When Jocelyn Morffi tied the knot with her long-time girlfriend, she didn’t think she’d lose her job. But days after she returned to Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in Miami, she was told she had to go.
“This weekend I married the love of my life and unfortunately I was terminated from my job as a result,” Morffi said in a post on Instagram. “In their eyes I’m not the right kind of Catholic for my choice in partner.”
According to Catholic officials, the Cuban-American teacher violated church rules.
“As a teacher in a Catholic school their responsibility is partly for the spiritual growth of the children,” archdiocese spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta told TIME. “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.”
Parents of Morffi’s students, however, have been expressing their disapproval toward the termination. Nearly 20 parents went to the school demanding an explanation.
“We were extremely livid. They treated her like a criminal and they didn’t even let her get her things out of her classroom,” Cintia Cini, a parent of a child in Morffi’s class, told the publication.
She said that Morffi’s skill and care as a teacher, not her sexual orientation, is what matters to her.
“Our only concern was the way she was with our children, the way she taught our children and this woman by far was one of the best teachers out there,” she said.
Morffi worked at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School for almost seven years. In addition to teaching, she also coached basketball and ran #teachHope70x70, a volunteer group that brings children to downtown Miami to distribute meals to the homeless on the weekends.