Aaron Krikava, the parent who complained about Seth Stambaugh (the student teacher who came out to a fourth grader, lost his job, and then got it back), has pulled his son out of Stambaugh's class. Honestly, I can't blame him - it's awkward to send your kid to school to work with a teacher you tried to get fired because you were concerned your kid might not grow up to be a homophobe.
Here's the parent's explanation:
"We have been called every name under the sun. We are not bigots, homophobes, or religious fanatics," wrote the parent, Aaron Krikava, in the email that was forwarded to me by one of the numerous parents who received it. "What began as a simple event of a responsible parent expressing a valid concern quickly turned into an opportunity to push a political agenda."
Krikava goes on to say that the family felt "threatened" by a phone conversation Stambaugh's pro bono attorney, Lake Perriguey, had with the student's mother, Allison. Krikava writes that Perriguey told the mother that if the family did not ask the district to reinstate Stambaugh, "he may not be able to continue to keep our names, and our phone numbers, including our sons, out of the press."
If Stambaugh had taken legal action, then it actually would have been hard to keep the original complainants' names secret. I don't see how they get to get someone fired, put a black mark on his name (or at least try to), put him in the national media spotlight, and then complain when people find out who they are.
Perhaps, if you want to keep your name private, you shouldn't try to get people fired?
I do agree, though, that it wasn't ultimately these parents' fault. The school administration should have explained that gay teachers are held to the same standards as straight teachers when it comes to sharing personal information, and straight teachers have been talking about their husbands and wives and kids for generations, not instantly caved and fired the guy without even discussing the situation with him. More importantly, they should also have a real policy when it comes to personal information if they plan to fire people based on individual statements taken out of context.
But the parents do have a lot of power in these situations and administrators are loathe to get parents mad at them, especially when it comes to a student teacher who has no rights, isn't on payroll, and has no contract with the school. They err conservative for that reason - parents on the conservative side of any particular issue are more likely to make a stink out of something than parents on the liberal side.
This case is a good example: the parents even got mad that their name might be trotted out so they sent out a mass email with their name attached to it! These aren't the type of people who take no for an answer.
On another note, Queerty took the high road with this story and put Krikava's name right in the title of their post, making it the first thing that appears when googling Aaron Krikava's name, along with a photo taken from his MySpace. This incident is also the first thing that pops up when googling Stambaugh's name.
Krikava wouldn't have been worried about keeping his name a secret if he had caught Stambaugh doing something actually inappropriate. He would have been a local hero, not a villain. The fact that these folks are starting to feel more and more ashamed shows progress of a sort.