Saturday’s ‘equality meeting’ focuses on fired Watterson teacher

Graduates of Bishop Watterson High School are being asked to attend an “equality meeting” Saturday, April 20, in response to the firing of a popular physical education teacher.

The gathering, announced by graduate William Klatt via email and on a Facebook page, will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. April 20 at Studio 35 Cinema and Drafthouse, 3055 Indianola Ave.

“This meeting welcomes Bishop Watterson alumni and all who support workplace equality to come together to discuss the recent firing of Carla Hale due to her sexual orientation and its implication on gay and straight staff and students across the Columbus Catholic dioceses,” Klatt, who identified himself as a BWHS graduate, wrote in the email.

“Folks will also have an opportunity if they like to share stories and words of support for Mrs. Hale for an online video that will be produced after the meeting,” the Facebook page states.

The agenda, as outlined at the Facebook page Watterson Alumni Equality Meeting, calls for reviewing the facts related to Hale’s dismissal from the staff after 19 years, evidently in response to a parent complaint when her partner’s name was listed in the obituary for her mother

The facts of the firing will be reviewing in the first 15 minutes of the assembly, with 10 minutes devoted to going over “discrimination impact on our community” and the last 30 minutes devoted to discussion of what steps should be taken next.

“Afterwards, if you have a short story or favorite memory of Carla Hale, you can share it for a video that's being produced,” the Facebook notice states.

In a posting to the page, Klatt says 162 people have indicated they planned to attend.

Klatt’s sister, Anna, also posted to the page, saying she felt it was important to note the gathering was not an attack on the school’s principal, Marian Hutson, “but rather a call to the Columbus Catholic Diocese to own up to its discriminatory policies.

“Catholic leadership may be stuck in outdated, harmful beliefs, but its youth are not,” Anna Klatt wrote.