Alumni Want Job Back for Gay Teacher
Updated: Monday, April 22 2013, 05:17 AM EDT
NORTH COLUMBUS – Alumni of Bishop Watterson High School are trying to help a teacher get her job back after she was fired for being gay.
Carla Hale taught at the school for 19 years. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus fired her after an anonymous parent sent a letter. The parent read Hale’s mother’s obituary that mentioned her partner.
“That’s not something that’s acceptable,” said alumna Anna Klatt. “We stand for acceptance.”
More than a hundred alumni got together at a theater in Clintonville trying to find ways to help Hale. They want to put pressure on the Diocese to either give Hale her job back, or change their employment policy.
“Watterson was such a great place,” said alumnus CJ Jackson. “(It’s) very open and accepting and I really think some changes need to happen at the Diocese to have them become more accepting and open.”
The alumni are gathering petitions, planning larger meetings and even talking about withholding donations.
Many of the people at the meeting say they’re proud alumni of Bishop Watterson. They say they want to see the Diocese reflect the values they say they learned at the school.
“The school I went to was completely accepting and loving to all faculty, students staff and the greater community,” Klatt said. “This is not the school I went to and know.”
Hale was not at the meeting.
Her attorney says she might have a hard time getting her job back. It’s legal to fire someone in Ohio just for being gay. Her attorney says there is an anti-discrimination ordinance in the City of Columbus that the Diocese may have broken when it fired Hale though.
The Diocese has said it has no comment.
Reporter: Ben Garbarek