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Rantz: Kennedy Catholic president placed on leave after pushing out gay staffers

Kennedy Catholic High School students, parents, alumni, and members of the Catholic community protest the resignation of two gay teachers. (Nicole Jennings/KIRO Radio)

Mike Prato, the embattled president of Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, has been placed on a leave of absence for the remainder of the school year.

The private Catholic school was thrust into the spotlight after two well-liked, openly gay staff members, Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie, “voluntarily resigned” after they revealed to the school that they were engaged to their same-sex partners. According to Danforth’s fiance, Sean Nyberg, the teachers were forced out. The move resulted in student and alumni protests.

The letter, sent by the Seattle Archdiocese’s Office for Catholic Schools and obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, was sent to parents today:

Out of care and concern for the president of Kennedy Catholic High School and the school community, Archbishop Paul. D. Etienne has requested that Mike Prato take a leave of absence until the end of the school year. Archbishop has appointed Father Bryan Dolejsi as the interim president effective immediately. Father Bryan Dolejsi was the former chaplain at Kennedy Catholic from 2011-2017.

Mike Prato is a highly respected leader, and it is our desire to support him during this challenging time. Please continue praying for him, the faculty and staff, and the entire Kennedy Catholic community.

Following the announcement from Kennedy Catholic this afternoon, the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH spoke with Nyberg.

“The announcement today proves that the Seattle Archdiocese is paying attention to this story,” Nyberg said. “I assume that means they will address the discriminatory and targeted enforcement of their morality clause against LGBT persons. While personnel changes were long overdue, the primary issue has been, and still remains, that the Seattle Archdiocese uses their morality clause to justify disciplinary action against LGBT persons, while ignoring other violations of Catholic teaching. I look forward to hearing a clear explanation for this discriminatory practice.”

Father Bryan Dolejsi has been named as the interim president.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter.

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