Students and others are rallying behind a teacher who they say was fired from a Catholic school in Clintonville after listing her female partner’s name in her mother’s obituary.
A petition posted yesterday on change.org seeks the reinstatement of Bishop Watterson High School physical-education teacher Carla Hale. It has gained more than 4,000 signatures.
“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,” the petition says. “The school claims its mission is to teach its students about love, acceptance, and tolerance, and yet it did none of this in the way it treated Ms. Hale.”
The U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops says the church believes God created marriage between one man and one woman, providing for the good of the couple and the procreation and education of children. It considers sex between members of the same gender “harmful and always wrong.”
According to a contract between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus and the Central Ohio Association of Catholic Educators, teachers can be terminated for “immorality” or “serious unethical conduct.” Messages left for a diocese spokesman were not immediately returned this morning.
Lindsey Perkins of Dublin, a 2001 Watterson graduate, said Hale is a family friend who taught at the school for 19 years and was fired after a parent complained to the diocese about the obit, which was published in The Dispatch.
Perkins called Hale a “wonderful teacher and amazing role model” whom Watterson should be proud to have on staff.
She said she feels the Catholic Church should be accepting of gay marriage and “focus on the larger issue, which is loving and accepting everyone.”
“It’s just a very poignant time for something like this to happen, and hopefully for people to start realizing that we need to practice acceptance and humility to all people,” she said.
- Students supporting fired administrator (wcpo.com)