(EDGE) This week, students at San Luis Obispo High School in California learned that free speech is a two-way street. And although it is protected by the First Amendment, it comes with consequences.
After allegedly receiving death threats for writing a letter to the school newspaper citing a Biblical passage saying gay people "deserve to die," special education teacher Michael Stack has tendered his resignation.
On May 11, The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on Stack's letter that was published in Tuesday's edition of the San Luis Obispo High School newspaper Expressions. In it, he wrote that he was compelled to speak out because he "didn't want to displease God," saying the Bible is "without error" and its hundreds of predictions are 100 percent accurate. He then went on to quote "The Bible"'s Book of Romans on the sinfulness of homosexuality.
"They know God's justice required that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway," the passage read.
Stack's letter was a response to the school newspaper's May feature on LGBTQ acceptance.
Although students, teachers, and community members were outraged, the school's principal and district superintendent decided not to discipline Stack, saying that teachers as well as students "do not shed their First Amendment rights" at school.
An out lesbian student who is co-president of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance said that in recent weeks, Stack had asked her if she'd step outside the classroom to have a religious discussion with him. She declined.
According to a subsequent report by the Tribune, Stack did not come to work on Thursday, but sent the school an email tendering his resignation.
In his letter, which he copied to Fox News, Stack defended his right to free speech, saying, "I exercised my First Amendment rights and submitted my opinion to a public forum."
"In it, I quoted, verbatim, Romans 1: 16-32," Stack wrote. "Now people are exercising THEIR First Amendment rights by responding to that letter. This is how America is designed to function."