Band director guest on 'Between the Lines'

Sandusky Register Staff
Jan 19, 2014

Former Sandusky Central Catholic band and choir director Brian Panetta was our guest today on Between the Lines.

Click HERE to read more about Panetta's termination from the school

Panetta lost his job after nearly five years when he announced his engagement to Nathan David, a man he's been dating for about as long as he was employed with the school. The decision to let Panetta go created a firestorm in the community, with many St. Mary families supporting both Panetta and the school in a difficult circumstance. 

Register education reporter Alissa Widman was also a guest. 

The program, and previous "Between the Lines" segments, are always available HERE

Watch the program in the player below



My question is this: would smcc take tuition from a family who is not living up to catholic standards? What if the family were living in sin, or the children were raised by same-sex parents? Is it ok to justify going against catholic principles in those cases?????


They would take it but, they didn't sign a terms of employment contract, which is what he did and violated. Pretty simple.


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Um, no. Not "pretty simple." You can't enforce illegal provisions of a contract, so interpreting and enforcing a contract in a way that results in illegal discrimination doesn't work.

Dr. Information

Love614. If you understand anything in the bible and what it teaches, we are all sinners. Its repenting, learning your lesson and not repeating that same sin over and over knowing fully well you are sinning.



liz garland's picture
liz garland

I'd only hope local supporters of equal rights, LGBT issues, etc would contact CNN's "The Ridiculist", "20/20", "Nightline", TV's "Ellen" talk show, "The View", "The Talk" and other mainstream television shows to nationally discuss this issue as well as related issues. St. Mary's and the diocese need to be exposed for the homophobic bigots that they are! I know of two local priests have been spotted at gay bars in the 'wee small hours of the morning', one of whom was publicly acting inappropriately. Let's discuss the inappropriate, closeted behavior that is well known at local 'cruising areas'. Aren't these men the supposed 'exemplary straight, married leaders of our community"?
This pure ignorance must be exposed nationally! Both our diocese and community is spewing a double standard to our youth. I encourage you to contact national mainstream television media. I for one, am sick of Sandusky's "don't ask, don't tell" attitude not only towards the openly gay LGBT community but to those who struggle with their identity on a daily basis. Gay is ok!


*Standing ovation* :)


are you serious . you cannot watch television for 2 hrs without gay references. its a movement tv has pushed

Panther Student

I would just like to say that we are not homophobes and we are not bigots. SMCC was more than compassionate and welcoming towards Mr. Panetta. The students loved him and so did the staff! We will miss him dearly, but we understand the terms of the situation and so does Mr. Panetta. You are misinformed.

John Harville

Panther Students: You should be asking your President and Board of Directors why there was a rush to judgment.
There were many options - she/they chose the worst.
Now PANTHER DYNASTY has gone viral internationally.
No one in a position of power considered the ramifications of this action for students.
Have YOU considered any feelings beyond your own? What about students in the elementary classes? What about the hundreds of persons listed in the Annual Report who have given millions to your school?
"The students loved him..." How have you demonstrated that love and respect?


Just curious John....were you there when this situation was being discussed with the school leader and diocese? Were you there, in the room, when those in a "position of power" DIDN'T consider ramifications of this action for students? Do you KNOW for sure - not because of rumors or gossip - but because they told you themselves, that other staff members are breaking the contract? Do you KNOW for SURE that those same staff members aren't being ministered to? You're so quick to make bold statements about the players in the situation....I'd just like to know how YOU KNOW!

John Harville

I questioned IF they considered those ramifications. Perhaps they did and that's why they are letting this all play out in hopes they won't have to take responsibility.
I DO know personally about other employees and their actions.
I know because of the circles in which I navigate.

John Harville

Panther Student: your post puts you and others in 'danger' of violating the very 'rule' and Cathechism that was the downfall of the band/choir director.

You cannot embrace Mr. Panetta without embracing his sexuality and lifestyle - and 2357 of the Cathechism says you cannot embrace and welcome him without embracing and welcoming his lifestyle.

I pray the school officials do not identify you from this PUBLIC proclamation of your support for Mr. Panetta and knowing acceptance of his lifestyle. Godspeed!


While we all have opinions, there is only one truth. To state, we are not all "homophobic bigots". We have deep compassion for our former band teacher and all homosexuals. We do not condemn anyone and accept everyone with open arms. During interviews and letters, it has been stated that he resigned on his own terms in acknowledgment of his violation of a contract he willingly signed at the beginning of this year.
Secondly, we are all sinners, doesn't matter who you are or where you have been. Even the pope of the Catholic Church is a sinner. And for the two priests you have brought forth, I can not speak for them do to the fact that I have not heard any news pertaining to the subject. One, it is not yours nor my business what happens in their personal lives. And two, the priests that we currently employ are some of the most influential people I have met. Yes, I agree if some attended events stated previously, they should receive Reconciliation. And I am sure they have, but its not a public discussion.

John Harville

There is only one truth, one commandment:


Is this truth at the very core of your being?

It was the core of my theology classes.
It is the core of what I teach/share in CCD Confirmation classes.

It's also what I kept in mind as I helped in the legal defense of the Diocese when several priests admitted to molesting boys and girls - after the Church locally and in the Diocese spent decades covering p the abuse and 'passing along' priests to other parishes where they continued their evil ways.

Exactly when were you 'elected' to be the spokesperson for ALL the students and staff and to express the 'deep compassion' of all?

Donald Szpozors's picture
Donald Szpozors

receive Reconciliation? If these closeted Northcoast area priests are acting inappropriately and sexually at a local gay establishment like a club/bar "or" are exhibiting lewd behavior in a public area well known for 'cruising', then why should "THEY" not face consequences as well? Or is it the typical Northwest Ohio reaction of "Well......don't ask, don't tell"? Is it because they are leaders of our community and we don't want to believe that they could exhibit these behaviors? Because they do. They do it on a regular basis. The church and local mentality is a fallacy. Fire an exemplary and professional teacher who lives his life openly with pride and love but maintain the employ of sexually active closeted priests. That sounds like our diocese!

If we, as a community, were more prone to accept homosexuality as equal, then there wouldn't be any discussion. But now I welcome the constant LGBT exposure into community discussion and media.

Reconciliation will "not" stop the recidivist behaviors so well known by these closeted priests and community members. And as far as condemning, I haven't lived in a region that was more than condemning than here. Gotta love the sickening belief that "Ohh its ok if you're gay, we'll love and accept long as you don't 'act' on your impulses and have sex.". Give me a break. Ms. Garland has the right idea- I would hope that there would be those of you active in our community who have emotionally been impacted by this case or by a similar familial situation that would join in flinging open those closet doors of Sandusky and its surrounding small towns, exposing all the closet cases and homophobia! Contact those national television news programs and talk shows. CNN's "The Ridiculist" are you listening? This is prime material! "Ellen", "20/20", "Nightline", "The Talk", "The View", etc.


There are some very nasty people in Sandusky who, if we did identify ourselves as gay or supporting gays or calling out the people who are hypocrites, would want to seek retribution and punishment.

John Harville

Again. As a student/Catholic you CANNOT "accept everyone with open arms" because to do so implies acceptance of his/her sexuality and sexual practice.

I hope you cannot be identified.

It may even be that your mortal soul is in peril.

And two: some of the priests "we currently employ" have 'issues' that have driven parishioners out of their churches and the larger Church.


Unfortunately the Church is racked with hypocrisy. The signed contract was ignored for years, and applied consistently.

Smcc Student

Sugar, try to read this with an open mind.

The contract was not ignored. The Catholic Church is not against being Homosexual. The Church is against the "sexual act" of homosexuality. This is because a baby comes from a man and a women. We believe that marriage should stay that way. That being said, Brian could not have been fired simply for being a homosexual. So why was he fired you might ask?

The sacrament of marriage is not completed until the marriage is consummated. Therefore, the consummation of the marriage MUST take place for the two to truly be married. The Church is against the sexual act that comes with homosexuality. That being said, the marriage could never set well with the Church because in order for it to be completed, it must be consummated. This is impossible for two men to do. A man and a woman can reproduce by this act,(i'm sure you know this). However, a man and another man cannot reproduce. Therefore an announcement of engagement takes homosexuality a step further, indirectly saying that they disagree with what the church says about those "acts" and that the two of them will be committed to each other for the rest of their lives. Once again, the Church is against this. So they let him go.

(Tried to censor the above paragraph the best I could)

In conclusion, he was not fired for being gay and the contract was not ignored for years. You and your pal "Cody" like to claim that we are throwing gays under the bus. Cody even asked, what would we do to LGBT students if we have any. Well, we would treat them how we treated Mr. Panetta, normally. Just like everyone else. There is no hatred or discrimination. We all are friends regardless of each others sexuality.

Don't like our religion? that's fine, not everybody does. You should try something else that makes you happy. I'm not going to try to stop you from commenting. I could care less, and you have every right to continue. However, I will keep trying to explain to you the true reasons on why he was let go. You can continue to believe what you want and attract negative attention to yourself. But the facts are right above you in the paragraphs I just wrote. I will pray that you understand.


I get what you are saying smcc student but they are going to consummate their marriage the same way they expressed their love for each other many nights before arriving at a band director.... the next day. He should have kept his plans to himself.

John Harville

SMCC STUDENT: Who teaches you theology? If you want to take this tack, then you must begin by stating the ONLY REASON the Church sets for marriage - PROCREATION of baby Catholics and PROPAGATION of the faith. The sexual act is ONLY for creation of babies.

For that reason the Church also considers in-vitro conception a sin... the Church even teaches children of in-vitro conception "have no souls". There also is the issue that often some in-vitro embryos are not implanted and left to languish, even perish. Since life begins as conception, these are abortions.

Two men CAN create a child through in-vitro or surrogacy - a child created with a mother.

But the Church reduces HOLY MATRIMONY to the sexual act - or as you said, 'consummation'. It's not about love between two persons. It's about the penile/vaginal penetration and ejaculation.

That's why self-manipulation and 'spilling of the seed' also is a sin as is any act individually or between ANY TWO persons that interferes with sperm-ovum unity.

However, please describe for this Catechetical how one treats LGBT students... and Mr. Panetta 'normally'. Oh, and how will you identify them unless they state the fact? Have you stated you are heterosexual? And when did you decide you would be hetero?

Smcc Student

The sexual act isn't just for reproductive purposes, it is also for strengthening the bond between the two. Church also does not teach that children of in-vitro conception have no souls. Two men can't create a child through intercourse.

John Harville

Read your Catechism!!! The sexual act is ALWAYS for procreation.
Your first purpose in 'strengthening the bond' is the creation of life. Read CCC 2357 et seq.
I DID NOT SAY the Church teaches in-vitro children have no souls. I said clergy to whom the question was asked why the church is opposed to in-vitro gave that answer. Careful... you just PUBLICLY supported in-vitro.
To take your tack, the Church ALSO TEACHES that life begins at conception. Therefore in-vitro embryos parents CHOOSE not to implant in the mother are abortions - especially if the parents don't keep up the payments on their storage. Have I seen you protesting these abortions or heard any clergy preach about it?
The Church also does not allow surrogacy although it may be the only way loving parents can conceive.
As for two men being unable... you DID mean to state 'sexual' intercourse, right? Because two men with a loving woman CAN create an infant.
Have your theology teacher explain the definition of 'intercourse'. Actually, you are having intercourse with every person who reads your posts.
I hope your parents aren't paying for your SCCS education. With your comments on this blog, you would have failed at least one portion of my Confirmation class.


inconsistently excuse me .


All Catholics and all people, as the church teaches, are SINNERS.
That's except for me of course.

John Harville

We all were born in original sin.
By Grace however, we have only to apologize to those we've wronged and forgive those who have 'trespassed' against us to recieve the full pardon Christ purchased for us.
We live in Salvation - but so often we refuse to act within it.


Those who never read the Bible are ignorant of its teaching where St Paul stated that NO other sin affects a person and society as sexual sins do. Sin is sin BUT there are different degrees/levels of sin. Take for example, the punishments for different sins require different levels of punishment, Execution for murder but not for theft. The outward act of sodomy is cause for execution. You can argue with God about this, I and the Church didn't write the rules.

John Harville

What is sodomy?

St. Paul said a lot of things - the Roman Jew who deserted his wife and family and went off to tell others how to live.

St. Paul who said his contemporaries should not change their status because Christ would return before they died.

St. Paul who said women should not instruct men on matters of faith and belief.

St. Paul who told the prostitutes to keep their heads covered in church since uncovering the head meant they were 'open'. The Church, of course, for centuries used this to require women to have their heads covered in Church.

And different sins require different punishments... the Church would have tied you to a stake, put gunpowder between your legs, piled fagots (wood) around you and set you afire for heresy for daring to read the Bible and talk about what it means.

It would seem at least one - you - who has read the Bible is also ignorant of its teachings.