After working for 19 years at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Ohio, gym teacher Carla Hale was unceremoniously fired in March after her girlfriend’s name was listed in the obituary for Hale’s mother.
Hale says the school was aware of her relationship with her partner, Julie, but it only became an issue when the obituary was printed.
“[Julie] asked me if I really wanted to put her name in there—in the obituary,” Hale told the Columbus Dispatch. “But… my mom really loved Julie and Julie loved my my mom and, as I sat there with my brother, you know, it was like… his wife was mentioned, my niece’s husband was mentioned, so why not? Why not [the] person I love?”
Hale was a popular instructor at the school, but apparently a nosy parent complained that a lesbian was teaching her child how to properly spike a vollyball, and she was quickly axed.
More than 11,000 supporters have signed a Change.org petition demanding the school issue an apology and reinstate the ousted teacher. Hale has also retained a lawyer to determine whether or not the school is in violation of a Columbus ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.