By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) – Mark Krolikowski has shoulder-length brown hair. He likes to wear multiple earrings and French manicure his nails. Students call him Mr. K.
Krolikowski, 59, taught for 32 years at St. Francis Preparatory School, a 150-year-old Catholic institution in Queens, New York.
Until August. That's when the school laid him off.
He alleges that he was discriminated against because he is transgender and that the school's attitude toward him changed in the eight months after he came out.
He recently filed a lawsuit saying the school and its principal, Leonard Conway, broke the law with his termination and that as a result, Krolikowski has been distressed.
"Teaching - it's my life," Krolikowski said Friday. "I feel that has been taken away from me."
His lawyer Andrew Kimler said Krolikowski's case has "significant ramifications for the LGBT community and is a wakeup call to employers in terms of employment practices."
Conway would not comment but referred questions to his lawyer, Philip C. Semprevivo Jr.
Semprevivo said he could not discuss details of the case since it was in litigation but said Krolikowski was terminated legally.
"We deny all the allegations," he said.
In the meantime, former students of St. Francis launched an online petition that describes Krolikowski as a beloved and well-respected teacher and urges the school to apologize.
Cristina Guarino, who started the petition on Change.org, said Krolikowski always had a "feminine edge," though it was nothing shocking. Some students speculated on his sexuality and wondered whether he was gay.
"I really never questioned his gender identity despite his somewhat feminized looks," she said. "It just didn't seem to matter, and it never affected his teaching style or his opinions. He never imposed anything on us."
She said Krolikowski's sex education class called Human Sexuality and Love - one that he developed 15 years ago - was one of her favorites during her four years at St. Francis. Krolikowski's gender identity never was an issue in class, she said. He was the kind of teacher who told jokes and acted silly in class to make students feel more comfortable talking about sex.
"I still laugh to this day when I remember it. Mr. K was someone who brightened our lives,” Guarino said.
Krolikowski said he was overwhelmed by the show of support from his students.
"I didn't realize I touched that many people," he said. "It makes me feel that my teaching career was worthwhile."
Krolikowski began teaching at St. Francis in 1980. Aside from his regular classes, he volunteered to lead students in many extracurricular activities that included music, performance of school liturgies and an international night and graduation ceremony.
"I wore a lot of hats," he said.
His account of what happened to him is described in the lawsuit.
He says the school never questioned his abilities, loyalty or dedication to the Catholic faith. But that changed, according to him, in October 2011, when he was summoned to the principal's office to meet with Conway and Assistant Principal Patrick McLaughlin.
Krolikowski says he was informed then that a parent of a freshman student had complained about the teacher's appearance.
He admits his appearance is considered unconventional. But he said he always wore a suit and tie, and his personal grooming conformed to school standards. Former St. Francis students who have signed the petition agreed with that description.
But Krolikowski was asked to change his appearance after the complaint. That's when the teacher informed Conway and McLaughlin that he was transgender.
Krolikowski said in the lawsuit that he was then asked whether he would "appear as a woman" in the next school year and was told that he was "worse than gay." The school officials allegedly told Krolikowski that he could not be seen at public events.
The teacher wanted to remain at the school and said he would "tone down" his appearance by removing his earrings and French manicure.
He continued teaching his sexuality class and another called Social Justice that focused on people marginalized by poverty, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. He says he received straight As on his next teacher observation form.
But at the end of the school year, in June, Krolikowski was summoned back to the principal's office. He was told, he alleges, that he had been insubordinate and that he had not changed his appearance enough to satisfy the school. Conway and McLaughlin relieved him of his duties and demanded a letter of resignation, Krolikowski says.
"I was shocked," he said Friday.
The lawsuit states that Krolikowski was unlawfully discriminated against because he did not conform to the school's perception of how a male should dress and act.
"His appearance hasn't changed very much, so no one understands why this happened," Guarino said. "It wasn't an issue for 32 years. Why is it a problem now? It seemed very sudden."
The termination, the lawsuit says, violates New York state and city law.
New York state's human rights law states that an employer cannot discharge an employee because of "an individual's age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or domestic violence victim status."
Carmelyn Malalis, an LGBT workplace lawyer with Outten & Golden LLP in New York, said the law has been used to protect transgender people.
New York City's Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in hiring and firing based on similar attributes but specifically mentions gender identity.
Krolikowski's story has made headlines. And the online petition has grown to about 3,000 signatures.
One post from David Burkard in Queens Village, New York, said this:
"We the students/alumni/ and staff of Prep are supposed to be good 'Christians' and that means not only going the extra step to be kind to others, but also that we must be accepting and loving to EVERYONE. Mr. K always spoke out about public injustices, both domestic and international, and by doing so proved to be one of the MOST 'Christian' persons I've ever met.
"You cannot just fire someone because they 'don't reflect the values you wish to instill,' when clearly they do. The act of firing Mr.K has proved to me that the establishment is quite plainly ignorant, insensitive, and most importantly hypocritical. I was once a proud Terrier, but now I can honestly say I'm ashamed."
I want to know where Mr. K. finds work because I want my grandkids in his classes. Anyone who can inspire students as he clearly has done would be a great asset to any school smart enough to hire him.
Why can't an organization have and keep a set of values without being attacked by left-wing loons? If Catholics don't want him in their midst, then he should go elsewhere where he is welcome. If the left is so tolerant then they have to let others have their part of the world and not insist on changing it.
Mark Krolikowski did not violate anything she became a good and grateful teacher to each any of her student teaching is profession of a person who teach and a teacher is a person study teaching whether you are LGBT or STRAIGHT as long as you gave your heart for teaching and teach student to become what profession they take and to teach student to be a good role model with values he /she is a good teacher
I'll take the openly transgendered individual who is honest about who he is over the lying pedophile priest who is protected and coddled after messing with students.
Transgendered? yeah right1 A dude in drag!
The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't disappoint me as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I actually thought you would probably have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.
thank u 4 answering it for me person before me–lol
What I get from this article is people are too busy worrying about what everyone else should or shouldn't be doing.
With all respect, looks like Lady Elaine Fairchilde from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood!!!!
You're so interesting! I don't suppose I've read through something like that before. So nice to discover someone with unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!
Ugh. This man is disgusting. I'm fine with gay men, so long as they actually act like men, but men who dress like women are absolutely disgusting. God gave everyone a gender. Shame on him for spitting on it.
Yes your right God does does give us a gender but he also gives you a brain and the power to think for ones self. God gives us choice. And if he believes he's a women then God gave him that choice and it should be respected and praised for the fact he has the courage to become his true form a women.
LastJessica, There is biological reasons that he is the way he is and God made him that way that so stop the ragging for you know not what you talk about.
Just putting it out there that it is possible that this article potentially is using the wrong gender pronouns.
Preferred Gender Pronoun (or PGP) refers to the words you like to be called, like if someone were to tell a story about you. Some people use "he/him", some "she/her", some just their name, some "they/their", "xe/xir", etc.
Just because someone is male-born or male-presenting does not mean they prefer masculine pronouns. Regardless of your beliefs, everyone deserves to be called what they want to be called out of respect. In the future, when writing about T/GNC people, please ask what someone's preferred pronoun is.
He has no case. Just like the single teacher who got pregnant who worked at a Catholic school. There is no way in the world that this man worked at the school this long and didn't know that Catholic schools don't support the LBGT community or anything that goes against the Bible. Religious organizations can fire you if your behavior blatantly goes against the religious influences they're trying to teach. I know of people who worked for Christian organizations who were having affairs and were fired for adultery.
There's nothing in the Bible about being transgendered and this has nothing to do with adultery, genius.
The only thing that even comes near is Eunuchs and they guarded the palaces and churches.
Reading some people's reactions to this article truly disturbed me. What is wrong with this man dressing the way he does? I have no knowledge of the religion, but it does not seem right that people should be discriminated against because of the way they dress. He is just another human being like all of us. He should be able to do what he wants. Students liked this man because he was a good teacher. There is really no reason for people to act so strongly against trans-gender patients. I don't see why everybody could just accept people for who they are and get on with their lives. There are more important things to do than criticize others. I know I sound naive because I don't really understand people. I only read this article for a school assignment; But it really was an eye opener because I never saw many people's reactions to these events.
Ignorance for the moral beliefs of others should never justify your moral beliefs. The man had to have known. Don't feed the ignorance he is projecting. The common "I didn't know". Yeah every teacher should be doing this. Oh, wait, they are.
Sorry Jeff but it didn't matter for 32 years, Then one parent, ONE PARENT, complained and he lost his job and the students have lost a great teacher. If the school had an issue with it they should have acted at month 1, not year 32.
Enough already. When are the weird, and gays, gonna get it through their whacked out brain, that what they do in abnormal and im tired of being told I have to stop starring at the tranny, or I have to let the he/she use whatever bathroom it wants to use. As far as gay marriage, marriage was FOUNDED in the Bible. God created it. and it's between a MAN and WOMAN. It's not tu be used for some freak show to exploit.
This is disgusting and should not be condoned. Putting this freak on a pedestal is destroying the values of our society. What a poor example this teacher set for our children.
The Bible was a cut-and-paste job of much older traditions. This has been proven with rigorous scholarship which I guess is why the believers don't like scholars. Or critical thinking skills. Or science.
Careful, you can blow their minds with too much common sense and rational statements based on facts and not myths.
I'm must admit I am ignorant on this one, maybe some others, but this appears to be a man with earrings, plucked eyebrows and a spiffy manicure. What's the problem? Or am I completely in the dark as he started as a woman and has redefined himself?
its okay to hide pedophiles, but not be what you are born to be - wow. glad i'm not religious
What's wrong with pedophiles? They're born that way too.
I assume you are being sarcastic, Joe. We all know what a bunch of hypocrites the Catholic church leadership has been over the many years it has been in existence. It's okay to molest young boys and cover it up, but it's not okay to be a good teacher who is transgender. What would Jesus say?
Lisa, Actually Jesus didn't say anything about transgendered people and gay people. Not one freaking word and the bible thumpers can't say boo because Jesus didn't utter a word about it.
Jesus was very vocal though about Divorce, something straight married people do at a rate of 51%. But of course that is OK because they were the ones needing a divorce and they think that the words of their savior don't apply to them on that subject.
What was that, that someone said about throwing the first stone....
Isn't anyone else getting tired of the post-modern freak show? The new conformity is having to celebrate everything that makes people uncomfortable. If we can't call this abnormal, then nothing is. All you folks who have transgender friends, do you ever hanging out with families from the suburbs? Southerners? NASCAR fans? I bet you don't. So much for your tolerance.
I do. Please do not stereotype me just because I have LGBT friends. You have no right to label people "abnormal."
And last I checked, only God can judge.
You should check again. 1 Corinthians 6:3 – "Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life." There is a difference between judging for the purpose of condemnation, and judging for the purpose of discernment.
Wrong...according to you religious people GOD gave me the choice
to judge or not to judge
I choose to judge
There are only three types of people who live as we wish all people would. The are the sleeping, the comatose and the dead. They respect everyone and are never offended by anyone elses behavior.
Try sleeping next to my wife when she decides not to wear her CPAP. The windows rattle. You can strike sleeping out of that group...
If your wife is still snoring with the CPAP on the pressure isn't high enough or it or the mask isn't working properly. I used to teach people how to use them and "window Rattling" isn't something that should happen, at all.
BE WHO YOU ARE! KEEP A SMILE ON YOUR FACE:)))) proud supporter<3
Unfortunately it is made clear by the majority of these comments that the gay agenda is working quite well....
Hello!!! Mr. K is not gay. He is transgender. Do your homework!
First of all, Catholic schools, hospitals and other institutions do not speak for the Church. The local bishop teaches matters of faith and morals within his diocese. Mr. K should appeal to the bishop. Secondly, the Catholic Church does not see LGBT persons as evil. Mr. K's sexuality is of no interest to the Church. All Catholics are called to live chastely within their state in life. Simply put, this means married people keep their marital vows and non-married people remain continent. The Catholic school shouldn't have judged this man based solely on his look, and it appears he tried to conform to their rules. It seems to me the school got carried away and made a bad decision. I hope the bishop will see fit to intervene in this case rather than have it dragged through the courts.
I don't think you mean continent. If they were all inciontinent, imagine the odor! I think you mean celibate.
Celibate! Celibate! Another day of living!
omg, that principal and anyone who hated on him can go to little nicky's version of hell with hitler and take a pineapple where the sun don't shine. mr. k sounds awesome (I love transgender folk, a lot of my friends are). hmph
i second that!!!
"I love transgender folk..." Yes, and I bet you hate biggoted people who stereotype. Just becasue this person is transgender automatically causes this person to be right or wonderful? I could not make that determination by someone elses story.
We get to see the Catholic Church's moral relativism once again. Last week it was saying fetuses are not humans until they are born when it suited their finances, and this week it is lying about why they fired this guy because it suits their finances . . . and of course, who could forget the who "lie and hide the perv-priest" because it suits their finances.
The British Foreign Office called the Vatican "the biggest moral cowards of our age" during World War II for its extremely limited resistance to the Nazis and Fascists, and that still appears to be true.
The British Foreign Office was being very, very kind in that assessment.
We clearly need to distinguish between discrimination based on what a person is, and discrimination based on what they choose to do. If they are born white/black/olive, well that's okay. If we promote an idea or opinion, that could be an issue.
Religion complicates this.
Praise Jesus, okay in most of the US
Praise Alah, tolerated in the US
Hail Satan, not so much ...
If women can wear pants why can't men wear skirts?
What's wrong with you people?
All of these comments really scare me. Our country is really doomed because our view of right and wrong has completely gone out the window. Today everyone thinks they can do what ever feels good to them. Before you know it we will be campaigning for the rights of child molesters and murderers because "how dare we judge them"! If we aren't supposed to judge sin than open the doors of prisons and let everyone out. If you have something that I want I should be allowed to take it...you can't judge me (according to our society today!) As for the comments about God being evil...read the Bible completely and you will understand...so many people speak negatively about a book they have never read completely...
First, if you cannot see the difference between a gay consensual relationship and child r a p e, then you are either a bigot or a moron or maybe both.
Second, I've read it, many times, cover to cover, and I can honestly say, it is misleading and contradictory at best and has often been used for evil which is not hard to do with something that people keep reinterpreting to mean what they want it to mean for centuries.
As god and evil –
Isaih 45:7 pretty much sums it up – I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
The context of the verse is not about evil as in sin it is evil as in punishment and yes, God does punish wrong doings...we all sin every day and if we don't turn from our sinful ways we will receive punishment to correct our behavior...what good parent doesn't give consequences to correct their child's behavior.
Only that is not what Isaih 45:7 says, what it says is:
7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’
The main problem I have with your statement is the fact that is based off of a very slippery slope. How can you compare gay and transgender rights with murderers and child molesters? They are not the same, not even remotely. You cannot predict the future so don't even try. Your comment lost all possible credibility through this shaky comparison, which while getting everyone's attention, also showed your completely lack of intelligence. If you are going to comment on whether or not gay and transgender people have rights, try actually making a smart comment rather than trying to go for the shocking comparison.
Your cluelessness is what scares me!
Very well said!!!! We are in big trouble. Once you open the door, who know when it stops...
matthew 19:10. ethiopian eunuch and john the baptist. she needs to review local ordinances and recent EEOC cases. people should buy a guttenberg bible and then write a response. however, if one believes in karma perhaps she should forget about teaching at these schools and let the other victims of their bullying do what they do.
If this was a public school then he may have a point, but this is a private school and they have their own rules, and after 32 years of employment at a Catholic school he should have know that they would not welcome him with open arms.
He should be fired be it a private school or public school.
So hateful ...
Um, this is America where there is no right or wrong. Anyone with any agenda can organize, raise money and lobby on Capitol Hill to obtain the ears necessary to further an agenda. It's all about the Benjamin's, baby!
thats the problem, people quit believing in right and wrong
This is like a gay or lesbian couple enrolling their kids in a religious school. The Teacher knows what that school believes in and that his lifestyle is in contrast with there beliefs. The teacher should have been smart enough to know that him being transgender would cause problems and I'm guessing he wanted to bring his cause to the public forum. some advice work at a public school and not at a school that sees you as evil
How can you play football if you won't abide by the rules of the game. God has rules too. If you don't like them, the door swings both ways............
The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness
Really.... who recieved God's rule book here on earth. And if there is such a think then it will be sorted out at the time of arival at the pearly gates, we as men should not pass just judgemnt on this man. We just need to treat each other with repect and it will all be sorted out in the end.. or maybe not
I agree at the same time I can't condone a known sin, nor would I encourage any other person to sin in anyway.
Mayor & Harvesting –
You need to look at the bugger issue. If how you live is not acceptable according to MY religion, does that give me the right to fire you from your job, or discriminate against you as MY religion sees fit?
This is very sad, but I am not surprised. Let's not forget the Catholic Church is one unit within the Christian Church, and some Christian Churches (e.g. Episcopal) accept our LGBT brothers and sisters as equal and even allow them to be ministers.
As a former CCD (religious education) teacher at a Catholic School who was fired for getting married in a Congregational Church, I can relate. I pray for a day when everyone will be included in the Catholic Church, but until that day comes I will not call myself a Catholic.
simple fact of earning a living: nobody owes you a paycheck unless you do things their way.
Simple fact of living in society: you don't get to break the law and get away with it just because you're religious.
Simple fact of living in THIS society. You don't get to make laws that force others to violate their religion.
"It's called faith because it's not knowledge" – Christopher Hitchens
Teaching religion, any religion, as truth when we can not possibly know any of it to be true is a mistake. Humanity does itself a favor by teaching reason and evidence based knowledge.
Maybe the schoolmaster was upset that the teacher looked better than he did in his wife's undergarments?
I certainly remember some of my teachers growing up that could have been men in dresses, I still learned my three R's....why are they picking on this guy?
End bathroom segregation?
I shouldn't be amazed, but I am. Christians are judged for not thinking and acting like the "WORLD". But everyone seems to want to incorpoarate some form of Christianity into their own way of thinking and doing things; and also, desire to bring their world views into Christianity. There are plenty of non-Christian schools to teach at; stop trying to change the bible and the church to fit everyone's lifestyle – it doesn't work like that.
Maybe he was expecting Christians to act like Christians, and not hypocritical haters. "Judge not lest ye be judged."
Important distinction to be made here. I can disagree with someone without judging them. For instance, I don't drink alcohol or coffee (I know, its rough...), but I don't judge people who do...I just disagree for religious and health reasons. I don't hate them. I just disagree...that's it.
Sadly, this is probably more about money than it is the prejudice of Christians. You can't tell me in 30 years that this is the first time a parent commented on this person's appearance. But ironically enough, one complaint, and this teacher is out on the street?
It was probably some big time donor family who did the complaining. Someone who threatened to cut funding and withdraw their child from the school. These places are shameless when it comes to money.
Hope this teacher gets justice.
I thought pretty much the same. 32 years & it was time to get rid of him so they wouldn't have to pay retirement!
The school had every right to fire him or her. He or she works for a Catholic school and he should follow the church teachings if he wants to continue working for them. God Bless the Roman Catholic Church. Vive Cristo Rey!
So if I create a new religion and decide that stealing is okay, then is it somehow appropriate for me to rob everyone because I want to follow my religion; you pretty much just said it's okay to create your own society and rule others how you see fit, just because you are following the rules - your rules that YOU made up...
The church is not exempt from civil law, nor should it be. Personally, I do not believe it should be tax-exempt, either.
And yes, Christ taught loving our neighbor, now, as they are. If you feel a thing is morally inappropriate, address it in your own personal behavior. You don't get to make that call for others. That's between them and the Holy Ghost.
and this man would be allowed to teach in an Islamic school? If you want to be in a provate club then you need follow the clubs rules.
Teach tolerance? Yes... Encourage diversity? Yes... DEMAND ACCEPTANCE? Never!
I have the right accept or not accept what falls within my moral compass and I also reserve the right to pass those values onto my next of kin, and no one has the right to supersede those teachings to my children simply because they believe their rights have been violated because of those beliefs.
Well said. Thank you!
You have the right to believe whatever you want. You don't have a right to deny someone a living or drum them out of a community because they don't mesh with your beliefs.
Actually, if i am the one paying their check, yes I do.
Roger, I agree that you have the right to pass on your beliefs as you please within your family, however, I would suggest you actually read the article next time. It was explicitly stated multiple times that this individual never attempted to press his beliefs /or/ his lifestyle on the kids he was teaching. All he did was teach the material given to him as given to him. As you have the right to live your private life without it affecting your work life as long as you keep them separate, so should Mr Krolikowski. When he was asked to change the appearance he's kept while teaching without any incidents for the last 32 years, he did so. Thus, I would say that he complied with all reasonable efforts to be neutral in his teaching and discrete in the manner of his home life and thus should not have lost his job for simply being who he is.
I disagree. What if I want to teach my children that anyone with dark skin and anyone named Roger should be lynched?
If somebody is covered head to toe in tattoos, we say "good luck keeping a job looking like that"...but if a man dresses like a women, people go hard to defend it, and say someone should not be fired just because their employer don't agree with the way they look. If I walk into work one day with a snow cone tattoo'd on my face, I can expect trouble...same as if I walked in dressed like a women.
Correct.Why is this any different then putting tats on your face or neck. Lots of places will not hire people with those, and thats not even gross. But a man in a dress, YUCK. Why do the ultra libs need to have it both ways.
Did you even read the article? It clearly states that the teacher wore a suit and tie every day to work. He was not showing up in dresses or women's clothing. They specifically mentioned the earrings and the manicures. They also mentioned that after the first meeting, he STOPPED wearing the earrings and getting the manicures. After that, the school then proceeded to fire him.
Read before you post please, you only make yourself appear ignorant by responding to articles after only reading the headline in order to attack political views.
As a recovering catholic I am not surprised at anything that is done in the name of that religion. The nuns used to slap us around when we asked questions about god etc., and we were told it is not for us to question but to accept. The priest at our rural parish was caught making moonshine and selling it to the aboriginals people on the reservations. I applaud the decision to sue that school. For a christian religion it is very intolerant, I don't know about other religions because once I left the church behind I have not participated in any other and I never will. I believe I can live a decent and righteous life without belonging to any religion.
no the catholic sect of christianity is intolerant. christianity is very tolerant. jesus loves everyone
"Christianity is very tolerant" "Catholic SECT is not"
Get it? hehehehe
No part of any monothiestic cult is tolarant. Those who think christianity is kind to others simply have not read that teriblr book called the bible. Chalked full of hate and hypocrcy
The hitting happened in public schools too but I grew up to realize it is the person who is abusive. Religion all religions are followed by people and no person is perfect. Seeing things through the eyes of your childhood is distorted try looking again.
The Catholic religion is not true Christianity.
Based on the posts from a number of students and alumni, it would appear that this teacher has been an exemplary teacher who taught in a manner that was consistent with the ethics and spirituality of the school. Since he was hired 32 years ago, I imagine the Franciscan Brothers were in leadership positions at that time. The Brothers would have taught kindness, acceptance, and tolerance towards God's anawim. It appears as though the students and alumni embraced the spirituality of the founding Brothers......it's a shame that their current secular administration has not.
That's a shame, a teacher that has taught so many children and they all enjoyed his classes. And he's fired for being transgender. Shame on the school.
That is scary picture...and it is most certainly a lifestyle. I have tattoos on my body, but I would not have a job if they were visible in my daily work.
Scary? If you think that's scary wait till you gay couples holding hands, shopping for groceries, and raising a child. They're just human beings. Tattoos aren't allowed to be shown in most work places is because it can make a person look unprofessional or untrustworthy to people hiring or customers. It's wrong for people to assume you're a bad person because you're covered in tattoos. So why would it be okay to judge a person who is transgender or gay as being a bad person?
The guy is in a suit and tie. It says that he took off the earrings and toned down the french manicure. If he was adhering to the dress code of the organization and there were not other issues (which his last evaluation seemed to say there were none) then the school deserves to be sued and the principal needs to be fired for not enforcing the school's policies equitably.
HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!! Someone is trying to force us to accept a perverted lifestyle. If you want to star in your own perverse freak show, do it on your time. Don't expect the school to go along with it. And if you need it spelled out for you...I'm sure the school was on board with who you were and what you did when you kept it in the BEDROOM not the CLASSROOM!
How is being transgendered a "lifestyle"?
That doesn't make sense.
well, you need to keep the religions out of the school first.
This is a Catholic school! Of course they can fire teachers who do not adhere to their doctrine, it is their First Ammendment right to do so, which is well settled law, as teaching is a ministerial position. If CNN were not trying so hard to push their own agenda, they would have written a balanced article where some source would have surely pointed this out!
Oh DH, the pope gets French manis every second Thursday. And as for earrings, well, if you were not living under a rock you'd notice that earrings are actually pretty dull and hetro by now. Transgenderism is not cause for being sacked. A teacher who inspires his students, now That is dangerous. We can't have students learning in class. That Mr. K. has some nerve. Bravo for your narrow minded thinking DH.
Your comment is so HATEFUL and IGNORANT that it makes me puke! For your information: It's "perverse" to judge others and ruin their entire career because you don't like something different from yourself. Transgender people are people like everyone else. We all have feelings, goals, desires, thoughts and admiration's to better ourselves and others. Let me repeat myself: YOU are perverse for judging your own human kind. Just like nature evolves over time to stay alive and bring new and better possibilities to the world: so do people. Otherwise, the world would decay in sheer stupidity, ugliness and lack of diversity.
Morals are subjective. Just because you see it as a sin or perversion doesn't mean it is. Stop hiding behind religion to voice your hatred towards people. It's no way to talk about a fellow human being.
If morals are subjective and there are no absolutes then why are there any laws. Why do we hate pedophiles so much if morals are subjective. Why do we hurt when innocent children are killed if morals are subjective. Sorry, but there must be a standard if not there is Chaos.
Being transgender is hardly a lifestyle. If you are referring to the "gay lifestyle" then I guess you are referring to all the things that they are fighting for in the courts: 1. Marriage – so they can live in a monogamous, legally recognized, committed relationship. 2. Family – so they can raise their children in a stable home as a couple. and 3. Honor – so they can serve our country in the military.
Those seem like fairly wholesome values to me........unlike the religious right who are trying to define marriage by what they have between their legs rather than what is in their heart and whose minds immediately go to s e x (rather than relationships) when they think of a "couple" and then they wonder why their clergy are being arrested for illicit behavior. It seems pretty clear who the perverts are, and it isn't the gays or transgenders.
Very well said.
Religion is evil...it has the blood of so many on its hands! This is pure discrimination, plain and simple...being in the employ of that school for 32 years is a prime example of hypocrisy.
Religion is not evil. Humanity is evil. Perhaps you would like to discuss the pogroms carried out by atheist Soviet Union under Stalin? Or the ten of millions killed in Mao Zedongs (atheist, communist) cleansings? We could always discuss the millions killed under Hitler, and that wasn't a Christian government. They were actually a form of paganism and occultism. And I frankly agree with you. I am a devout Christian man, and I do not believe that LGBT lifestyle to be a moral or acceptable one. But if he did his job well, and didn't try to enforce controversial topics on his students (while also being able to discuss it with them), them he should not have been fired.
Actually, his point was that humanity is evil not religion. That people have committed atrocities in the name of religion does not make the religion evil, only then people doing so.
Religion isn't evil? Last time I checked, god had a pretty high body count in the bible. Plagues, floods, destruction of cities and nations...If he existed, he'd be way worse than Stalin.
When you become a teacher in the Catholic school systems there is an understood expectation. Religion is practiced starting with morning prayer. Along with that, are the same tradition beliefs that follow being a Catholic. This teacher new this, esp after being there for as long as he has. It may not be right, but that is the way of the Catholic system. Move on teacher.
The point is that his appearance and behavior was never an issue in 32 years. Then magically he is being insubordinate? Whether he came out or not and regardless of what was said to him, his termination occurred under false pretenses and was unfair and discriminatory.
How is it against being a Catholic to be trabns? Why is it any different than any other condition, and whya re it's treatments any different that heart surgery or bariatric surgery?
It's not like it's a moral issue.
Like when a man becomes a priest in the Catholic church system? Is there an unspoken rule to molest kids we all need to know about? Religion is bias, it teaches hatred and is a sad excuse for many of the evils on this planet. No religion is perfect, least of all Catholicism.
It doesn't matter if its known for being against transgenders; as employers, they're required to follow anti-discrimination laws just like the local McDonalds or the sandwich shop down the street. They're not exempt from treating employees equally just because they have the power of fire and brimstone behind them!
Agreed. Catholics need to not pay for firing this person. They need to save their moneys, what with the great many law suits being filed against pedophils within their ranks that they stand by and defend they may need it for those court cases more.
"You cannot just fire someone because they 'don't reflect the values you wish to instill"
Actually, as a PRIVATE school, you can just fire someone because they don't reflect the values you wish to instill.
Legally, you can fire them, though it's a gray area.
But the law is not the only thing that should determine what you do. "Is it legal?" is not the same thing as "Is it right?" And in this case, firing somebody just because they are transgender is not right, though it may still be legal. Depending on how this lawsuit and others like it turn out, it may become illegal or stay legal to fire a person for being transgender, but it'll never be right.
i think fireing mr. k was pretty harsh... personally, i would've changed the dress code or aksed him to change his appearence if that's what people wanted. but i would never have fired him! esp. after 30 years!
Then he should be fired and charged, just like any STRAIGHT person would.
If u work at a Catholic school you need to be a good role model for their religeon... Im not Catholic nor do I believe in the religeon.. I live with my boyfriend and we have 2 awesome kids but marriage isnt in the books for us... Therefore I shouldnt be peermitted to work at a Catholic school because I do not live by their religeous beliefs... Its not rocket science people
I don't care whether or not you marry...however if your significant other were to die, you'd really lose out on Social Security benefits.
Children are not biologically his... In all other aspects yes they are. I want to be with him for the rest of my life. I dont need a piece of paper to tell me Im married. I was married at one time and my ex seriously injured the child we had together... i was at work when it happened. Had we not been married I would have never lost custody of them to JFS for 3 months.... As for social security benifits.... I dont give a crap Im not with him for his momey I can afford me and my children by myself....
Do you think that transgender automatically implies pedophilia? That's gotta be the most ignorant post I've read on here all morning.
I'm glad they fired this fruit cake. I wouldn't want my kids anywhere near this nut.
Spoken like someone with issues.
Good for the students! Christian is as Christian does. This teacher by all accounts was an exemplary teacher who followed Christian ethics and offered compromise when the school – after 3o+ years – decided his outward appearance was an issue. His evaluations were excellent. His student rapport was excellent. His moral conduct was exemplary – didn't cheat, didn't steal, didn't lie, didn't seduce children. The students are right – if Jesus Christ taught everyone to be tolerant and accepting and to care for one another, then it is the school itself that is not following His teachings. Good for them. Call the hypocrites out.
CNN's gay sob story of the day. Wonder what tomorrow's story will be.
Interesting read, including some of the comments (although most are full of nothing but hate, as usual). Feel for the guy. Seems he really loved his job. However, if the school. commented on changing his "look" prior to his "coming out", I doubt that he'll have much luck in court.
Doubt away. He offered to stop with the manicures and to take off the earrings. What other 'look' did they feel was inappropriate?
Maybe they just got sick of him and his personal issues.
Before the catholic church or school starts worry about one teacher they need to clean up their own house, I do not go along with some things I will admit that but if you going to say something about a teaching dressing or looking and acting strange then you going have to let a lot of teachers go all over the country not just in a Catholic school, I had some strange teachers but to be honest they were the ones who taught well and kept you interested in learning.
Getting rid of this guy is apart of cleaning up the church. He was a teacher at a Catholic church, modeling behavior that directly contradicts the teachings of the religion.
Modeling behavior like being the kind of teacher kids and fellow teachers respect? Or is Catholicism all about the way people look now?
Specifically which teaching?
At a CATHOLIC school? WHY is this even an issue?
Religion does not get you a free pass for discrimination. EVERYONE is prohibited from doing it.
Freedom of religion says you may believe as you wish as long as you do not participate in practices like human sacrifice.
Catholic schools belong to the Catholic church. Their primary mission is to teach Catholic doctrine. Therefore, yes they can "discriminate" against anyone in their hiring and firing who does not live the Catholic teaching in their daily life. The whole purpose of a Catholic school is to pass on the moral code of this church. More than likely the school administrators knew of his background but did nothing until he decided to "come out" believing that because the military has become tolerant and many states have outlawed actions against LGBT, that his rights extended to forcing the Catholic Church to change its doctrine on this issue. He should have kept his personal life personal.
"You just reinforced my point."
Nope. Sorry, but criticizing people for preaching hate and trying to jsutfy discrimination is not "persecution" of those people. Persecution is what this man suffered, not the criticizm of those who did it and try to make excuses for it. The majority of society does not believe you have the right to create insular little bubbles where your hate and discrimination is allowed. No private employer is allowed to discriminate in this manner in their employment practices. NONE. That's the LAW. You're being treated eactly the same as everyone else: prohibited from discrimination like this no matter what justifcations you try to give for it.
Freedom of religion is a basic human right.
Freedom of religion is not the same thing as the freedom to discriminate. It is the height of hypocrisy that the founder of the Christian religion – one built on the teachings of tolerance, love, and acceptance – should be used to justify discrimination and hate.
This is a Catholic school. They should be able to fire or lay-off personnel that openly demonstrate contempt for their religion.
this kind of stuff is never easy or clean, especially when lawyers and non-conformists are involved. my personal politics feel this way: if your job is REALLY the "most" important thing to you, you take out the earrings, etc, attempt to conform and (hopefully) maintain gainful employment. IF wearing earrings/being transgender is the "most" important thing to you, then you may need to find another job. i don't believe "dress" is a protected characteristic in this case so i don't believe the school is "in the wrong" for firing the guy. and if someone wants to chime in with "that's not fair...he's been dressing that way for years and blah, blah, blah"-NEWSFLASH: life is not fair and the sooner everyone comes to grips with that fact the better off all of us are going to be....
Smart Response, I whole-Heartedly Agree. I remember when I learned the world isn't fair. Sad realization that will only destroy you if you try to "make it fair"
The things his students said about him are so touching...they obviously thought the world of him. They could not have cared less about his appearance or lifestyle. But this makes no matter. As long as those kids get the message that they need to stay away from these filthy people, that's all that matters!
Sounds like the administration could take a lesson from these mature kids.
Because these kids conform to your political position they are "mature"? You imply that anyone who doesn't conform to your political position is immature.
I think that way of approaching an argument is immature.
What does this have to do with politics? My position is that because these kids have overlooked outward appearances and refused to let a person's lifestyle guide the judgement of another human being, they are no doubt mature. They are practicing what they've been taught.
Did he teach drama class?
The issue is not that he is transgender, it is that he has held this position for 32 years and has been an asset up to this point.. To be let go, this close to retirement should be the issue. Discrimination? You betcha!
Ummm the issue is that Mr McFreak is a transgender. He chose to out himself.
The law says that's not an allowed "issue," so try again.
The reality is, it's probably both...the school discriminated against him for being transgender, but also took what they saw as an opportunity to screw up whatever retirement benefits they'd have to pay him.
This guy is just crazy. If you are a nun in a nunnery and you decide to let the cat out of the bag that you have been stooping the delivery man every monday in the storage closet, what do you think is going to happen. Did he really think that after deceiving the Catholic school all this time, things would just be great when he came out. Pretty crazy.
Horribly broken analogy is broken.
C'mon a person comes out as transgender at a Catholic school and is suprised he is fired. He doesn't obviously know anything about Catholic doctrine. IT even goes against Christian doctrine. And just because he can't teach there anymore doesn't mean he can't teach other places. It doesn't end his career.
As a born again christian I have heard just as vile comments coming from students and staff about my choice of lifestyle. I could sue and win a settelment, but what would that prove. People do not like anyone that is different from them. All ways has been that way, and it all ways will, I just dont let them take my joy away.
What is boils down to is that the only way those people are happy with you is that you are exactly like "them".
It's ignorance and narrow mindedness on their part.
You just reinforced my point.
He hates lots of different kinds of people? Major fail!! He created these different kinds of people. Please don't make comments on things you are ignorant of. God is love. He is our Father. We have been & still are rebellious & he still loves us. He will not give up on you although you have given up on him.
If only all Christians where as open minded as you....
Gays & Lesbians wants equal rights in our Society but they can't handle equal jokes, pranks like any other straight person and they want special rights therefore I am developing a G&Ls Vaccines which will Eradicate Gays & Lesbians mental disease by vaccination process just like any other Human Diseases like Polio Vaccination, Chicken Pox Vaccination etc etc etc.
Please go stick your face in a woodchipper. Thanks.
Exactly how is this a prank or a joke? I missed that part?
My kids attend a catholic school in our neighborhood and are getting an excellent education in a school with a 100% graduation rate (compared to less that 60% at the public HS). Teachers and students alike follow an extremely strict dress code – my son was sent home for wearing ankle socks vs crew socks. Just based on the picture of this teacher it would seem he might have tried to push the envelope a bit with his dress. I know the kids liked him but I think his lawsuit will be very hard to prove. God bless.
ahhh the veil of religion and its professing of "tolerance".
The point is we dont know if he pushed any boundaries because of the bad journalism. If they had followed up with the school to get the exact verbage of the regulations, it would be a better article.
for 20 years the governement tolerated my old ID, so whatthe hell why all of sudden they ask me to get a new one with RFID embedded in it?? Is there anyone i could complain to? What about the toilerance here? ha h a ha some loseres seem to see just one side of teh medal
After 59 years, his appearance becomes an issue?
Mr. K and his students seem fine with what he is. I'm pretty sure it's the Catholics that have the issue.
I'm assuming the kids are Catholic. That said, the school administration has the right to enforce whatever dress codes/rules of behavior they choose. As long as the teacher is aware of the rules and the possible repercussions of not following them then I don't think he has much of a legal case.
read the article again. he had "toned it down" before termination. duh.
Actually the article stated the he said that he "would" tone it down.
I have no doubt that he was a great teacher. But regardless of how you feel about LGBT issues...the real issue of the case is whether or not a PRIVATE, Catholic school can adhere to it's beliefs - whether you think they are archaic or not. Telling the private school who they can hire/fire is just as wrong as telling this guy who he should be...
Except that he had 32 years there with no issues or problems. As an employer they should not just toss him out.
It seems maybe they tried to work things out with him. You never know if maybe there was a new, stricter principal or something. At any rate, it may not seem fair but it isn't illegal.
@lisbeth the same principal has been there for 30 yrs. He knows Mr K very well.
"At any rate, it may not seem fair but it isn't illegal."
Dude is about to get himself a 7 figure check in settlement when the school realizes that they'd lose the suit and suffer horrible bad press for it. Illegal? Probably not in the sense of it being a crime, no. As for a civil lawsuit or statutory tort, the school has very likely blown it based on the above facts and would be found liable.
When parents pay to send their child to a private school they have a right to expect the teachers to adhere to the standards and beliefs of the school and the religious group it is affiliated with. If a teacher does not do that they can expect to be terminated if they are unwilling to change. When it comes to dress codes, the codes for teachers should be simular to the students.
Except this has nothing to do with the dress code.
Yes it does. The guy can sound as gay and act as gay as he wanted. but keep it professional... which I find overt gays have a hard time doing.
The private school is probably on a shoestring budget as it is. One parent complaint can be enough to promote an exodus of students and their tuition. So, the school administration figured it was easier to get rid of him then to lose students.
It's a religious school. That says it all. If I'm paying money to indoctrinate my children into my beliefs than I would expect the teachers there to conform to my religious principles. I would not expect a Jew or a Muslim to be teaching at at Christian School or vise-versa. I don't think the teacher should have been surprised at all and I think the school has a valid complaint, it's would be a bad business decision to keep him on. Fortunately for my wallet, and for my children, I have no religion to indoctrinate them in. :)
At any job, if there is a dress code and you start wearing flip-flops and shorts, I'm sure that you would be warned and eventually fired. You could say that in your heart that you are a surfer and that wearing a tie just doesn't match how you feel, but you would still be told to hit the bricks. It is a silly example, but no less true.
If you are an instructor, you need to dress like one, no matter how you feel in your heart. (Also, note that the picture above is from 2008. If his dress continued to be less professional and he received the proper warnings–I have no pity)
No kidding , just another degenerate, gay too.
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