Bishop Watterson High School a Catholic High in Clintonville, Ohio, (a suburb of Columbus) has fired Carla Hale, a physical education teacher who was outed after an anonymous parent informed them that her partner’s name which had appeared in her mother’s obituary.
Hale, a physical-education teacher who taught at Watterson for 19 years and never discussed her sexual orientation or her partner with students or fellow teachers.
According to a contract between the Columbus diocese and the Central Ohio Association of Catholic Educators, teachers can be terminated for “immorality” or “serious unethical conduct.” George Jones, a spokesman for the diocese, had no comment yesterday, saying personnel matters are confidential.
Students and other supporters recently caught wind of the firing, and on Monday, a petition was initiated on change.org to seek Hale’s reinstatement and now has more than 10,000 signatures.
“It’s a disgusting display of hypocrisy by the education system that I was once so proud of,” said Peter Clark of Powell, a 2011 Watterson graduate, who is now a religious-studies major at the College of Charleston in South Carolina adding that Hale was a compassionate, understanding teacher who was fired for something that “has nothing to do with education.”