A female Catholic school teacher in Miami married her girlfriend earlier this month, and when she got back from her wedding, she learned that she had been fired for breaking her contract.
Now, some parents at the school are outraged that a teacher beloved by many would be treated in such a way, the Miami Herald reported.
Jocelyn Morffi was a first-grade teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Miami, where she had taught for the past seven years.
She married her partner, Natasha Hass, on Feb. 2 in the Florida Keys. Just days later, she was fired. She broke the news on her Instagram page late last week.
“This weekend I married the love of my life and unfortunately I was terminated from my job as a result,” Morffi wrote. “In their eyes I’m not the right kind of Catholic for my choice in partner.”
The school sent a letter to parents on Thursday, which informed them of the firing but did not go into detail about the reason.
“Today a difficult and necessary decision has been made regarding Ms. Jocelyn Morffi, our first-grade teacher,” the letter read. “She is no longer teaching at our school.”
The letter went on to assure parents that their children's education would not be disrupted, and requesting prayers as they look forward to the beginning of Lent.
What did the parents say?
Once parents received the letter, about a dozen of them showed up at the school Friday demanding more of an explanation.
“We were extremely livid,” Cintia Cini, the parent of one of Morffi’s students, told the Miami Herald. “They treated her like a criminal, they didn’t even let her get her things out of the classroom.”
The school principal met with the parents individually but wouldn’t go into detail about the firing.
How did the Archdiocese of Miami respond?
Mary Ross Agosta, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Miami, offered some more information about the firing.
“As a teacher in a Catholic school their responsibility is partly for the spiritual growth of the children,” Agosta told the Herald. “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.”
Archbishop Thomas Wenski reiterated to employees that they could be terminated for violating Catholic teachings back in 2015, when same-sex marriage was legalized in the state.
Although Miami-Dade county prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation, there is an exception for religious institutions, according to the Washington Post.