Parents Furious After Catholic School Fires a Gay Teacher for Marrying Her Partner


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All people, no matter what their circumstances are, should be able to feel comfortable expressing who they truly are without fear of persecution. For those in the LGBTQ community, this isn't always the case. LGBTQ teachers, church officials, and community leaders are often left vulnerable to unfair treatment imposed on them by those in positions of power. After an elementary school teacher admitted that she was fired for marrying her longtime girlfriend, many are speaking out against the bigotry displayed by her former school.

  • First-grade teacher Jocelyn Morffi married her partner of two years in an intimate wedding on February 3, 2018.

    Unfortunately, she didn't get to celebrate her nuptials for long. When she returned to work at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic school, she was called into the principal's office and asked to resign. When she refused, she was fired on the spot.

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  • Immediately after her firing, Morffi took to Instagram to give the reason for her sudden departure from the classroom.

    In her post, Morffi claims Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School fired her because she married a woman rather than a man. "In their eyes, I'm not the right kind of Catholic for my choice in partner," she wrote.

  • To announce her firing, the school sent a letter home with students.

    In the letter, the principal refers to the decision to fire Morffi as "difficult and necessary," and while the parents are told that their children's education was of the "utmost concern," the letter does not offer a reason for Morffi's firing. 

    The Miami Herald spoke with Archdiocese of Miami spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta, who would only say that the official reasoning for the teacher's release was a breach of contract. "As a teacher in a Catholic school their responsibility is partly for the spiritual growth of the children," said Agosta. "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.”

    In 2015, after Florida lifted its ban on same-sex marriage, Archbishop Thomas Wenski released a memo stating that everyone employed by the church would still be viewed as representatives of the Catholic church and would be expected to abide by the teachings of Catholicism.

  • Morffi's efforts as a teacher and an organizer have not gone unnoticed by the parents of her students.

    The Washington Post reports that angry parents went to Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School to protest her firing. "We were extremely livid. They treated her like a criminal; they didn't even let her get her things out of her classroom," Cintia Cini, mother of one of Morffi's former students, told the Miami Herald. "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."

  • Many also took to social media to air their frustration, calling the school "homophobic" and "bigoted."

  • The school was also slammed for not promoting diversity among its students and staff.

  • There were some, though, who defended the school's decision.

  • Even after the backlash, Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School isn't apologizing or reversing its decision.

    While Jocelyn Morffi has not publicly responded to the outpouring of support she has received, many are still moved by her story -- especially the parents of her former students.

    "This teacher in particular has made such a contribution to the school. She never imposes her personal beliefs on others," Samantha Mills, whose child was in Morffi's class last year, told the Miami Herald. "She just does everything in love. She has a way of teaching that is so amazing."

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