High Schoolers Staged A Massive Sit-In After Their Vice Principal Was Ousted Over Same-Sex Marriage

Hundreds of students from Eastside Catholic High School gathered today in solidarity after their vice principal was forced to resign.

1. The students of Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Wash., staged a sit-in Thursday after it was announced that their vice principal was being fired.

Conall Komenda


Look at what we did #KeepMrZ2013

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2. Mark Zmuda, the former vice principal of Eastside, was asked to resign after the school’s administration learned he had married his boyfriend.

3. Caelan Colburn, a senior at Eastside, was part of the original group that called the sit-in today.

Caelan Colburn


If you’re not in the commons you’re missing out. Sit in starts today. #KeepMrZ2013

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4. Colburn explained that the protest was planned for Friday until students learned that Zmuda resigned Thursday morning.

5. “Me and three other friends of mine we were like, ‘Whatever, we’re not going to go to class, we’re going to sit down right now,’” Colburn said.

Griffin Crow



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6. They quickly started texting and tweeting out the word that the sit-in was happening.

7. Other neighboring high school students learned of the sit-in via Twitter and staged their protests.

Holy Names students stand w Eastside, whose vice principal had to resign after marrying a man #keepmrz2013

— Alison Morrow (@AlisonMorrowTV)

Alison Morrow


Holy Names students stand w Eastside, whose vice principal had to resign after marrying a man #keepmrz2013

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8. Their group grew from four students to 15 students to filling up the school commons with 150 students.

9. “Because there were so many of us there, it wasn’t like a go-back-to-class kind of thing,” Colburn said. “It was more like, express yourself and get your feelings out kind of thing.”

Prep supports #samelove #keepmrz2013

— Savannah Salem (@SavannahSalem)

Savannah Salem


Prep supports #samelove #keepmrz2013

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10. After about an hour — and numerous tweets to the local media — reporters showed up outside of the school and students poured into the streets.

11. According to Colburn, the administration told students that the decision was coming from the archdiocese and that they understood that students were upset.

Sit in moves to the streets! #KeepMrZ2013

— Josh Matte (@Jmatte644)

Josh Matte


Sit in moves to the streets! #KeepMrZ2013

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12. According The Seattle Times, the school has not announced any plans on reinstating Zmuda. Teachers at Eastside sign a contract agreeing to uphold Catholic doctrine, which Zmuda’s marriage directly violates.

13. When asked about what students at similar Catholic schools should do when faced with the termination of a homosexual teacher or administrator…

Seattle Prep is supporting #KeepMrZ2013. Keep signing the petition:

— Bradley Strode (@BStrodester)

Bradley Strode


Seattle Prep is supporting #KeepMrZ2013. Keep signing the petition:

/ Via

14. …Colburn said that students should rally together as a community:

They need to stand up for what they believe in, whether it’s what the administration teaches or what the archdiocese preaches. Being part of a progressive place like Seattle, we’ve come to a point where we accept gay rights, accept homosexuals, and I think you ought to stand up for that no matter what anyone says. It’s your beliefs, and you’re entitled to your own opinion. And today really showed that Eastside Catholic is a family, and not only is a family, but the entire community of Seattle Catholic schools are a family.

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Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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