Did you read about this one over the weekend?  A diocese in Ohio is under siege because of receiving numerous threatening calls, as well as some heated online criticism, after the school fired a veteran teacher because she publicly revealed an ongoing lesbian relationship in direct violation of the Catholic school’s morality code.

This firing has created a furious and heated debate over tolerance, both online and in the Columbus, Ohio, community, where the incident took place.

Physical education teacher Carla Hale, 57, who had been employed at Bishop Watterson Catholic High School for 19 years, was fired in March after her name appeared in her mother’s obituary, which also noted Hale’s longtime lesbian partner.

Hale was summoned to a meeting with school administrators after she returned from her mother’s funeral.  At which time, she received a copy of her mother’s obituary that she and her brother had written. In addition, administrators gave Hale an anonymous letter from a parent calling the presence of a lesbian teacher at the school a disgrace.  She was subsequently dismissed from Bishop Watterson Catholic High School due to a morality provision in the contract between teachers and the diocese.

Since her dismissal, there has been widespread attention on social media. A petition on the Change.org website had received more than 55,000 signatures demanding that she be reinstated.

Hale, has so far, had her appeal denied.  She also said that she would file a discrimination complaint with the Columbus community relations department.

In a statement released last week, the diocese said school employees must agree and sign a church moral code, which Hale supposedly did.  They went on to say, “Personnel who choose to publicly espouse relationships or principles that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church cannot, ultimately, remain in the employ of the Church.”

Now, before you start screaming equal rights or gay rights, let’s remember that this is simply a condition of her employment.  She was given this agreement and she supposedly signed it.  Any teacher who has worked for 19 years at a Catholic High School knows that the church has a strict moral code, which they will not deviate from, and I believe that she knowingly kept this little tidbit from the school district, knowing what would happen, if it was found out.

I further believe that her dismissal is justifiable because she violated the agreement and her word.  You are only as honorable as your word.  It is not about her sexual preferences, if it was, she would have told the school district, at the time, the relationship with her partner started.

Also, in addressing the threats made against the school and the diocese…grow up.  Threats and violence will never help improve anyone’s cause, and I can understand anyone’s passion, but  threats toward others, who do not share your lifestyle, makes you no better than the monsters in Boston, who killed and maimed innocent people.

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