Demand Justice for Teacher Fired for Being a Lesbian

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Target: Bishop Watterson High School administrators and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus

Goal: Reinstate a high school teacher fired for identifying as a lesbian.

Carla Hale is a teacher  at Bishop Watterson High School in Clintonville, Ohio who spent 19 years teaching physical education there. Shortly after the death of her mother earlier this year, she was called into a meeting at the school and was handed a letter. The letter’s anonymous author took issue with the fact that Hale’s mother’s obituary included the name of Hale’s same-sex domestic partner, and expressed feeling “appalled” that Hale would be allowed to teach at the Catholic school. Hale was fired two weeks later.

Perhaps fearing this type of backlash regarding her sexuality, Hale had debated with her family members whether or not to include her partner’s name, Julie, in the obituary. Hale reasoned, “My mom really loved Julie and Julie loved my mom, and as I sat there with my brother, you know, it was like, his wife was mentioned, my niece’s husband was mentioned. So, why not? Why not the person I love?” Not only is Carla had mourning the death of a parent, she has been subjected to hatred from an anonymous coward and discrimination from an institution at which she spent 19 years.

Instead of receiving sympathy for her grief and respect for her teaching career, Carla Hale is being unfairly victimized for her sexuality. Sign the petition below to tell the Bishop Watterson High School administration and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus that you will not stand for their attempts to force Carla Hale or any other employee back into the closet. Ms. Hale must be reinstated and issued an apology.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Bishop Watterson High School Principal Marian Hutson and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus,

Ms. Carla Hale describes herself as a very private person that loves her students, her three children, and the game of soccer. She has devoted 19 years of her life to the young people at Bishop Watterson High School as a physical education teacher. Unfortunately, due to the actions of a cowardly individual and a discriminatory diocesan policy, Ms. Hale has been forced to deal with the loss of her career atop mourning the death of her mother earlier this year.

Shortly after her mother’s death, Ms. Hale was called into a meeting at the school and was handed a letter. The anonymous letter writer took issue with the fact that Hale’s mother’s obituary included the name of Hale’s same-sex domestic partner and was “appalled” that Hale would be allowed to teach at the Catholic school. Carla Hale was forced to leave her teaching position at Bishop Watterson two weeks later.

Ms. Hale did not include her partner’s name in the obituary because she is “immoral” or “flaunting” her sexuality. She did it because of love. She explains, “My mom really loved Julie and Julie loved my mom, and as I sat there with my brother, you know, it was like, his wife was mentioned, my niece’s husband was mentioned. So, why not? Why not the person I love?” Who could have imagined that the answer to her question would be: because you will be fired for loving another person of the same sex.

Not only has Carla had to mourn the death of a parent, but now she has been subjected to hatred from an anonymous coward and discrimination by an institution at which she has spent 19 years. Instead of receiving sympathy for her grief and respect for her teaching career, Carla Hale is being unfairly victimized for her sexuality. The actions of your institution have set a despicable example for your students, making it seem “okay” for them to discriminate just because they don’t agree with the individual’s sexual orientation, regardless of the individual’s merits and dedication. We demand that Ms. Hale be reinstated and issued an apology.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: ca-e via Flickr

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3 Comments

  1. TienShinhan says:

    She was fired for living with somebody out of wedlock. Not for being a lesbian.

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