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Mount de Sales trustees, diocese back decision on band director | News

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Mount de Sales trustees, diocese back decision on band director
News


The Catholic Diocese of Savannah and the Mount de Sales Academy's board of trustees issued statements supporting the removal of the school's band director.

The school's president told band director Flint Dollar this week that he is not invited back next year. Dollar has been on the job for three years.


He says school officials made the change because Dollar announced on Facebook that he planned to marry his male partner of 6 years.


On Friday, the trustees wrote that Dollar's removal was in keeping with the school's mission "to provide a high quality education based in teachings of the Catholic Church."

The diocese statement simply stated:


"The Diocese of Savannah supports the decision of the Board of Trustees at Mount de Sales Academy in Macon not to employ Mr. Flint Dollar for the 2014-2015 school term.


Mount de Sales is an independent Catholic school sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, under the direction of the Diocese of Savannah concerning its Catholic identity."

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Friday morning, about 60 students, parents and others gathered at Mount de Sales for what they called a "peaceful protest."

Academy President David Held has not commented on the controversy. He has not returned our phone calls and security guards prevented 13WMAZ from speaking to him.

Held invited the protesting students and parents gathered outside to come into the school to talk. He explained his reasons for not allowing Dollar to return to the school, saying Mount de Sales' staff and faculty must follow the church's teachings. Some demonstrators believed this was a strategic move to keep them from protesting.

"It was to kind of shorten it and to not keep us standing in front of their school all day long" says student Mason Clark.

Terrell Sandefur, who sends his children to the school, says this decision is wrong.

"I don't blame the people for making this decision. They're doing it based on what the Catholic Church says. It's still wrong," says Sandefur.

Allan J. McDonald, pastor at St Joseph Catholic Church says Held's decision is justified by Catholic teachings that oppose same sex marriage.

"This is a public contract recognized by the state but something that is opposed to the Catholic faith," says Father McDonald.

He also says Mt. De Sales could lose their affiliations with the Catholic Church if they supported Dollar.

"The Bishop of the Dioceses could remove the Catholic identity of the school if the mission isn't being upheld," says McDonald.

Dollars' supporters still believe he was treated unfairly.

"I realize this is a Catholic Church thing, but it's still wrong" says Sandefur.

On Thursday, Held did release a statement saying he takes responsibility for school personnel moves.

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