GRAND RAPIDS, Mich– The softball coach at West Catholic High School has announced her resignation.
Kristen Nelson posted on Facebook Friday announcing her decision. She wrote the following:
It is with a heavy heart that I am writing you this letter. In recent weeks, a parent concern regarding my personal life and relationship has started an unpleasant conversation within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. Throughout the course of those conversations, it was made known to me that my future plans to marry my significant other, Maria were “concerning” to them. It has been made clear to me through conversations I have had with the leadership at West Catholic High School, that both they and the Diocese “teach a single view of marriage” and that if I were to continue with my and Maria’s decisions to get married, I would not be able to continue coaching at West Catholic High School.
FOX 17 reached out to Nelson but has not heard back.
On Sunday, the Diocese provided the following statement on the situation at West Catholic High School:
As a mission of the Catholic Church, Catholic schools are places where students come to learn and know the Church’s teachings, one of which is the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. For this reason, Catholic school administrators, teachers, or staff members that persist in public acts that are contrary to Catholic teachings disqualify themselves from the opportunity to continue in their leadership role within a Catholic school.
Bishop Walkowiak is grateful to the leadership team of West Catholic High School for working with staff to ensure that the Catholic faith is presented in a way fully in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
The Diocese also sent home a letter to parents alerting them to the situation. They also said they would be meeting with softball parents and students on Monday to discuss the coaching plan going forward.
Kristen Nelson graduated from West Catholic High School in 2008 and says her sexual orientation has never conflicted with or has hindered her coaching abilities.
I am hurt and mostly disappointed that I will no longer be able to continue, but I hope you can understand that I simply cannot continue to work in an environment that refused to support me. I know we have made some big plans for the program this year and I am very sorry that I will not be able to see them through.
Nelson had been the softball coach at the school for five years.