Sandusky band director forced to resign - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Sandusky band director forced to resign

Posted: Updated:

Parents are speaking out after a Sandusky High School band director has been forced to resign. It's a sensitive issue, and parents we spoke to say they're upset.

St. Mary Band Director Brian Panetta was forced to resign after he announced he was engaged to his partner. Some parents wish he could stay.

"He did a lot for my kids in the music program down here . My youngest one doesn't want to go into the program because he's leaving," says one parent.

"We're just very sad he was really a great teacher and the kids really looked up to him," says parent Gayle Thompson.

In a letter to the school community, Panetta said he would miss his students. "As a proud and gay catholic, I understand the church's teachings on marriage and agree that my engagement is a public statement of my position for marriage equality, which the catholic church does not yet support."

The catholic diocese says Panetta violated the moral and religious teachings of the catholic church.  In a statement issued by the diocese in part it reads: "In light of the church's clear teaching on sacred marriage and the fact that Mr. Panetta himself has publicly indicated his marriage plans are contrary to church teachings and are the issue at the heart of this matter. The leadership of Sandusky Central Catholic School properly determined that his employment could not continue."

Gay marriage is a hot topic in the catholic church. Pope Francis his urged Catholics to focus their attention on other issues. In an interview last year he said, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"

It appears some parents may feel the same way.

"Its hard. It's a small community school, close knit, so we just wish him the best and hope we can get though this. It's just difficult," says Thompson.

Mr. Panetta worked at the school for almost five years. We left a message for him, but he did not return our call.   

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Amanda Bacon sentenced to life in prison

    Amanda Bacon sentenced to life in prison

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:07 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:07:59 GMT
    A judge has sentenced Amanda Bacon to life in prison for the murder of her infant son. A jury found the Toledo woman guilty on murder and child endangerment charges last week.
    A judge has sentenced Amanda Bacon to life in prison for the murder of her infant son. A jury found the Toledo woman guilty on murder and child endangerment charges last week.
  • Toledo Zoo in running for best in the U.S.

    Toledo Zoo in running for best in the U.S.

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:16 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:16:00 GMT
    The Toledo Zoo is in the running to be named the best in the country.
    The Toledo Zoo is in the running to be named the best in the country.
  • Firefighters battle two separate fires

    Firefighters battle two separate fires

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:47 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:47:08 GMT
    Toledo Fire Department battled two separate fires on Thursday morning.
    Toledo Fire Department battled two separate fires on Thursday morning.

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!