A teacher in Florida was called out of her class and fired following an anonymous report to school administrators outing her as a lesbian.
Monica Toro-Lisciandro was a musical theater teacher at Covenant Christian School, in Palm Bay, until October 2 when her bosses informed her someone had reported that she was in a relationship with another woman, had attended a Pride festival, and hosted an LGBTQ group in her private studio, called the Rainbow Project. When she confirmed that all of that was true, she was let go from her part-time position at the private Christian school, Florida Today reports.
Head of School Lorne Wenzel sent out an email to parents of musical theater students informing them of the firing and ensuring that the school was looking for a replacement teacher and director for the upcoming school play.
Wenzel also released a statement reading, in part, that the school “requires that all employees must agree to and model our position on human sexuality, which is based on the biblical teaching that asks all Christ-followers to abstain from any sexual activities outside of a one-man, one-woman marriage.”
While the school is a private religious institution, it does participate in the state’s school voucher program, meaning it collects tax dollars to help offset operational costs.
“It’s been a very difficult situation, because my life has been dedicated to children and making them feel seen and heard and loved, no matter who they are,” Toro-Lisciandro said. “And so to think that something like this could happen to them makes me feel really upset and angry, because they deserve better. So I can’t be quiet about it. I can’t be silent about it.”
She added that she wanted to serve as an example that you can be both a Christian and gay.
There are no state protections in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in Florida.