School teacher fired after marrying her same-sex partner
In what has to be one of the most severe cases of unfair dismissal to have ever been recorded, a Catholic school in Miami have fired a teacher just days after she married her partner and posted the photos onto Facebook.
Jocelyn Morffi, a first-grade teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School, lost her job on Thursday - the day after she returned home from her wedding in the Florida Keys. Taking to her Instagram account, the teacher wrote. “This weekend I married the love of my life and unfortunately I was terminated from my job as a result,” Morffi said. “In their eyes I’m not the right kind of Catholic for my choice in partner.”
Parents learned of the firing through a letter that was sent out from the school on Thursday evening. There was no clear reason given for the firing, with the school saying it was a "difficult and necessary decision" and that "education is of the utmost concern for us." But, after hearing that the popular teacher had been relieved of her duties, a group of 20-or-so angry parents gathered at the school and demanded an explanation from the principal.
“We were extremely livid. They treated her like a criminal, they didn’t even let her get her things out of her classroom,” said Cintia Cini, speaking to the Miami Herald. Cini said that the parents had no idea that Morffi was gay, but that they also didn't care. “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,” she said.
According to the mother, the principal spoke to each of the parents individually but would not give them a clear reason for the firing. The school has refused requests for comment but Archdiocese of Miami spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta confirmed that the teacher had lost her job and said that she had broken her contract. However, despite confirming the firing, she also would not go into great detail as to why Morffi was fired.
“As a teacher in a Catholic school their responsibility is partly for the spiritual growth of the children,” Agosta said. “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.”
The controversy comes after Florida lifted its ban on same-sex marriage in 2015. However, after the monumental decision, Archbishop Thomas Wenski sent out a memo to teacher reminding them that they are church representatives and should abide by Catholic teaching. Any conduct that was deemed as 'inconsistent' of that, would result in disciplinary action, including termination.
"I think it’s shocking that in this day and age this continues to happen in South Florida,” said Tony Lima, executive director of the South Florida LGBT rights group SAVE. “It’s important to continue educating the community that this kind of stuff happens in this day and age. But it’s even more important to pass comprehensive statewide protections.”
“We were completely outraged, all of the parents,” said Samantha Mills, whose child was in Morffi’s class last year. “This teacher, in particular, has made such a contribution to the school. She never imposes her personal beliefs on others. She just does everything in love. She has a way of teaching that is so amazing.”
It seems completely ludicrous that in 2018 teachers are getting fired due to the sexuality. If she was a good teacher - which she appears to be - why does it matter who she decides to marry?