A music teacher in Vancouver, Canada, claims she was essentially fired after school officials discovered she was a lesbian whose partner had just given birth.

Lisa Reimer claims that Little Flower Academy, an independent Catholic school, refused her parental rights and told her to keep her family secret when she told them the news in December.

She said school principals warned her not to speak about her partner or new baby to pupils or parents and to stay off school property because “there would be a witch hunt”.

Ms Reimer went public with her story yesterday. She claimed she has been forced to work at home since Monday because parents complained about her.

Her one-year contract ends in June, but she says was told to stay at home to mark papers and that her classes were cancelled.

She told a press conference: “I feel like I’ve been fired with a payout. All the families have been told I am on a personal leave, which I am not.

“I can’t imagine how gay students at the school feel. It’s so sad.”

The teacher is being supported by the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association, which says she has been transferred to another school to start in September.

Little Flower Academy denies Ms Reimer’s claims.

A statement said she remains in employment and was given parental leave as requested.

Celso Boscariol, the chairman of the school’s board of directors, said the teacher had a meeting with the school “to discuss projects consistent with the music theory curriculum. The school understood that her proposed role was acceptable and the matter was resolved”.

He added that he would look into her claims that she was told to stay away from the school and pupils.