Bishop Watterson PE Teacher Talks To NBC4 After Dismissal - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Bishop Watterson PE Teacher Talks To NBC4 After Dismissal

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBUS, Ohio -

A Catholic high school teacher says she was fired because she's gay, and now thousands are trying to help her get her job back with an online petition.

Carla Hale, the former physical education teacher at Bishop Watterson High School, talked to NBC4's Mike Bowersock about why she was fired and what may be next.

Hale said she was fired after 19 years, after an obituary for her mother listed the name of a woman as Hale's partner.

"I was totally shocked. I mean, I think it was just one of those where everything was drained out of me," Hale said.

There are more than 7,000 names on a petition, asking the school to rehire Hale, and now there are possibilities that someone could face criminal charges in her dismissal.

"Bishop Watterson is an amazing place to be, with the staff, the faculty, it's a very positive environment," she said. "If it wouldn't have been for my mom's obituary and my partner's name being Julie and not Chris or Pat or whomever, I wouldn't be in this situation right now. It would be Wednesday, 8th period, badminton tournament," she said.

After the obituary, Hale said, she was called into an office and told that an anonymous parent had complained.

Then, on Holy Thursday, she was fired for what is known as Diocesan Policy 45116.1, which states that Catholic school personnel are expected to be examples of moral behavior and her spousal relationship violates the moral laws.

"They're probably honestly wouldn't be a lot of teachers working here because if you go there, the Catholic Church doesn't promote divorce, living with a heterosexual partner out of marriage, birth control," Hale said.

Since her termination, a petition has started, which includes many former students supporting Hale.

There could be legal ramifications.

Hale's attorney is exploring whether to file a complaint with the city.

"In most parts of the state, it is perfectly legal to fire someone on the basis of their sexual orientation. We're fortunate in Columbus to have a municipal ordinance that was passed in 2008 that does protect people and there are no exceptions in that ordinance for religious institutions," said Hale's attorney, Tom Tootle.

The Columbus Community Relations Commissions would take up the issue if a complaint is filed.

The charge would be a misdemeanor, and would be filed against the person who fired Hale, according to commission Director Napolean Bell.

Hale's termination notice was signed by Bishop Watterson Principal Marian Hutson.

A Columbus Diocese representative would not comment on the case, claiming it is a personnel issue.

Special Features

        Radar                           NBC4 Apps                      E-mail Alerts                        Traffic                   Send A News Tip
                   
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • No Injuries Reported After Columbus Home Shot Twice

    No Injuries Reported After Columbus Home Shot Twice

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:30 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:30:25 GMT
    No one is reportedly injured after a southeast Columbus home is shot early Monday morning. No one is reportedly injured after a southeast Columbus home is shot early Monday morning.
    No one is reportedly injured after a southeast Columbus home is shot early Monday morning.
    No one is reportedly injured after a southeast Columbus home is shot early Monday morning.
  • Lake in Pike County Leaking

    Lake in Pike County Leaking

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:18 AM EDT2014-09-01 12:18:39 GMT
    Leaks found at a dam have led the state to ask boat owners to remove their boats from Lake White while inspectors check for the cause. Leaks found at a dam have led the state to ask boat owners to remove their boats from Lake White while inspectors check for the cause.
    Leaks found at a dam have led the state to ask boat owners to remove their boats from Lake White while inspectors check for the cause. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said on its website Sunday that the lake water level had been lowered nearly 3 feet below summer pool after unusual levels of seepage were found in a routine inspection of the Lake White dam spillway.Initially, about a foot and a half of water was drained from the 337-acre lake at Lake White State Park in Waverly, but...
    Leaks found at a dam have led the state to ask boat owners to remove their boats from Lake White while inspectors check for the cause. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said on its website Sunday that the lake water level had been lowered nearly 3 feet below summer pool after unusual levels of seepage were found in a routine inspection of the Lake White dam spillway.Initially, about a foot and a half of water was drained from the 337-acre lake at Lake White State Park in Waverly, but...
  • Reward Offered For Information On Dublin Identity Theft

    Reward Offered For Information On Dublin Identity Theft

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:01 AM EDT2014-08-31 13:01:32 GMT
    A cash reward is being offered by Crime Stoppers to anyone who helps bring an arrest in an identity theft out of Dublin.A cash reward is being offered by Crime Stoppers to anyone who helps bring an arrest in an identity theft out of Dublin.
    A cash reward is being offered by Crime Stoppers to anyone who helps bring an arrest in an identity theft out of Dublin.
    A cash reward is being offered by Crime Stoppers to anyone who helps bring an arrest in an identity theft out of Dublin.
Powered by WorldNow

3165 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, OH 43202

Telephone: 614.263.4444
Fax: 614.263.0166
Email: stories@nbc4i.com

NBC4 BBB Business Review
Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.