Vancouver, BC — Globe and Mail Update Published on Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2010 5:56PM EDT Last updated on Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2010 7:18PM EDT
Lisa Reimer had told the principal at Little Flower Academy that she was a lesbian and her partner was expecting a baby, states a news release distributed Wednesday by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation on behalf of the B.C. Pride Education Network.
Ms. Reimer asked for a parental leave in December, well in advance of the child’s birth. However the school in January denied “her parental rights,” the teachers’ group stated.
“The Catholic school has knowingly employed her as a lesbian during the current school year, but suddenly dismissed her without warning,” the group says.
According to the news release, Ms. Reimer was told by the school principal that the school had no concerns about her ability to teach.
“Ms. Reimer was told that she was dismissed because many parents had complained since they had become aware of the fact that she had recently become a parent and that her spouse was a woman,” the release states.
Ms. Reimer, who was to hold a news conference later Wednesday, was not available earlier for an interview.
A spokesman for Little Flower Academy, Ben Fitch, declined to confirm whether Ms. Reimer had been fired for the reasons she said. Mr. Fitch, the school’s director of advancement, said in a brief interview he could not comment on a personnel issue. However the school intended to release a prepared statement at some point, he said.
Ms. Reimer is a public school teacher who took a leave two years ago from the Vancouver school district to work as a music teacher at Little Flower, Glen Hansman, a spokesman for the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association, said in an interview.
Ms. Reimer was to return to the Vancouver school district this September, Mr. Hansman said. The Vancouver school board has a specific policy aimed at protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teachers from discrimination.
Mr. Hansman said the firing of Ms. Reimer raises the issue of public funding of private schools in B.C.
The provincial government provides funding to private schools to cover the portion of the school day dedicated to teaching the province-wide curriculum. Many private schools receive public funding for up to 50 per cent of their expenses.
“The curriculum in B.C. talks about the B.C. Human Rights Code, and tolerance and acceptance of diversity, and all the prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Code and the Charter,” Mr. Hansman said.
“It is really frustrating in 2010, now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land and adoption rights for same-sex couples have been clarified, here we have someone being dismissed from a school that operates with public funds,” he said.
Mr. Hansman stated in the news release that Catholic schools should be no different than public schools, where teachers have the right to a safe and accepting workplace. “This case is a clear example why private schools should not receive any kind of public funding whatsoever,” he said.
Steve LeBel, a spokesman for B.C. Pride Education Network, also questioned public funding for the Catholic school.
“In 2010, it is absolutely unfathomable that any school would insinuate that students could be led into homosexuality by having a lesbian teacher, and then fire that teacher,” he said.
The Catholic Schools as well as the public schools have an obligation to get
rid of those who promote hatred towards others.
This teacher is a lesbian who lives with another lesbian and the paper states "had recently become a parent"
Excuse me, where is the FATHER? Where did the S.P.E.R.M. come from? Obviously, these two women are hell bent on "raising THEIR child" and men or a father don't come into that picture.
There is obviously a child who will not grow up with a Father in his or her life and will grow up in an environment that is most probably riddled with male hatred.
Children are impressionable, she is obviously a talented teacher but its the very fact that she is such a good teacher is that she will, without any effort, act as a recruitment officer for the those in society who don't believe in heterosexual marriage which is contrary to most religious beliefs including Catholics.
It appears she chose this school and chose to become a same sex parent when she knew that would outrage all the parents of the students at that school.
Its the fact that she was willing to create such a controversy and subject the children to a change in teacher that begs questions about her motives and its those questions that are impossible to answer that are the very reason why she should never be allowed to pull such a stunt again.