The debate over how private religious schools handle their students and faculty has become major water cooler conversation over the last few years. In Harrisburg, Pa., the issue is right in front of their eyes at a local Christian school.
Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, PA is being accused of suspending a student because he is gay and firing his mother, a teacher at the school, for supporting her son. According to the Courthouse News Service, Sharon Wright had taught at Covenant Christian Academy since 2002 and had enrolled her two sons in the school a few years earlier. When Wright’s oldest son, a high school senior at the time, announced that he was gay on a social media blog, the school suspended him until he “renounced his sin.” Sharon Wright filed a lawsuit against the school and according to the complaint, school board member, Rich Raynor, told her that: “your son is broken, and it’s your job to fix him.”
The Courthouse News Service also reports that Wright dealt with “scathing condemnation and blame” from co workers for supporting her son and had to request medical leave to deal with depression and anxiety. The school informed Wright that she should take a year off, but then denied her a new contract. The school claims she was not fired for not condemning her son, but rather because of a letter she wrote criticizing the school’s position on homosexuality and calling the school “bigots.” Sharon Wright is seeking back pay, benefits, reinstatement and other damages that violate the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act and Human Relations Act.