A very popular teacher has been forced to resign from his job teaching music at a local Catholic school after he got engaged to his partner of five years.
Brian Panetta sat down for an exclusive interview -- telling Channel 3 that he doesn't blame anyone, least of all the school.
"Dear Sandusky Central Catholic School, it is with heavy heart and great remorse I find myself stepping down," Brian Panetta reads from a letter that was handed out to students and staff at Sandusky Central Catholic School.
Panetta wasn't given time to say good-bye to his students in person, so the letter was distributed instead.
Last week, following his engagement to his partner of five years, he agreed to resign from his position as band and choir teacher at Sandusky Central Catholic School.
"I have no closure. I didn't get to see the kids. I didn't get to speak with the kids," says Panetta.
However, Panetta holds no ill will toward the school.
In fact, he understands and was prepared to leave,. He just didn't think it would have to be in the middle of the school year.
"Truthfully, I can do my career, my ministry, anywhere. It's just, I fell in love with these kids and the families," says Panetta.
His dedication is apparent.
Panetta taught band and choir at the school for four and a half years, growing the band from 18 members to 50, growing the choir from 12 to 50.
He is proud of his accomplishments as a teacher; he is proud to be Catholic, and he's proud to be gay.
"There are good teachers who are gay who are losing jobs, not because of poor performance. I think it's a shame. I think good teachers should be able to teach anywhere they want to teach," says Panetta.
Upon his hire, however, Panetta did sign a contract that included a moral clause, in which he agreed to live by Catholic teachings.
His engagement, according to the school, was the equivalent of Panetta making a public statement that he supports gay marriage.
Now he is sharing his story very publicly, saying it's a teachable moment for his students.
"I also hope they understand the importance of staying true to someone and to themselves and knowing who they are and following their values and always being true," says Panetta.
Panetta will now focus on finishing his master's degree in music education
He graduates in May.
Channel 3 did reach out to the school, but they declined to go on camera saying simply that Panetta is no longer employed at the school and they do not discuss personnel situations with the media."
Watch raw video of Panetta's exclusive interview with Channel 3 below: