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Former vice principal at Eastside Catholic says he didn’t resign, was terminated

Mark Zmuda(r) is show with his partner Dana Jurgens prior to their wedding last July. (Rev. Janice Carter)

The former Eastisde Catholic vice principal is speaking for the first time since he reportedly resigned after the Seattle Archdiocese learned he’d married his same-sex partner – but he’s telling a different story.

In a taped interview with one of his former students, a portion of which was released Thursday to KING 5, Mark Zmuda says he did not resign.

“To set the record straight – I was terminated. I did not resign. I was terminated, I was let go,” said Zmuda.

Zmuda tells student Caterina Crittenden that he was informed he was terminated because he violated Catholic teachings.

Zmuda was married last year. School officials said they just recently learned of the marriage and met with Zmuda Tuesday, Dec. 17. An attorney for the school had said Zmuda resigned voluntarily and wasn’t forced out.

Student protests started the following Thursday as hundreds staged a sit-in and walkout in support of Zmuda. It quickly spread to other area Catholic schools and drew worldwide attention on social media.

Students continued their demonstration the next day at Sammamish City Hill before at least 100 converged on the Archdiocese of Seattle for a rally. They also gathered at a swim meet at Seattle’s Rainier Beach community center, where the Eastside Catholic swim team competed. Zmuda had coached the team but a student says he was prohibited from coaching at the meet.

Students have another protest planned for Saturday at Eastside Catholic.

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