Tacoma School Board President apologizes to gay ex-teacher

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on July 13, 2014 at 10:46 PM

TACOMA, Wash. --Jim Gaylord lost his teaching job in 1972 because he was gay.  42 years later, the Tacoma School Board's President told Gaylord the board was sorry.

"I offer a sincere apology to Mr. Jim Gaylord," said board president Kurt Miller, "Thank you for continuing to teach us."

Miller made the announcement during a fundraiser for Oasis, a Tacoma-based non-profit for gay, lesbian and transgender youth.

Gaylord, who became a librarian after getting fired, tried to sue the school board, but the state's Supreme Court upheld the district's decision to fire Gaylord.

He helped get legislation passed in Olympia to make it illegal to discriminate against homosexuals.
Gaylord told the audience at Stadium High School Sunday night he appreciated the apology.

"To the members of the school board, I want you and everyone to know just how much of a difference an apology can make," said Gaylord.

He said people should not have to hide anything about who they are.

"The impact of doing the right thing," said Gaylord, "Just cannot be underestimated."

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