The administration of the Benet Academy has come under fire after its decision to cancel a job offer for the new women’s lacrosse coach after learning she was gay.
Lisle Catholic School reportedly hired Benet alumnus Amanda Kammes, but canceled the offer when its documents included his wife’s name as an emergency contact. Before accepting the post at Benet, Kammes was head coach at Montini Catholic High School in Lombard.
A protest demonstration against Benet’s decision took place on Monday morning in front of the school.
âThe Benet Academy respects the dignity of all human beings to follow their conscience and live the life of their choice,â the school said in a statement. âLikewise, as a Catholic school, we employ people whose lives manifest the essential teachings of the Church in order to ensure the education and formation in the faith of the young people entrusted to us.
Meghan Musbach, a Benet Academy graduate and former classmate of Amanda Kammes, protests outside the Catholic school in Lisle in response to administrators canceling a job offer at Kammes after learning she was gay.
– Sandy Bressner/[email protected]
Opposition to the decision gained tremendous momentum over the weekend with more than 2,100 Benet alumni, parents and students signing an online letter condemning it and addressed to members of the school administration.
“We are writing to express our dismay and anger at the news that Benet Academy recently turned down a job to an otherwise qualified candidate on the basis of his marriage to another woman,” the letter reads. “In your statement on this matter, you state that ‘Benet Academy respects the dignity of all human beings to follow their conscience and to live the life of their choice.’ And yet this hiring decision suggests just the opposite. ‘Christian institution. “
Kathleen Jensen was one of some 50 former students, parents and colleagues who gathered outside the school on Monday to protest Benet’s decision to withdraw Kammes’ job offer.
“Why is Benet discriminating? In 2021 it shocks me,” said Jensen, a Benet Academy alumnus and mother of a current student and lacrosse player. “The fact that other Catholic schools are willing to have Amanda on their staff, it really highlighted that this is a Benet problem, not a Catholic school program.”
Benet released a statement on Monday that “the board is meeting today and the school will have a statement on Tuesday.”
In a Facebook post, Colleen Savell, Benet’s assistant women’s college lacrosse coach, said Kammes “passed the interview process, was fully qualified and received an offer from the sports department to be the head coach. . Amanda had already passed a background check, completed all the necessary certifications required by Benet and approved by the principal. All the principal of the school had to do was sign his papers. “
Shortly after returning her papers, she was told she would not be the head coach, Savell said.
“Amanda and her parents contacted the school several times to request more information on why her job was terminated, but Amanda received a template email letting her know that she had been rejected. Amanda has tried reaching out to the head of the school several times to understand why she was rejected from work and she received silence, âSavell wrote in her Facebook post.
Kammes has been practicing lacrosse for a decade, both at the high school and college levels.
She was named head coach of women’s lacrosse at Montini in February. She is also a partner and COO of Lakeshore Lacrosse, a women-led organization dedicated to female athletes.
Kammes began her coaching career as a high school assistant in Pennsylvania before moving to the University of California, Davis, where she served as the first assistant and recruiting coordinator for the women’s lacrosse team. She then returned to Pennsylvania where she was head coach of two high schools and a club team.
Kammes holds a master’s degree in nursing from the Benedictine University. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a leader on the basketball team. She was an assistant basketball coach for her alma mater after being an assistant coach at American University.
â¢ Joshua Welge of Shaw Media contributed to this report.