Gay teacher fights to be rehired at Catholic school
A gay teacher who said she was fired by an Ohio Catholic school after her mother’s published obituary included the name of her partner is fighting to get her job back.
Carla Hale said she was told she was being let go because her relationship is against teachings of the church.
She plans to file a complaint this week with the city of Columbus, which prohibits firings based on sexual orientation, her attorney said Monday. She already filed a grievance that is now in the hands of a union representing teachers in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus.
Some current and former students have rallied behind the physical- education teacher, staging a protest outside the diocese headquarters and starting an online petition that has collected about 100,000 supporters.
Hale, 57, said she was fired during Holy Week in March after an anonymous letter sent to school administrators drew attention to the obituary published in The Columbus Dispatch.
A copy of the letter provided by her attorney was signed “a concerned parent.”
Hale, who is Methodist, was informed about two weeks after her mother’s death that the school was investigating, but she never had a chance to discuss it with school leaders, said attorney Thomas Tootle.
Hale, who had spent 19 years teaching at Bishop Watterson High School, said the decision to acknowledge her partner was not immoral.