By Annie Hollenbeck
Originally published on Advocate.com August 13 2014 3:35 PM ET
A Catholic high school in Dell Rapids, S.D., a has opted to go against precedent, allowing its gay baseball and volleyball coach to remain a member of the faculty.
Nate Alfson was afraid that coming out publicly on Outsports last week would put his job in jeopardy, but according to a meeting he had with the school and an email he sent to Outsports Tuesday night, it appears St. Mary’s High School has chosen to take the road less traveled when it comes to gay faculty at parochial schools.
“The meeting with the school went great,” he says in the email. “We talked about being on the same page as each other and that they were willing to walk through this with me and support me. … I couldn't be happier that they are supportive and want me to be a part of the coaching team. It's a sense of relief to be able to move forward and focus on volleyball and the girls. This season is about them and the hard work they put in. The support has been amazing and I can't wait to live a free life!”
Currently employees in 29 states can be fired on the basis of their sexual orientation, and 32 based on their gender identity, and teachers are often fired under the lack of such protections. The state of South Dakota does not have any workplace protections for LGBT people.