Teacher Fired for Coming Out to Student Gets Job Back


Seth Stambaugh, a Beaverton, Oregon student teacher who was fired after coming out to one of the students he teaches, has been reinstated, KGW-TV reports:

Seth Stambaugh, a Lewis & Clark Grad School student teacher, was removed from Sexton Mountain Elementary School in September following a complaint by a parent, based on a conversation Stambaugh had with a student about his marital status in which he stated it would be illegal for him to marry because he would choose to marry a man.

His lawyer Luke Perriguey said, “Mr. Stambaugh is joyous beyond belief. He is celebrating privately with friends and family and will make a public statement to all media in the next few days.”

Perriguey said the offer of reinstatement came at an afternoon meeting at Lewis and Clark College.

Stambaugh will resume his student teaching duties at Sexton Mountain Elementary School next Thursday, returning him to his regular Thursday and Friday schedule.

Here's the school's statement:

"The Beaverton School District and Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education have jointly agreed to offer Seth Stambaugh the opportunity to return to his original student teaching placement at Sexton Mt. Elementary School starting late next week. Lewis & Clark and the Beaverton School District will continue to provide Mr. Stambaugh with a high level of support as we do for all student teachers as they begin to serve students and the greater community. We are moving forward with our common values and principles of equity, respect and inclusion."

Stambaugh spoke about the incident in a video I posted earlier this week


  1. sparks says

    I’m so glad he is able to resume teaching at the same school — not only because it’s where he really wants to be, but because his students will now be left with a message that you *can* be honest about who you are, and in the end, rise above bigots or a system which allows bigots to interpret policy. And even though I feel bad that he had to go through this, I’m glad Seth had a strong enough moral compass to stand up and fight against this type of discrimination.

    I do hope if one of the parents tried to set him up by putting their child up to asking him marital questions, they now realize that the school isn’t going to blindly dismiss a teacher solely because he or she is openly gay.

  2. Bart says

    I love the school’s statement. It’s code for: We don’t want to get sued.

    I can’t believe he was let go for even a short amount of time. The principal of the school should have told the parent that if they had asked the same question of a straight young female teacher and she answered honestly, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Mr. Stambaugh also answered honestly, so we are no longer having this discussion.

  3. Darlinkula says

    CONGRATUALATIONS SETH! I live in nearby Portland and this area has many bigots. The news regulary reports of multi-million dollar racial discrimination lawsuits won by minorities. It’s nice to see that homophobes here are now fearing gay discrimination lawsuits. The ultimate revenge is by hitting them in the wallet.

  4. coolbearinmd says

    The thing that was disturbing was the administrators’ dopey insistence that fourth-graders aren’t ready to hear that their teacher is gay. That it even occurred to people involved in professional education to cop this plea is maddening. (And scary–the tea partiers are up in arms because children are being taught “inappropriately” to prepare themselves to recognize sexual predators!) Of course one hopes that they haven’t just made the right decision ultimately, but have learned something about the realities of elementary-school education that will have a positive effect on the district.

  5. dreamfish says

    The statement was pure weasel-words.

    “…agreed to offer Seth Stambaugh the opportunity to return…”

    That made it sound like it was his fault and they’re doing him a biiiiig favour giving him his job back.

    “… our common values and principles of equity, respect and inclusion.”

    Well, the recent firing showed that claim is just lies. If you really did believe in equity and inclusion he wouldn’t have gone in the first place.

  6. Fenrox says

    God when did schools get like this. When I graduated HS it was 2000 and we had wonderful group of administrators. We as a student body had received much better apologies when they would do something reactionary.

    High Schools today are like insurance companies, they do whatever they have to to not admit any fault and to shut you down.

  7. Docportland says

    Andy, the lawyer’s first name is Lake, not Luke. And yes, there are a lot of Portlanders who are thrilled that he’s getting his job back!

  8. TampaZeke says

    You can just feel the love and support in that statement by the school.

    Good luck Seth. I’m afraid you’re gonna need it. Stick to your principles and always find the courage to face down the bigots.

  9. BGKev says

    Does he have a cause of action against the parents for their attempt to derail his edcuation and career? I mean, he may not log enough hours this semester to get credit and possibly will incur additional expense to complete his training. Sounds like a tort to me.

  10. says

    I dunno … had it been me I would have said no to the offer of the job and sued the hell out of the school district and the kid’s parents who caused the firing and any individual(s) who assisted with or instigated the firing.

  11. EJ says

    Anyway we can get the name of the complaining parent, that is the person we need to go after !

    He os she are a disgrace to their child and the teachers their child are molding the future . . . .Oh that poor child.