22 September 2014

Carla Hale, the 19 year teacher at Columbus Bishop Watterson High School who was fired after her mother’s obituary stated that she was “survived by Carla & her partner,” received word this week that the phony Catholic “Union” to which she has paid two decades worth of dues will not support her in her fight to be reinstated. In a public statement, the Central Ohio Association of Catholic Educators stated thru spokesperson Kathleen Mahoney they would not appeal her case to arbitration.


This will not affect her ongoing fight to reverse her firing at the hands of the Central Ohio Catholic Diocese, stated Tom Tootle, the attorney representing Ms. Hale. According to Mr. Tootle, “COACE has never in its history appealed any grievance for any of its members to arbitration.”


It was learned through confidential sources that a number of teachers, members of COACE at Bishop Watterson High School, had initiated a petition to decertify that group as representing the teachers at that school.


The AFL-CIO Central Labor Council for Central Ohio, meanwhile, unanimously passed a strongly worded resolution this past week supporting Carla Hale in her fight to be reinstated. The AFL-CIO is made up of actual independent unions in the central Ohio area.


Also this past week, the first hearing was held with the Columbus Human Rights Commission on Ms. Hale’s case. Columbus, Ohio has very strong language that includes specific wording outlawing discrimination in housing or employment because of sexual orientation. Conviction under the HRC legislation could result in jail time and up to $10,000 in fines. Tootle stated that a first meeting was held with Nelson Hewitt of the HRC.


“We came away very encouraged,” stated Mr. Tootle.


A fund has now been set up ( carlahalefund.com ) to raise money needed for her legal case. The grassroots committee mainly composed by Ms. Hale’s students, parents of students, alumni and former teachers at Watterson HS, is also planning a series of fund raising projects, parties and other activities. T-shirts supporting Ms. Hale were being hawked at the rally.


This past Saturday, over 100 protestors held a rally at the Catholic Diocese in Columbus, calling on the Diocese to “Do What Jesus Would Do,” according to organizer Amanda Finelli.


“Morality is not a list of restrictions, doctrines and rituals, that is not what Jesus said,” Amanda stated. “We learned that we should treat others with dignity and respect. Jesus never would’ve fired Carla!”


A group of students at the rally were “stoning” a young girl. The “stones” were balled up paper and the unidentified young girl yelled out, “I didn’t wear my full uniform, I forgot my socks, now I have to be stoned!”
Speaking for the AFL-CIO, Glen Skeen, CWA officer & President of Pride@Work Ohio, told the crowd that he is “a member of a real union, one that actually stands up and represents its members.”


“We are here supporting Carla, not because we know her, like so many of you, but because nobody, whether we know them or not, should ever have to live in fear because their boss, whether it’s a church or a company, can fire them for what they do in their personal lives,” Glen said.


“We are union, and we say that everyone should have rights on the job, everyone should have democratic rights & no one should ever have to face what Carla has.”




Frank Wilson, a recently retired Watterson teacher, said that he knew Carla and served on committees with her, and greatly respected her for her work.
“She never quizzed me about my personal live and I never did about her’s,” he said. “Carla Hale is one of the best, most respected teachers I’ve ever known, and the decision to fire her was absolutely the worst administrative decision ever!”


It was announced that the on-line petition supporting Carla Hale (Change.org) now had over 130,000 signatures.