“The Ellen Show” aired their interview with Shelly Fitzgerald, a guidance counselor at Roncalli High School, who was placed on administrative leave after it was discovered she has been married to a woman since 2014.
Fitzgerald had worked at Roncalli for the last 15 years.
When her marriage certificate was presented to Roncalli and the Archdiocese by a parent, she was placed on administrative leave and told she would have a few options. She could resign, end her marriage, or stay at the school through the end of this school year with it likely that her contract will not be renewed for next year.
Fitzgerald told DeGeneres she decided to speak out only after officials released public statements about the status of her employment last month.
“They announced that I was on administrative, paid leave, and that I was banned from campus, which was obviously hurtful,” she said. At that point, she said, school officials released a statement explaining why she’d been placed on leave and “put it on all of their social media and sent out a press release,” thereby outing her publicly.
Though Roncalli administrators have mostly kept quiet about the case, they posted a lengthy note on Facebook last month cited by The Associated Press that read, “The personal conduct of every teacher, guidance counselor and administrator and staff member, both at school and away from school, must convey and be supportive of the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
WIBC hosts Hammer and Nigel covered portions of the interview Monday afternoon:
“None of this sound good, that they pushed her marriage certificate in front of her and said ‘what is this?’ and then said ‘if you want to keep your job, you can choose to dissolve your marriage.’ Just none of this sounds good for Roncali.”
“Now granted, we’re only hearing one side of the story here, and in listening to the interview, there apparently may have been some kind of morality clause.”
“Well, you’re right, we’re only hearing one side of this, but if the marriage isn’t valid in the eyes of the Catholic church, then why the pressure to dissolve it?”
Click the link below to highlights from the Fitzgerald interview and more from Hammer and Nigel: