Parents rally in support of Maria Regina School teacher allegedly fired over his sexuality
Dozens of people, including students, rallied in front of Saint Agnes Cathedral Friday in Rockville Centre calling on the diocese to give teacher Michael Califano his job back.
Califano, who is gay, said he was told he was out of a job at Maria Regina School in Seaford after someone sent photos of him and his boyfriend kissing to the diocese.
Protesters cried out “Bring Back Mr. Califano” and “Love is Love.” Califano said, “I just want my job back.” He said it feels like a part of him is being taken away.
One parent told News 12 that this is a “travesty” and said he doesn’t want to remove his son from Maria Regina School, but it’s something he’s willing to do if the decision is not reversed. Another parent praised Califano, calling him an “amazing” teacher. She said he changed her son’s life in three months.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Diocese of Rockville Centre said, “For privacy reasons we do not comment publicly on personnel matters, but we can say that the school did not end Mr. Califano’s employment over his sexuality.”
Califano attends Mass at Maria Regina every Sunday and said he plans on attending this Sunday. He said he holds no ill will toward Maria Regina – both the school and the parish.