A Catholic high school in Columbus, Ohio is being accused of firing a lesbian teacher after it was revealed in her mother’s obituary that she was in a same-sex relationship.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, Carla Hale says she was fired because an anonymous parent had written in to Bishop Watterson High School saying they were “appalled that Hale had listed her female partner’s name in an obituary.”
Student and supporters of Hale have started a petition on Change.org asking for the reinstatement of the “beloved” Hale who has been teaching P.E. for nearly 20 years.
“She was a teacher who cared for her students and treated each one with respect,” the petition reads. “The diocese, however, did not reciprocate that respect in its treatment of her. It's unfair that someone who cared so much about her students and her job should lose them on the basis of something she cannot even control.”
Hale told the Dispatch she has been overwhelmed by the love and support from her students and friends.
“It’s amazing that they’ve come together and rallied around this situation,” she said. “I’m in awe of them.”
The Dispatch wrote that according to a contract between the Columbus diocese and the Central Ohio Association of Catholic Educators, teachers can be terminated for “immorality” or “serious unethical conduct.”