This lesbian guidance counsellor was fired for being married, now students are fighting back
Students at a US high school where a guidance counsellor was fired after it was revealed that she was married to a woman are appealing to the Archbishop to reappoint her.
The group of students met with the Archbishop on Sunday, and subsequently released a statement where they called on the Archbishop to “do what is right” and reappoint their “beloved” guidance counsellor.
Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, came under fire from both students and parents last week when Shelly Fitzgerald, a guidance counsellor at the school for 15 years, was let go.
It is alleged that they fired her after they found out that she had been secretly married to a woman, after an anonymous person requested a copy of her marriage certificate and sent it to school officials.
The group of students were informed that the Archbishop will ultimately make the decision on whether or not Fitzgerald is reappointed.
They also said they were “disheartened” by a statement Archbishop Thompson released last week, where he said that Catholics believe marriage is “a permanent partnership between one man and one woman ordered to the good of the couple and the procreation and education of children.”
In the statement, one of the students said that they were “not advocating against the Catholic Church’s teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual actions” but that they were advocating for a “change in the employment contract.”
According to a statement released by the school last week, staff members are expected to “convey and be supporting of the teachings of the Catholic Church”, both at school and away from school.
One of the students also said that they were concerned that the controversy surrounding Fitzgerald’s firing could affect the mental health of students who “either identify with the LGBT community or connect with Ms. Fitzgerald as their guidance counsellor.”
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When school officials found out about her marriage, Fitzgerald was allegedly told that she either had to end her marriage or she would be fired.
In a post on social media, Fitzgerald said she has “had to stay hidden and quiet from my friends or risk losing my job.”
“I ask that you pray for my family, for change in the world, and know I have absolutely loved my job for the past 15 years.”