A popular teacher at a Miami Catholic school has been fired after posting pictures of her wedding online.
Jocelyn Morffi, a first grade teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School, lost her job Thursday after marrying her female partner of two years in the Florida Keys, the Miami Herald reports.
“This weekend, I married the love of my life and, unfortunately, I was terminated from my job as a result,” Morffi wrote on social media. “In their eyes, I’m not the right kind of Catholic for my choice of partner.”
Parents were notified of Morffi’s firing in a letter from the school that did not disclose the specific reason for her termination. About 20 parents gathered at the school Friday morning to demand answers from the school principal, Carlota E. Morales, who called it a “difficult and necessary” decision.
“We were extremely livid,” says Cintia Cini, a parent of a child in Morffi’s class. “They treated her like a criminal, they didn’t even let her get her things out of her classroom.” Cini said that the parents did not know but do not care about Morffi’s sexual orientation. “Our only concern was the way she was with our children, the way she taught our children and this woman by far was one of the best teachers out there.”
Mary Ross Agosta, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Miami, confirms that Morffi was fired because “she broke the contract she signed when she began teaching at a Catholic school.” Her contract contained a moral turpitude clause.
Per the Archdiocese of Miami’s policy, Catholic school teachers are considered church representatives and are expected to abide by Catholic teachings. Florida does not have a statewide law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
“As a teacher in a Catholic school their responsibility is partly for the spiritual growth of the children,” Agosta continues. “One has to understand that in any corporation, institution or organization there are policies and procedures and teachings and traditions that are adhered to. If something along the way does not continue to stay within that contract, then we have no other choice.”
Morffi taught at Sts. Peter and Paul for almost seven years. She also coached basketball and ran a non-profit volunteer organization, #teachHope70x7, that took students to help distribute meals to the homeless.
“This teacher in particular has made such a contribution to the school,” says parent Samantha Mills. “She never imposes her personal beliefs on others. She just does everything in love. She has a way of teaching that is so amazing.”
Parents at Sts. Peter and Paul say they will continue to protest the school’s decision. Morffi’s attorney tells WPLG that they are considering legal action.