A first-grade teacher was fired from her job at a Catholic school in Florida days after tying the knot in a same-sex wedding ceremony.
Jocelyn Morffi returned to work at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Miami on Wednesday after marrying her wife, Natasha Hass, in the Florida Keys. The following day, she was terminated after refusing to resign, the Miami Herald reported.
“This weekend I married the love of my life and unfortunately I was terminated from my job as a result,” Morffi, who had taught at the school for more than six years, wrote Friday in a Facebook post cited by CBS Miami. “In their eyes I’m not the right kind of Catholic for my choice in partner.”
Principal Carlota Morales called Morffi’s dismissal a “difficult” yet “necessary” decision in a letter sent home to parents of Sts. Peter and Paul students. Morales added that “throughout the next days and weeks your child’s daily school routine will not be disrupted as Ms. Morffi’s replacement will be selected very soon.”
The letter didn’t mention anything about Morffi’s sexuality, nor did it provide a reason for her termination.
A group of about 20 parents showed up at the school Friday demanding an explanation.
“We send our kids here because we want them to learn messages of love,” parent Rochelle Martin told CBS Miami. “I truly believe that Jesus’s message is about love, compassion and acceptance, and this is the opposite and that’s very upsetting.”
Another mom, Samantha Mills, said several teachers who attended Hass and Morffi’s wedding were concerned about retaliation. “There’s a fear to speak out about what has happened,” she said. “There was a warning provided to those teachers.”
A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Miami told the Sun Herald that Morffi was fired for violating her contract, without specifying exactly what provision the teacher breached.
“As a teacher in a Catholic school their responsibility is partly for the spiritual growth of the children,” Mary Ross 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.”