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Former Kennedy Catholic students reflect on teachers who 'voluntarily resigned'

Looking back at their high school years, they have only fond memories of their former teachers who are now in the midst of controversy at the school.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Two teachers at Kennedy Catholic school in Burien, Washington, have "voluntarily resigned."

The fiance of one of the teachers said it was because they are LGBTQ.

KREM 2 talked to three former students of the school who are supporting those teachers from here in Spokane.

Olivia Sands, Molly Riedeman and Peter Fantozzi now attend Gonzaga University.

Looking back at their high school years, they have only fond memories of their former teachers, Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie, who are now in the midst of controversy at the school.

"Mr. Danforth was my senior year English teacher," Sands said. "In my seventeen years of education, he is one of the best teachers I've ever had."

Danforth and Beattie "voluntarily resigned" last week, according to school officials.

But Danforth's fiance, Sean Nyberg, said they both are no longer employed because they are engaged to same sex partners.

"Paul has asked me to keep anything I know even feel confidential," Nyberg said. "He's said this numerous times and I've chosen not to."

This initial news of the situation came as a shock to the Kennedy Catholic alumni.

"I have a lot of family who went to the school and it doesn't really reflect the values of the whole community," Riedeman said.

Fantozzi agreed with this and Sands said she wanted to know more about what happened.

School officials and the Archdiocese of Seattle are not commenting on the teachers "voluntary resignation" any further at this time.

"We don't know what happened behind the scenes," Sands said. "We don't know the back origins of the story. I believe the administration at Kennedy Catholic is trying. I don't believe they just turned a blind eye."

"I do think they were not supported because they were gay and they were let go because they were gay. And not just because they were gay, but specifically because they were going to be getting married," Fantozzi said.

These Kennedy Catholic alumni said this is a bigger issue than what is happening at their alma mater and there's a greater message here.

"I think it's an archdiocese issue and I think it's one that people really want to see change," Riedeman said. "I think there's an opportunity for change and we've seen that with the outpouring of love and the movement that's come from this isolated incident."

RELATED: Controversy surrounds teachers who 'voluntarily resigned' from Washington catholic school

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