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Lesbian gym teacher fired after her mother's obituary accidentally outed her will NOT get her job back
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By Daily Mail Reporter and Ap
PUBLISHED: 19:36 EST, 15 August 2013 | UPDATED: 19:36 EST, 15 August 2013
A lesbian teacher challenging her firing by a Roman Catholic school in Ohio - after 19 years with the school - will not get her job back as part of a settlement reached with the Diocese of Columbus.
The attorneys for Carla Hale and the diocese on Thursday announced that as part of the agreement, she will receive 'acknowledgement' for her years of service at Bishop Watterson High School. Both parties declined to give details of the settlement.
Hale, 57, was given her marching orders in March, just days after her late mother's obituary in February detailed Ms Hale's relationship with a woman named Julie.
Saddened: Carla Hale, 57, worked at Bishop Watterson for 19 years but after her mother's obituary revealed her relationship with a woman named Jule, the school fired her for 'violating its moral codes'
When a parent of one of the students noticed the announcement and complained to the school authorities, Ms Hale was promptly dismissed on the grounds that she had 'violated the school's 'moral policy.'
Holding back tears, Ms Hale told NBC: 'Bishop Watterson is an amazing place to be. The staff, the environment...'
After such a long career at the school, she couldn't believe her ears when she was shown the obituary and told that her relationship didn't adhere to the school's Diocesan policy.
'I was totally shocked,' Hale told OpposingViews.com. 'I mean, I think it was just one of those where everything was drained out of me.'
Ms Hale, who admitted to always having kept her personal life private at work, was sent a letter detailing the Diocesan regulations.
Happier times: Ms Hale (top row, right) who kept her personal life private taught physical education for 19 years and called Watterson 'an amazing place to be'
Institution: A letter from the school (pictured) informed Ms Hale that staff at Watterson were expected to be 'examples of moral behavior and professionalism'
'In keeping with the moral values advanced by the teachings of Christ, the tenets of the Catholic Church, and the policies and regulations of the diocese and school, Catholic school personnel are expected to be examples of moral behavior and professionalism,' it reads.
The letter went on to say that: 'Your written spousal relationship violates the moral laws of the Catholic Church, this an COACE Agreement Article 20.3. As a result, your contract with Bishop Watterson High School is terminated effective Thursday March 28, 2013.'
In a cursory offer of compensation, Ms Hale has been offered letters of recommendation and an opportunity to retain her medical insurance for up to a year.
Pointing to the moral codes cited in the letter, Ms Hale noted: 'There probably honestly wouldn't be a lot of teachers working there then because if you go there then the church doesn't promote divorce, living with a heterosexual partner out of marriage, birth control...
Astonishment: Ms Hale and her attorneys are considering whether to sue the city of Columbus for the infringement of rights that are protected by a municipal ordinance passed in 2008
'If we really want to open up that door ... where do you start and finish if you're talking about immoral behavior within the Catholic Church?'
Though the firing took place at the end of March, a spotlight has been shone on the story thanks to a petition launched by students of the teacher on Change.org in her defense.
Signed by over 15,000 people so far, it asks that the diocese of Columbus 'reinstate faculty member Carla Hale and apologize for discriminating against her on the basis of sexuality.'
'I'm in awe of them,' Ms Hale gushed of her students. 'The continued support from the alums and the phone calls and emails that I'm receiving are just nothing but love and support.'