Valor Christian neighborhood members stroll out in assist of homosexual instructor who resigned
DENVER (KDVR) – Fallout continued Tuesday after a high school volleyball coach said he was forced to resign for being openly gay.
Inoke Tonga said he resigned from Valor Christian High after being pulled aside and asked to choose between identifying as gay or as a “child of God”. He ultimately chose to live in his truth; says he’s a gay christian.
In a statement, the school said their separation was appropriate:
“Valor Christian High School hugs, loves, and respects all students, families, and other participants in our community, whether they agree with Valor’s beliefs or not. As a Christian denomination, Valor requires its staff, faculty, and volunteer leaders – those who represent the Valor community and guide the spiritual development of our students – to agree and agree with Valor’s Christian beliefs as set out in our Declaration of Faith and other guidelines to live in accordance with such beliefs.
In connection with his employment, Coach Inoke signed a statement confirming his compliance with Valor’s beliefs and community standards. Last week, Valor became aware of a Facebook post from Coach Inoke that suggested he may not support Valor’s beliefs about sexuality and marriage. The Valor campus pastor and sports director opened a conversation with Coach Inoke to investigate the matter further. Following this discussion, Coach Inoke Valor issued a statement concluding that he did not support Valor’s beliefs and called for a separation from Valor. Based on this conclusion, Valor agrees that a separation is appropriate.
While Coach Inoke misrepresented many aspects of this matter, Valor appreciates the contributions he has made for the student athletes in our volleyball program and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. “
Students, some teachers and parents within Valor’s Christian community protested Tuesday in support of Tonga and calling for a culture of change.
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“For me they are the reason for that. You are the reason people raise their voices, “Tonga told FOX31. He said he was moved to tears when he saw Valor Christian students support him and LGBTQ rights.
“When the stories of Coach Inoke and Coach Benner came out over the past three days, my heart broke for both of them and it broke for every queer teenager at this school,” said Valor High Junior Lucy Sarkissian.
Even former students came back to school to show their support.
“Discrimination against the LGBT community is nothing new to Valor, but something that was incorporated into the foundation when the school opened,” said Cole Watson, a 2018 graduate. Watson has accumulated testimonials from more than 30 current LGBTQ members and former students who have had negative experiences with sexual orientation at school.
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“I hope you hear this message from your current students, I hope you hear the news shared on social media by former LGBT students about the discrimination and psychological abuse they received at this school. Hope you hear, I hope you are ready to change. But every time Valor has faced the possibility of change in the past, they have turned it down, ”said Watson.
The school police evicted FOX31 and students from their property. In an email from the school principal, the students participating in the protest were asked not to return to class on Tuesday.
“I’ve never seen so many police officers at Valor. What one thing tells me; they’re scared, ”said Sarkissian.
The students still came with the hope that it might lead to solutions for the future.
“This is about an end to all these discriminatory policies, because we have the light on us now because you are here, alumni here, we are all here. The whole community is watching right now. And we are in a rare case where we can really change their policies, ”said Sarkissian.
Despite what happened between him and the school, Tonga said he would still work here if he had the opportunity because he had a connection with his students and was able to inspire others who were interested in their sexual side School were pushed back identity.
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