Students stage walk-out at faith school after gay coach ‘forced to quit’

christian school colorado gay coach
Images: CBS News, Instagram

Students have staged a walk-out at a Christian school in Colorado after a gay volleyball coach accused the school of forcing him out of his job.

Inoke Tonga explained the details in a social media post. He said school officials pushed him out of the job during a tense meeting at Valor Christian High School.

He was head coach of girl’s volleyball at the school. However the officials told him his sexuality posed a “danger” to the students he coached.

“We can’t just have you hanging around the kids if you identify that way,” Tonga claimed he was told.

He had to either “denounce being gay” and “become a child of God” or resign from the job.

“I sat in that room for an hour and a half being belittled by men who knew nothing about who I am, what I’ve done in life, what obstacles I’ve overcome, the understanding I have of the living scriptures, and more importantly the love I have for my savior and lord, God,” Tonga wrote.

However he refused to denounce his homosexuality and as a result knew his job at the school was over.

“With my head held high, and with tears ready to be shed for hours, even days, I walked away. [I knew] that my journey as a coach at Valor Christian had come to an end,” he said.

“I was not going to ‘denounce identifying as a gay man.’”

Students at Christian school protest anti-gay policies

However on Tuesday (August 24), around 50 students at Valor Christian High School staged a walk-out over Tonga’s resignation.

They rallied outside the school to “show support for all LGBT+ students and show discrimination and bigotry won’t be tolerated.”

“Reading the statements from Coach Inoke broke my heart. Hearing that they called him a danger to the school,” one 16-year-old student, Lucy, told CBS News.

“For every queer teen sitting at this school right now, to hear that they are a danger, breaks their heart.”

Lucy explained the students want no more teachers sacked for their sexual orientation.

The school must also allow queer students to attend school “without fear of being reprimanded by the deans,” she said.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Inoke Tonga (@inoke.tonga)

School says coach ‘had to live in accordance with school’s beliefs’

A Valor Christian High School spokesperson said the school requires its “staff, faculty and volunteer leaders to agree with Valor’s Christian beliefs… and to live in accordance with such beliefs.”

The spokesperson also accused Tonga of “misrepresenting” the matter and “wished him the very best”.

“Valor became aware of a Facebook posting by coach Inoke. [It] suggested he may not support Valor’s beliefs pertaining to sexuality and marriage,” the spokesperson said.

“Valor’s campus pastor and athletic director initiated a conversation with coach Inoke to explore this matter further.

“Following this discussion, coach Inoke provided a statement to Valor. [He] concluded he does not support Valor’s beliefs, and he requested a separation from Valor.

“Based on this conclusion, Valor agrees that a separation is appropriate.”

In Australia, a former teacher at a Christian school in Sydney recently spoke out about her sacking after she came out as gay.

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Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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  1. Kangaroo Jack
    31 August 2021

    I guess I find it difficult to understand why rainbow family people even seek jobs at these dens of child abuse masquerading as “faith” communities. I wonder what Christ would have had to say about it.

  2. Julian
    2 September 2021

    It’s time to TAX Religious Corporations. All over the world priests have been found abusing young people in their care. Even Nuns have been found Bashing innocent children. The Religious protection Bill will make it very difficult for parents to report corouption and child abuse of any sort to the police who have been Protecting Extreme child abuse in their Government Run care centres. Domestic Violence Bashings Blackmail and child abuse is Rampant all over AUSTRALIA .

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