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NSW teacher fired from religious based school

A music teacher has been fired from a religious based school in New South Wales after parents discovered she was in a same-sex relationship.

The principal terminated the teacher by email after she confirmed she was in same-sex relationship.

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The teacher had changed her relationship status on her personal Facebook page, but despite it having restricted access, a parent became aware of the change and complained to her employer.

The music teacher who worked at a Christian school in Paramatta told the Sydney Morning Herald that she’d made sure she and her girlfriend never showed an affection in pubic, and she was not friends with any parents at the school, so it was surprising that one of them had complained about her private Facebook page.

The teacher was called in for an emergency meeting during the school holidays and informed of the complaint, she was then given seven days to submit a written response to the accusation that she was in a same-sex relationship.

In her letter to her employer the teacher shared how much she loved teaching at the school.

I truly cherish every moment as I am able to combine my passion for music education with the opportunity to express my faith,” she wrote.

“In the classroom, I have cultivated a strong rapport with our students, and it warms my heart to hear them declare on a daily basis, ‘Music day is my favorite day’, with such enthusiasm and sincerity.

“My private life does not and needs not inhibit my professional life. My social media is set to restricted access, and neither parents nor colleagues can view anything I share there.” she said.

The teacher also said that discovering that her private Facebook post had been shared to online parent groups and gossiped about had taken a toll on her mental health.

The school emailed back and let her know that she been fired.

The institution and the teacher’s names have not been made public, but Christian Schools Australia has defended the decision saying it would be meeting parent’s expectations.

The Greens spokesperson for LGBTIQA+ issues, Stephen Bates, said he was horrified by the school’s decision.

“These are the consequences of Labor refusing to pass the anti-discrimination reforms they promised last election.

“They’ve betrayed the LGBTIQA+ community and now another person has lost their job and their livelihood. If this makes you as angry as it makes me.” Bates said in a post to Instagram.

Bringing in reforms to the Sex Discrimination Act, and a promise of introducing Religious Discrimination protections has been a challenge for successive governments from both sides of the political divide.

The Morrison government saw its own members cross the floor to vote against legislation, before deciding to abandon attempts at reform. The Albanese government has said it will only address the issue if the coalition gives bipartisan support for their yet-to-be-seen bill.

2GB host says the decision is galling

Radio host Chris O’Keefe shared his thoughts on the topic, giving a surprising point of view for the conservative talkback station.

“I’m sorry, I don’t care what religion the school is, or what doctrine their teach, Australian schools like every Australian workplace, is required to adhere to Australian workplace laws – at least they should.

“A staff members sexuality is none of the employers business.” O’Keefe said.

The radio host said it was outrageous that the current laws allow this kind of dismisal.

“An employer has absolutely no right to its staff’s bedrooms or love life, really simple.

“This teacher wasn’t promoting homosexuality in class, she wasn’t anti-Christianity in the classrooms to the kids, by all accounts she was doing a fantastic job.” O’Keefe said, adding that he believes teachers shouldn’t be losing their jobs because “gossipy parents stalk them on Facebook”.

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