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Gay teacher no longer employed at Totino-Grace

  • September 10, 2013 - 8:32 PM

A Totino-Grace teacher who acknowledged that she is gay no longer works at the Catholic school in Fridley, making her the second gay staff member to leave recently.

Kristen Ostendorf, an English teacher at the school since 1995, confirmed in a statement through the gay rights group OutFront Minnesota that she was “no longer employed by Totino-Grace.”

Javen Swanson, faith director for OutFront Minnesota, said Ostendorf did not choose to resign and is looking for employment.

The school declined to comment Tuesday, saying that personnel matters are private. Asked whether school policy prohibited employing gay teachers, a Totino-Grace official again declined to comment.

Swanson said Ostendorf was fired “not for her performance, but because of who she is and who she loves.”

Ostendorf, who coached the girls’ lacrosse and swim teams, said in her statement: “I am profoundly sad to have to leave a job I have loved for more than 18 years in a community that was like family to me.”

Bill Hudson resigned as Totino-Grace president in July, after revealing to school leaders that he has been in a same-sex relationship for two decades. He has been named director of institutional advancement at Mounds Park Academy in Maplewood.

Paul Levy

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