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Roncalli High School cancels board meeting where protests were planned in support of counselor

Posted at 6:34 PM, Aug 20, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- Roncalli High School's president canceled Monday evening's board meeting where dozens of protestors were planned to show up in support of a guidance counselor who says she was asked to resign over her same-sex marriage. 

Shelly Fitzgerald is on paid administrative from Roncalli High School after she says someone sought out her marriage certificate, which shows she's married to another woman, and gave it to school leaders.

Roncalli High School President Dr. Joseph Hollowell sent a message citing the lack of items on the agenda that required a vote as the reasoning. In that message, Dr. Hollowell says protestors would not have been allowed to discuss Fitzgerald's status or reasoning behind her leave and they do not have any say in personnel matters. 

Given that there were no items on the planned agenda which required a vote tonight, a decision was made to postpone the Roncalli Board of Directors meeting that was scheduled for this evening.

Understanding that there may be other community members who planned to join us this evening, we wanted to notify all Roncalli family members of this change.

It is important to note that while the Roncalli community is invited to attend board meetings, only the posted agenda topics will be covered. Additionally, as has been emphasized on several occasions, the board is not responsible for overseeing personnel matters; rather, that is the responsibility of Roncalli and archdiocesan leadership.

Please note, there are avenues by which community members may provide input on relevant topics: Written communication to school and archdiocesan leadership; Participation in one of the evening events with Mr. Weisenbach that are being offered to current parents; and/or Request a meeting with Dr. Hollowell or Mr Weisenbach.

God bless us all,

Dr. Joseph D. Hollowell, President

Roncalli officials previously defended their actions in a post on their now-deleted Facebook page earlier this week, saying school guidance counselors are expected to be role models and follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. 

"Catholic schools are ministries of the Catholic Church, and teachers, school guidance counselors and administrators are vital ministers in sharing the mission of the church. They are expected to be role models and are expressly charged with leading students toward Christian maturity and with teaching the Word of God. "

Fitzgerald's attorney, David Page, says he met with an attorney for the Archdiocese in Indianapolis Wednesday afternoon in "an effort to begin a dialogue regarding the issues raised in this case." He calls the meeting the "first step" towards a discussion and possible resolution, although no decision was made. 


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