Lauren Brown, the woman fired by St. Mary's Academy after officials learned she's gay, says the school's decision to hire openly LGBT employees has left her "overjoyed."
"The students, parents, and alumni of St. Mary's Academy should be so proud today," Brown says. "This success shows that together we really can move mountains."
St. Mary's announced Wednesday night it would reverse its policy, which has long forced its gay faculty and staff to remain in the closet if they wanted to keep their jobs.
The decision followed WW's story about how St. Mary's withdrew Brown's contract offer after she told top school officials she's gay.
Brown has not been offered her job back—because the school already gave it to someone else. But St. Mary's principal Christina Friedhoff says the school wants to offer "reconciliation" to Brown.
In her statement, Brown says she's humbled by the wave of support from students, parents and alumni.
Here's her full statement:
"The students, parents, and alumni of St. Maryâs Academy should be so proud today. In 24 hours, they came together to speak up for what they know is right. This success shows that together we really can move mountains. I hope other places in the U.S. and around the world will take notice and feel encouraged by what happened here in Portland. We are all agents of change when we put forth the effort. No one can erase the past, and the last month of my life has been very difficult. Many people want to know if I will get my job back. Unfortunately, St. Maryâs stated last night that they filled the position with someone else, but also that they will be reaching out to my attorney and me in hopes of âreconciliation.â Although we have not yet been contacted, I am open to listening to what they have to say.I know now that my intuition about St. Maryâs Academy was true all along. The St. Maryâs community is a safe, loving environment for students, and I am humbled that those students took such a strong stand for me. I only wish the administrationâs change in heart had happened a month ago so I could be working with these inspirational students this year. Nonetheless, I am glad to know that what I experienced will never happen again at St. Maryâs, and I am overjoyed that the current LGBT staff members can now feel secure knowing they can be out at work."