St. Mary's Academy has reached a settlement with Lauren Brown, the staffer the Catholic high school fired this summer after she told school officials she's gay.
The financial terms of the settlement are sealed, says Brown's attorney Gloria Trainor.
In an announcement sent to WW this evening, St. Mary's officials apologized to Brown for discrimination.
"Her courage and voice has given our school greater resolve and awareness to meet the needs of our diverse community," the statement says.
WW reported in August that St. Mary's withdrew its contract offer to Brown after she told top school officials she's gay.
That story sparked huge uproar among parents, students and donors to the Portland all-girls' high school. After a day of protests and denunciations, St. Mary's reversed its hiring policy, which had long forced its gay faculty and staff to remain in the closet if they wanted to keep their jobs.
St. Mary's did not offer Brown her job back—because the school had already given it to someone else.
Brown and St. Mary's officials agreed then to mediation. Today's settlement is the result of that mediation.
Brown could not immediately be reached for comment.
Here's the full text of the statement.
"St. Mary's Academy and Lauren Brown have resolved their employment dispute. While St. Mary's is pleased to have been able to work together with Ms. Brown toward a resolution and wishes to respect her privacy, it wishes to make a few comments about this matter. Lauren Brown was well-qualified to serve as a college counselor at St. Mary's and had an energy and passion which made her a great match for the position. St. Mary's was excited to have her join the faculty and proceeded to work with her so that she would be ready for this school year. However, based on St. Mary's role as a Catholic institution, it ultimately decided that it could not employ Ms. Brown during the school year, and it regretfully let her go.
"St. Mary's recognizes that Catholic teachings include the principle that all individuals, without regard to their sexual orientation, must be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity. We sincerely and deeply regret any harm caused by failing to live up to these values. We wish Lauren Brown future happiness and success, and we also want to affirm her value as an intelligent, energetic and passionate person. Her courage and voice has given our school greater resolve and awareness to meet the needs of our diverse community. We hope that through this experience, St. Mary's can become a better place by demonstrating respect, compassion and sensitivity to our student body and faculty and to the community as a whole."
UPDATE, 11:50 am Thursday, Nov. 5: Lauren Brown has released a statement to WW.
"I want to thank St. Mary's Academy for the invitation to mediate in order to resolve this difficult situation," Brown says. "I am eager to move forward with my search for a new job, and I wish the St. Mary's administration, students, alumni, and parents the very best for the future."