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Students and alumni are planning a walkout Wednesday afternoon in protest of a West Des Moines Catholic high school opting to not hire a substitute teacher full time after learning he is gay.

Des Moines Catholic Schools administrators sent a letter to parents Tuesday that said the applicant's personal life was at odds with church teaching. The letter didn't name the candidate and a Des Moines diocese spokeswoman said the substitute teacher no longer works at Dowling Catholic High School.

Law experts say the school was within its rights to not offer the job to the candidate. The state's civil rights act prohibits hiring discrimination based on reasons that include sexual orientation, but makes an exception for religious institutions.