Target: Totino-Grace High School
Goal: Condemn high school for firing a second grade teacher for being openly gay
During a faculty/staff workshop about the school theme this year at a Catholic school in Minnesota called Totino-Grace High School, educator Kristen Ostendorf announced that she was a lesbian and in a relationship with a woman. Earlier this year, Bill Hudson, the school’s president, was forced to resign because he revealed that he had been in a relationship with a man for eighteen years. Ostendorf’s firing follows in the footsteps of several other Catholic institutions firing teachers because of their sexual orientation throughout the United States.
Ostendorf had worked at Totino-Grace for eighteen years, but she was fired the day after she came out at the faculty workshop. She expressed no remorse over her decision and hopes that her students learn from her example and regard all individuals regardless of sexual orientation as a human being. Ostendorf was told she was fired because being in a same-sex relationship did not comply with the teachings of the Catholic Church. The school wrongly painted her as a criminal for being openly gay.
Ostendorf is only the most recent example of the Catholic Church discriminating against educators for being openly gay. A California school terminated a teacher’s employment because a picture of him marrying his partner showed up in the newspaper. An Ohio school also fired a teacher when her mother’s obituary revealed that she was involved in a same-sex relationship. Please sign this petition to condemn the Catholic Church for openly discriminating against members of the gay community. Many members of the gay community belong to the Catholic Church and maintain a strong faith as followers of God. All faithful Catholics deserve to be treated equally and humanely.
Dear Totino-Grace High School,
We condemn you for your decision to fire educator Kristen Ostendorf after she came out as a lesbian at a faculty/staff workshop. The theme decided upon was “make your mark,” and as a result Ostendorf no longer felt she could remain silence about her sexual orientation. Although she had worked at Totino-Grace for eighteen years, Ostendorf was fired immediately the day after the workshop.
Ostendorf is only the most recent example of the Catholic Church discriminating against its employers because of their sexual orientation. The reason given for Ostendorf’s firing was that same-sex relationships defied Catholic teachings. Many members of the gay community are faithful Catholics and deserve to be treated humanely. We hope you reconsider your policy regarding employing openly gay educators.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alexa Shae via Flickr