HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA – A Pennsylvania woman says that—after suspending her son for his “sin” of being gay—the Christian school at which she was employed subjected her to “scathing condemnation and blame” for offering him her support, before terminating her as a teacher.
Sharon Wright is suing Covenant Christian Academy in federal court, after having taught at the grades K-12 school since 2002. Wright, whose two sons were enrolled at the private school, says that administrators refused to renew her contract after she requested accommodations for anxiety and depression—conditions she says were brought on by repeated harassment from school officials and faculty, after one of her sons, then a high school senior, came out in October 2009.
Wright’s complaint says that when school administrators learned her son is gay, they “took steps to immediately suspend him from school.” She says that the school’s headmaster, Joseph Sanelli, told her that her son was to be permanently suspended from school, and would not be permitted to return, until he “renounced his sin.” According to court documents, a school official told her “your son is broken, and it’s your job to fix him,” and that official’s wife told her that he “may have been abused as a child.”
Wright says that subsequent criticisms from school officials led to her acquiring adjustment disorder, anxiety, and depression, and that when she requested medical leaves of absence, she was denied an employment contract for the next school year.