Benet Academy is facing backlash over allegedly rescinding a job offer to a lacrosse coach after reportedly learning that she was married to a woman. Amanda Kammes reportedly received a job offer from the Catholic school in Lisle earlier this month.
A demonstration held outside the school Monday morning prompted dozens to turn out in protest.
What’s At Issue?
Kammes had reportedly inquired for more information about why the job offer was rescinded after listing her wife as an emergency contact in required pre-employment paperwork, only to receive no response from Stephen Marth, the head of school at Benet Academy.
School Leadership Response
Benet Academy spokesperson Jamie Moss issued a response to this situation. It states, “Benet Academy respects the dignity of all human beings to follow their conscience and to live lives of their choosing. Likewise, as a Catholic school, we employ individuals whose lives manifest the essential teachings of the church in order to provide the education and faith formation of the young people entrusted to our care.”
Staff Member Speaks Out
In a Facebook post, Colleen Savell, an assistant varsity lacrosse coach at Benet, penned what she called a “painful” message about the situation.
“There was a vacancy on the team for a Head Coaching job and Amanda Kammes, a Benet alumni, was selected as the new Benet Lacrosse Head Coach,” she wrote. “She went through the interview process, was fully qualified and received an offer from the Athletic Department to be the Head Coach.”
“Amanda had already passed a background check, completed all necessary certifications that Benet required and received approval from the Principal; all the Head of School had to do was sign off on her paperwork. In her paperwork, Amanda had her wife listed as her emergency contact. After turning in her paperwork, Amanda was then notified that she was not going to be the Head Coach.”
In an open letter, a group of students, alumni, parents, and friends of Benet Academy penned a message for the school’s leadership, expressing dismay and anger at its decision and demanding a reversal.
It reads, in part, “by rejecting a talented potential staff member on the basis of whom she loves, you have utterly failed to uphold the principles of dignity and charity that you purport to practice as Christian institution. We are ashamed of your narrow interpretation of Christian morality.”
As of Monday afternoon, that letter has gained more than 2,700 signatures from those opposed to the decision made by the school leadership at Benet Academy.
Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.
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Photo courtesy of state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray