegal, it forces employees to give up First Amendment rights, and it illegally profiles individuals AND forces people to live dishonestly. The contract doesn't say one cannot participate in surrogacy, in-vitro, live in adultery, support abortion - just not be PUBLIC about it.

In other words, be dishonest.

And where do you and Melody and others get the right or knowledge to proclaim the Brian is unchaste? Do you have personal knowledge that Brian and his fiancé have consummated their relationship? Did Melody DARE to invade his privacy and ask that question?

I think I've probably been Catholic - religion, maam, it's not faith - longer than you have been alive. I've been Catholic since the days of the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria. I have watched - and participated in - the Church changing its beliefs.

This too, will change. It's just time to push the issue.


"This is about FREEDOM OF SPEECH."

No, it's not. No government body is restricting anyone's speech here. A private organization has set standards for participation in its activities, as all such organizations are entitled to do. I recommend you inform yourself on what does and does not constitute a violation of 1st Amendment rights. A prominent defense attorney and former federal prosecutor named Ken White has done an excellent job of explaining the difference between the government and private entities in this respect at his blog (NO relationship to Catholism in any way, merely a name he and his co-bloggers found catchy.) In light of your opposition to basic Constitutional liberty in this case, I'd be interested in your perpective on it, since liberty is the central theme of the entire site.

"It's about people speaking for the Church who have no idea for what the Church stands"

Well, since the church has openly published for what it stands (and, although I contend with you here, I must commend your avoidance of using a preposition without an object) and you're contending against that, one has to wonder if you're projecting. Why don't you tell us, clearly and concisely, for what the Church stands?

"The contract is illegal, it forces employees to give up First Amendment rights"

FORCES? Did he sign it at gunpoint? There is no force here. He willingly, and by his own admission, knowingly signed it.

"The contract doesn't say one cannot participate in surrogacy, in-vitro, live in adultery, support abortion - just not be PUBLIC about it. In other words, be dishonest."

You mean, like the contract most employees of federal intelligence services sign? Why don't you head on down to Langley and let them know their contracts are illegal?

"And where do you and Melody and others get the right or knowledge to proclaim the Brian is unchaste? "

His announcement of his engagement is his statement of his intent not only to be unchaste, but to live a life of ongoing commitment to unchastity.

"Do you have personal knowledge that Brian and his fiancé have consummated their relationship?"

Do you have knowledge of any intent on his part to marry and then perpetually refrain from consummating it?

Finally, given that your beliefs are clearly at odds with the Catholic Church, you REALLY ought to just go find a church with which you can agree and join it. The Episcopaleans, with whom you seem in much better alignment, would be very happy to have you, seeing as they have lost over 10% of their membership since making exactly the doctinal changes you advocate.


The Pope said, "I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," -I think he would be very happy with this vigorous discussion, people. He is calling on the faithful to save the Church from itself. And in a small way, this is part of the process. One school, one diocese at a time!

John Harville

And the change is not coming - it's upon us - as surely as we can take the Host in hand and sit on all sides of the altar and not recognize a nun by her habit and have women ministering.

Coming soon to a Church near you; WOMEN PRIESTS.

And you'd be surprised how many gay men have been married in full mass before a priest (possibly also gay) in a Catholic Church and have fathered children and are doing an excellent job - with their knowledgable wives - rearing those children. Isn't it sad the Church makes them lie.


The church does not MAKE them lie. They CHOOSE to lie.

John Harville

WRONG. AGAIN. Does it hurt there in Panther Dynasty?

There presently are teachers on the staff who are living in violation of the contract...adultery, cohabitation, surrogacy - even in-vitro parenthood.

The persons who hired some of them even know of their status... but they are FOM (Friends of Melody).

Keep dancing as fast as you can.


If there really are so many other similar violations being ignored, and the inconsistency is what bothers you, don't you think it would be more productive to pursue rectification of those cases where the policy is not being followed than harping on the one case where it is?


Why drag other poor souls into the mix? The mistake SCCS made was that they terminated a beloved instructor, forgot to tell the Pep Band not to come to the game on Sat Jan 4 hence allowing the word to go viral. They have made many administrative mistakes, now it is coming back to haunt them.


I'm talking to Harville, who has continually cited these supposed exceptions and complained of inconsistency. If you have no problem with the inconsistency, then my comment doesn't apply to you.

How would you have had them handle it? As a big secret in the dark of night? The Church is pretty candid about its doctrines.


Frankly at this point I have no idea what you are trying to say, and I don't believe you do either.


Hmmm....again, just not true! I HEARD the pep band play on January 4th. They sounded great - and there was never a plan for them not to play. There was no "mistake" in forgetting to tell them to come to the game. If you or your grandkids aren't one is forcing you to stay part of the school. It's time to move on, this debate is petty and boring!


Sandusky mom if you would have read any article or listened to any of the interviews you would be aware that the Pep Band was supposed to be cancelled, they had no band director. I am sure that they sounded wonderful. These posts are done in anonymity for a reason, because of threatening people like you. I feel sorry for the person you believe I am because in all your Christian like behavior I am sure you have some evil retribution planned. Go to confession you need it.


You do know no one is forcing you to come here and read the petty boring debate. Honestly, sigh


Sugar, Sugar, Sugar....I HAVE listened to the interviews and read the articles. Have you? BRIAN wanted it cancelled after his initial termination - NOT THE SCHOOL!!! They had a student who served as a director during the football season step in and lead that night. All was well. There was NEVER an intention to cancel. Please, before you continue blogging, make sure you have your facts verified and not just base your comments on rumor or conjecture. You've already blogged plenty that is just NOT true! Furthermore, I am not threatening you. You send your grandkids to a CATHOLIC school. Other people very generously sacrifice and contribute so that children who want a CATHOLIC education can get one. I'm merely pointing out that if you are so unhappy with the leadership's expectation that educators model a Catholic lifestyle, then there are many other choices in education for your kids that may be a better fit. No one is forcing you to stay, just like no one forced Brian to sign a contract. It's that simple!


Blogging? This isn't a blog and I don't have a blog, this forum is here to allow people to express their opinions. I happen to like debating, it's a pastime. Now I certainly would never suggest I knew who you were, nor do I care, your insinuations and poorly veiled threats are NOT modeling the Catholic behavior that you are swearing to and defending. More shame as you are not representing YOUR school or faith with Christian like behavior. Now be gone.


Keeping in mind this issue is much bigger than SCCS.....I'll ask this as simply as I can. Why would you pay to send your grandchildren to a CATHOLIC school if you so strongly disagree with the church's expectations of the educators / staff? You have many other fine educational choices, with terrific band instructors, that are free - just not Catholic!


Oops my reply went to the end, please read. And find something else to do to assuage your anger, dear. Your debate skills are not so good, when you attack or make it personal you lose the argument.


Lets hope, for the sake of consistency, the school punishes all "sins" equally. I have a feeling Ms. Curtis will be receiving tips regarding employees who are in violation of the so-called contract. It seems that the "Catholic lifestyle" is a very relative term.


The story is on USAtoday online- has footage of the band, choir. National.

John Harville

And it's beautiful!
What an amazing man and what amazing things he accomplished with the choirs and band.