by D. A. Smith
News from the Capital City that is Columbia via The State:
Irmo High School Principal Eddie Walker said this morning he does not plan to announce his resignation today.
Walker declined further comment noting the school is dealing with the death of a student.
Reports indicated Walker would announce his decision to leave the district during morning announcements. The decision was apparently related to personal conflict with the formation of the Gay/Straight Alliance Club at the school.
In a letter writter to the "Irmo Nation" Walker wrote:
"However due to a recent conflict involving my professional and religious beliefs I sent Dr. Angela Bain a letter of resignation effective June 30, 2009. On May 14, 2008, I was instructed by email to allow the formation of a Gay/Straight Alliance Club at Irmo High School. On May 15, 2008 I told Ms. Ann Pilat to allow the formation of this club for the 2008-2009 school year. Allowing the formation of this club on our campus conflicts with my professional beliefs and religious convictions. I considered resigning this year but reconsidered because to not fulfill my written contract for the 2008-2009 school year would also conflict with my professional beliefs and religious convictions. In my opinion failure to fulfill my contract would constitute a breach of trust with School District Five of Lexington and Richland County, my student heroes, returning Irmo High School employees, and new employees who have chosen to work at Irmo High school for the 2008-2009 school year."
Lexington-Richland 5 spokesman Buddy Price confirmed the resignation this morning and provided a statement from the district:
"While the District respects Mr. Walker's position in this matter, our attorneys have advised us that because Irmo High School has permitted the formation of a number of non-curricular clubs at the school, the federal law known as the Equal Access Act does not permit the school to discriminate against a club based on the club's purpose and viewpoint by not allowing it to form unless the purpose of the club is unlawful; for example, the school would not have to permit the formation of a marijuana club."
-- From Staff Reports