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Valor Christian students, alumni create organization to stop discrimination based on sexual orientation

The group was formed after two coaches say Valor forced them out because they were in same-sex relationships.

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — When a spotlight shines on an issue, the attention can go away as quickly as it came. 

But Andrew Wixson, and his organization, Valor for Change, are determined to keep that light on Valor Christian High School, after two coaches came forward to say they were told to leave or stop being in same-sex relationships.

Both coaches, Inoke Tonga and Lauren Benner, left Valor Christian High School.

Tonga first spoke out publicly, and Benner spoke out after hearing his story to amplify it. 

RELATED: Coach says he left job after staff at Valor Christian High School told him he couldn't identify as a gay man

Following their stories, students and alumni began sharing testimonials about how their sexual orientations and gender identities were and are suppressed and not supported at Valor. 

"My goal is not to like stand on the side of the street in Denver and yell 'don’t send your kids to Valor,'" said Wixson, a 2014 Alum and former part-time faculty member.

"My goal is to say, like, 'literally you have thousands of kids here that you could be helping, why are you not doing this right now?'"

Wixson resigned as a speech and debate coach when the same students he coached walked out of Valor in support of their LGBTQ+ community. 

"I can’t in good conscience continue to accept a paycheck and like be on team Valor when I have all of these questions about them and they’re unwilling to even acknowledge that I asked them," said Wixson.

RELATED: After 2 Valor Christian coaches were questioned about being gay, students protest school's policy

Those questions and demands include asking Valor Christian to appoint a diversity and inclusion officer on it's board. That's a position Wixson says other private Christian schools like Regis and Mullen already have.

Our demands are below. We look forward to a response from Valor Christian High School by the 30th of September.

Posted by Valor for Change on Tuesday, September 14, 2021

He said they sent the list of demands to Valor Christian 20 days ago and have yet to get a response.

"Even if they want to hold a moral stance that they believe is Christian about this, they should at least be willing to come to the table to hash it out with concerned stakeholders," said Wixson.

9NEWS reached out to Valor Christian for comment and they have not responded.

Valor Christian was also recently named a Blue Ribbon School. That award gives national recognition for what the department of education deems the best schools in the country.

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Voices of Change

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