Carla Hale, gym teacher at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Ohio, until March:
In addition to losing her mother in March of this year, high school gym teacher Carla Hale lost her job when administrators at the Catholic school where she worked saw Hale's partner listed among surviving family members of Hale's late mother.
Hale told The Columbus Dispatch that when she returned to work at Bishop Watterson High in March after her mother’s death, administrators showed her a letter that a parent had written anonymously to the Roman Catholic diocese of Columbus, “appalled that Hale had listed her female partner’s name in an obituary,” as the newspaper put it. Hale, who had taught physical education at the school for 19 years, was fired a few weeks later, and she says the reason was the revelation of her relationship.
More than 130,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding that Hale be reinstated, calling the teacher "beloved" and noting that "she cared for her students and treated each one with respect."
Hale filed a grievance under the terms of her labor contract, seeking reinstatement, but has yet to succeed in her efforts to get back to school, her attorney told the Dispatch. A diocesan official declined comment to the Dispatch, citing confidentiality of personnel matters, but the paper noted that the contract states teachers can be fired for "immorality" or "serious unethical conduct."