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Sally Roberts, Moorhead, Published June 18 2012

Profound disappointment over treatment of teacher

Five years ago, I was in Trish Cameron’s class at St. Joseph’s school in Moorhead. I’m an active parishioner at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and even though I may not be an adult (I’ll be a junior at Shanley High School this fall) I want to express my disappointment on Cameron’s recent unemployment.

She was one of (if not the) best teachers I have ever had. She’s an accepting and kind person, and I can guarantee that her own personal beliefs never came into the classroom. She educated all of her students on the Catholic faith in one of the best ways possible.

I say disappointment and not anger or frustration because those can’t really do anything in this situation. I wish that she was still employed at St. Joseph’s, because not only will the classroom area suffer in her absence, but their drama club will as well. She is such a talented and kind woman that I can be completely positive that this will be a significant loss to the school.

I can’t see any rational reason as to why they chose to ask Cameron to resign because she was honest to her true beliefs, because, after all, honesty is the best policy. If after 11 years her beliefs weren’t present in her classroom, they never would have been in the future. I may not know every single detail on this topic (and possibly no one ever will) but I still disagree. As Catholics, many of us were taught to love and accept our neighbors, and I think that it’s really sad to see such a fundamental issue in many religions thrown out the window. I believe that St. Joseph’s needs to look at what their past and present students are seeing from this entire issue, which I believe is: Even though someone has just been honest and is not pressing their beliefs on anyone, they are being punished unjustly.

I believe that some people at St. Joseph’s may be acting a bit like hypocrites for accepting students with different religions and different beliefs than the Catholic Church (which I fully support, by the way) and then forcing someone to resign when they believe in gay marriage. And if there is one thing I can’t stand it’s when people say one thing and do another. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and this is a sad case of someone’s true and non-accepting actions.

Maybe I am biased due to how much I appreciated and loved Cameron as one of my teachers, but nothing can now change my mind on how sad I am to see how this has played out. But at the end of the day, I can’t exactly just barge into the school and demand that she be reinstated; all I can do is let her know that I support her in wherever she ends up teaching. I am positive she won’t have any troubles finding another teaching position.

I’m going to stay involved with the parish of St. Joseph’s, and I know that some may disagree with that. But no matter how involved I may be, nothing will ever be able to fix the shift from being proud to be a former St. Joseph’s Saint to the semi-disappointment that I feel now.