Mount de Sales Academy's band director says he was fired because he plans to marry his male partner of six years.
Flint Dollar says he was fired Wednesday by school President David Held, who told him that his pending marriage is the reason.
Dollar told 13WMAZ that he wants to continue teaching and teach his students that discrimination is wrong and to stand up for what they believe.
He says "When I was hired at Mt. De Sales I made it very clear that I am Gay. And that I was living with my partner."
For the past four years Flint Dollar has been the band director at Mt. De Sales. He says he made his sexual orientation very clear to leaders at the Catholic school.
"I said if this is a problem for you or the academy that I don't need to be here because I would not change who I am for a job" says Dollar.
He says the academy told him that was not a problem as long as it did not interfere with his teaching.
But on Wednesday afternoon, he says it seemed they had changed their minds.
"I was told that there were no student complaints, no parent complaints. There was nothing in my personnel file" says Dollar.
He believes that to the academy, his work performance didn't matter, just his marital status.
"it was not because I'm gay, but because I am marrying my partner, I will not be allowed to return" says Dollar.
Mount de Sales band parents contacted 13WMAZ about the firing. They said they planned to meet Thursday afternoon with David Held, president of the Catholic prep school in Macon.
They also reportedly plan a protest at the school Friday morning.
We could not reach Held for comment Thursday.
However, Held sent an email to Mount de Sales parents and staff Thursday headed "Personnel Decisions."It did not mention Dollar or his firing.
Held wrote that the Catholic Sisters of Mercy, the Diocese of Savannah and a board of trustees all have influence in school policy, but he had the final responsibility on personnel matters.
"Personnel decisions are never easy, and we consider many factors when making such decisions. Teaching ability, knowledge of the subject matter, the ability to communicate with constituents, and the willingness to support the teachings of the Catholic Church are just some of factors considered when making these decisions. Please know that these decisions are never made arbitrarily and are guided always by our mission as a Catholic School."
According to his LinkedIn profile, Dollar has been director of middle-school music at Mount de Sales since 2010. He is a 2005 graduate of Howard Payne University and has a master's from Mercer University.
The school's online policy states that Mount de Academy is "committed to the principles of equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, gender, ancestry, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or any other characteristic or status that is protected by federal, state, or local law."
Here is the text of President David Held's letter to parents and staff:
One of the realities of modern day life is the impact of social media. Each of us, regardless of our day-to-day responsibilities, is mindful of the fact that the Internet allows instant communication which is often a good thing, but we have to be careful in processing what we see and hear online. My specific purpose in writing today is to address recent social media posts regarding personnel decisions at Mount de Sales Academy, and to share some information that might clarify some of the rumors that are circulating.
In order to address the question of personnel decisions, it is helpful to share information regarding the somewhat unique position of Mount de Sales Academy. We are an Independent Catholic School sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. As a Mercy School, we operate from a set of core values that is in keeping with the charism of The Sisters of Mercy. In addition to being a Mercy School, we are a Catholic School located in the Diocese of Savannah, which places us under the direction of The Bishop of Savannah in all questions regarding Catholic identity and the teachings of the Catholic Church on faith and morals. Finally, The Academy is governed by a Board of Trustees which is responsible for the actual governance of the school.
I have been blessed during my tenure as The President of Mount de Sales Academy in that each of these three organizations has been extraordinarily supportive as I do my very best to make decisions based on our mission and what is best for our students. Although individuals associated with these institutions have been influential in my decision making, I want to be very clear in stating that it is my responsibility as The President of The Academy to make all personnel decisions and any concerns about those decisions should be directed to me.
Personnel decisions are never easy, and we consider many factors when making such decisions. Teaching ability, knowledge of the subject matter, the ability to communicate with constituents, and the willingness to support the teachings of the Catholic Church are just some of factors considered when making these decisions. Please know that these decisions are never made arbitrarily and are guided always by our mission as a Catholic School.
Please feel comfortable in contacting me should you have any questions. I may not be able to answer all of your questions because of the need for professional courtesy for all of our employees, but I am more than happy to listen to your concerns.