NewsEducation / August 13, 2018

Roncalli High School Threatens Guidance Counselor's Job Over Same-Sex Marriage

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Roncalli High School, a Catholic school in Indianapolis. - FILE PHOTO: Acacia Squires/NPR

Roncalli High School, a Catholic school in Indianapolis.

FILE PHOTO: Acacia Squires/NPR

A Roncalli High School guidance counselor says she may lose her job after administrators found out she is married to a woman.

Shelly Fitzgerald posted in a private Facebook group the Catholic high school administration at the Archdiocese of Indianapolis provided her four options: resign, dissolve her marriage, quietly finish out her contract, or be fired. 

Indiana provides protections for public employees based on sexual orientation, but Roncalli is exempt from those rules because it is a private school.

READ MORE: Who Decides How To Protect LGBTQ Student Rights?

State law says it doesn’t have abide by the same anti-discrimination protections that public schools do, despite receiving more than $1.5 million in state funding through Indiana’s voucher program for the 2017-18 school. That year 350 students, of the nearly 1,200 total enrollment, attend the school with support from the voucher program.

Roncalli and the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis defended their position, and said in a press release: administrators and guidance counselors are expected to be role models and are “called to respect human sexuality and its expression in the Sacrament of Marriage between a man and a woman.”

Their statement also said these expectations are defined in employee contracts. Fitzgerald has been placed on administrative leave.

This story has been updated.

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