US: Woman says Roncalli fired her for supporting 2 employees fired over same-sex marriages

A third Roncalli High School staff member has filed a discrimination complaint against the school and Archdiocese of Indianapolis, alleging she was fired because of her public support of two gay guidance counselors who were fired over their same-sex marriages.

Kelley Fisher was a social worker at Roncalli for 15 years until she was fired this past spring. Fisher, who had worked in the guidance department with former counselors Shelly Fitzgerald and Lynn Starkey, said in a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that she was retaliated against by school and archdiocese officials because she publicly supported her coworkers.

In response to questions from IndyStar about Fisher's dismissal, the archdiocese said it has a constitutional right to "hire leaders who support the schools’ religious mission." "Catholic schools exist to communicate the Catholic faith to the next generation," the archdiocese said. "To accomplish their mission, Catholic schools ask all teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors to uphold the Catholic faith by word and action, both inside and outside the classroom."

Though Fisher worked at Roncalli, she was an employee of Catholic Charities, which is part of the archdiocese and is contracted by schools to place social workers in them. Fisher allegesshe was told by Archbishop Charles Thompson that if she publicly supported Fitzgerald or Starkey, she’d be going against the Catholic church.

IndyStar spoke with three other employees who worked at Roncalli last year on the condition of anonymity who said they, too, feared for their jobs and regulated their behavior outside of work and on social media in new ways after Fitzgerald was suspended. They all said that nothing was ever put in writing and they weren’t given concrete answers to questions about what they could and couldn’t get in trouble for, so many people chose to say nothing publicly about what was happening at the school. Read more via IndyStar