Mitch Stein is a gay man, who used to be an assistant high school water-polo coach at Charter Oak High until he was fired, he says, because he's gay.
Stein says Principal Kathleen Wiard terminated him after receiving an anonymous letter complaining about photos found on his Facebook and Myspace pages.
Uh oh. photos. No doubt, because he's a gay man, pictures of him fully nude, possibly, erect, posing in his school's waiter polo uniform surrounded by a team of young boys?
No. Just a photo of Mitch Stein posing with two drag queens and another of him about to eat a corn dog. Damn those corn dog photos. Why didn't they work on getting Bachmann and Perry fired?
According to the complaint, the letter's author called Stein "unfit to coach" and threatened to go to the school board if he was not fired immediately. Mitch Stein offered to take those oh-so-offensive pictures down, but he says Principal Ward was adamant that he be fired.
Principal Wiard is, oddly enough, not return calls requesting comment.
Mitch Stein's attorney, Brad Kane, said that Stein was called back to the school the day after he was FIRED for a meeting with Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Terry Stanfill, who said he was being fired for publicly posting "offensive" photos, not because of his sexual orientation.
Drag queens and corn dogs are offensive?
Brad Kane, however, disagrees, saying, "When someone tells you 'Oh, by the way, we're not doing it because you're gay,' there's some question. It appears to be at this stage sexual-orientation-based discrimination."
Superintendent Mike Hendricks denied any discrimination occurred., adding, "I can say, and so can any other superintendent, that there are laws that protect--that ensure--that we do not discriminate against any individual." And yet, citing privacy laws--which apparently don't apply to Mitch Stein and his pictures--Hendricks was unable to discuss the specific reason why Stein was fired.
Drag queens and corn dogs.
Kim Cory, one of the water-polo parents who wrote a letter of support for Stein, has actually seen the photos, and doesn't understand the firing: "I think he's a fabulous coach. From what I saw, he was very involved in their teaching." Cory did say that the pictures were "dumb" but also said they weren't offensive and certainly not grounds for termination in her mind.
Drag queens and corn dogs can cost you your job, if you're gay, I guess. But if you're a GOP candidate for office, corn dogs, at least, are a photo op.