Gay Catholic School Teacher Resigns After Students Forcibly Out Him on TikTok

High school students in Australia have forced a Catholic teacher to resign after forcibly outing him as gay via TikTok.

“I was victim to students making a TikTok about me,” the teacher at a Catholic school in Perth shared with The West Australian. The students destroyed the un-named drama teacher’s career with videos on the social media app by participating in a “guess who” trend in which creators leave clues. Each video clue included a series of details that eventually revealed the identity of the school teacher.  The news report stated:

“The video clip featured the school’s crest with clues, ‘not many people like him,’ the name of his school house group, images of theatre comedy, a tragedy mask, and a muscled male torso alongside a pride flag.”

Having taught at the school for six years, the teacher understood the school’s policy against LGBTQ+ teachers that “bans them from coming out publicly as homosexual.” However, despite the school’s policy, the teacher expressed his love for teaching and said he was disappointed by the lack of support he received from the Catholic system. As the teacher understood the policy, he shared:

“Being gay and working in a Catholic school, the scriptures and the Church believe homosexuality is wrong and that teachers may be dismissed from their role due to religious grounds.”

Given the viral nature of internet trends, the teacher noted the need for additional protections for teachers against cyber harassment committed by students.

A spokesperson for Western Australia Catholic Education noted that “it would not be appropriate to comment on matters involving individual employees or students,” but they did express their sincere concern for the “safety and wellbeing of all students and staff.” In response to questioning about the incident, the Western Australia Catholic Education spokesperson shared:

“Appropriate online behaviour continues to be an educational and pastoral focus with clear policies and procedures if student conduct does not meet the high standards expected.”

TikTok’s community guidelines state that “the platform does not tolerate any form of bullying or harassment and encourages users to report inappropriate content.” Perhaps the Western Australia Catholic Education system could learn from these guidelines, which seem more pastorally focused by directly confronting the anti-LGBTQ+ bullying, like that which targeted the teacher in this incident.

Bobby Nichols (he/him), July 15, 2022

7 replies
  1. Tim MacGeorge
    Tim MacGeorge says:

    What a sad story. Sad not only for the teacher involved whose life has been so significantly harmed by the malicious actions of others, but sad — and eye-opening — for what it says about young people.

    I think there’s a general narrative in many of these Catholic school teacher stories that basically asserts that adults/administrators are anti-LGBTQ and that students are pro-LGBTQ. This story contradicts that narrative and reminds us that hate is taught and hate is learned. It also tells reveals what a horrible job this school is doing in teaching Catholic and Christian values.

    Reply
  2. DON E SIEGAL
    DON E SIEGAL says:

    This entire event was way off the rails. We readers understand that LGBT+ Catholic workers must be allowed to serve openly, and that would go a long way in avoiding what happened here.

    The other aspect is the allowing of bullying of a teacher by the students of a Catholic school. That definitely teaches students the wrong lessons on life.

    Reply
  3. nancy k nally
    nancy k nally says:

    Many of us are so very weary of the lack of Christian behavior being displayed by the”faithful” and certain institutions. I ask : wwjd?
    .

    Reply
  4. Cheryl Rogers
    Cheryl Rogers says:

    AWFUL!!!!!!!!! What would Jesus say on how the Church continues to act so very conditionally??????? A community of people based on LOVE (the LBGT community not the Church) with gifts given to share with others being persecuted and discarded, spat upon by the very church which Jesus called ALL to the table of the lord? Makes no sense. Which one is more like Jesus? The Church or this innocent teacher bullied by the ‘righteous’???? When will this stupid belief which continues HATE come to an end, how many more LBGT individual need to be nailed to the cross by people who feel ‘more choses, holier than thou half-knowledgeable Catholics/Christians” who feel it is their duty and right to continue this blaphemic hate? Wait, I must go and wipe tears from Jesus’ eyes. What will you do?????

    Reply
  5. Loretta
    Loretta says:

    Deplorable. The teacher retains his dignity. The students reflect the outcome of social media at its worse. I can say whatever I want and there are no consequences except the fact that it’s a lonely, one-sided, empty, meaningless existence. Love and prays for the teacher.

    Reply
  6. Roe
    Roe says:

    Getting harder and harder to be a catholic … so sad
    What happened to love one another ?
    Only applies to white men in dresses?

    Reply

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