Roncalli alum, students defend gay counselor who says job is in jeopardy

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Roncalli High School employee said her job is in jeopardy because of her same-sex marriage. 

Shelly Fitzgerald graduated from Roncalli and works as a guidance counselor at the Catholic high school on the city’s south side.

Fitzgerald told News 8 someone showed her marriage certificate to school leaders, who said if she didn’t resign or end her marriage, her contract would not be renewed. 

“The Catholic faith, to me, is love, understanding and forgiveness,” Fitzgerald’s friend, Shawn Aldrich, said. 

Aldrich said his daughter, a junior at Roncalli, passed out rainbow heart stickers to her classmates Monday morning to show support for Fitzgerald. 

Fitzgerald declined News 8’s request for an interview, and her attorney did not respond to our messages. 

“Hopefully both parties will sit down together and will be able to talk about the differences and come to a peaceful solution,” Aldrich said. 

In a Facebook post Monday, the school stated that Fitzgerald was still an employee and that school leaders would not go into details on personnel matters. 

The post also said employees must support the teachings of the Catholic church, including “the belief that all persons are called to respect human sexuality and its expression in the Sacrament of Marriage between a man and a woman….”

“It’s a tough issue. It’s a dividing issue,” Aldrich said. “We (Roncalli students and alumni) do what’s right and will rise to the occasion.”

Fitzgerald said she got married in 2014 and hid her relationship from school leaders throughout her 15 years at Roncalli. 

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis did not respond to a request for comment on this story. 

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