After continued rejection from high school administrators, Carla Hale is speaking directly to her increasing supporters and to those student whom she seeks to support. Bondings 2.0 previously reported on Ms. Hale’s firing after a female partner was listed in her mother’s obituary, and on the growing pressure from many quarters on Bishop Watterson High School to reinstate the 19-year veteran educator.
The teacher spoke at a press conference, responding to Principal Marian Hutson’s denial on Tuesday of Hale’s request to return to the high school, which was reported on by The Columbus Dispatch. Of the firing, she said:
“’I was informed that I was not terminated because I was gay, but … the spousal relationship that was publicized in the newspaper, which happened to be an obituary, is against church teaching,’ she said. Her attorney, Thomas Tootle, said he sees little distinction between the two.
“Hale also will file a complaint with the Columbus Community Relations Commission under a city ordinance that makes it a crime for employers to discriminate based on sexual orientation.”
Hale is appealing to the Catholic teachers’ union as well, but her message extends beyond her desire to resume teaching at Bishop Watterson. LGBTQ Nation reports:
“Hale said the negative message of her firing has been outweighed many times over by the positive outpouring that followed. She urged LGBT kids to focus instead on what has happened afterward in Columbus and around the nation.
“’I’m hoping that, possibly for the first time in many of their lives, they actually see the love and support that’s being generated,’ Hale said.
“’It’s one of those subjects that can’t ever be discussed (in Catholic schools), but I’m hoping now they can actually see what this whole situation has created, that there is a lot more support out there than they could have even imagined,’ she said.
“’Hopefully that’s what stays and that’s what endures and continues on from this whole situation.’”
A Change.org petition has garnered over 60,000 signatures, supporters have a dedicated hashtag on Twitter, #halestorm, and it is reported that the high school’s faculty are fully in support of Hale. Bondings 2.0 will continue updating on this story as Carla Hale struggles as a church worker to be treated justly by the Church.
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry