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Transgender teacher called ‘worse than gay’ sues Catholic school over firing

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

NEW YORK — A transgender teacher is suing a New York City Catholic school claiming he was fired after notifying school officials that he was transitioning from male to female.

Mark Krolikowski — who, according to his attorney prefers male pronouns and to be referred to as Mr. K by his students — alleges in a lawsuit filed late last year, that he was wrongfully terminated from his teaching post at the St. Francis Prep in Queens, N.Y., after 32 years and receiving numerous accolades for his work, including leading students in a musical performance for Pope Benedict XVI.

Mark Krolikowski
Image via ABC/Splash News

According to court documents, Krolikowski remains anatomically male and routinely wore suits and neckties to school where he taught music, social studies and a class on human sexuality. He also wore earrings and manicured his nails in “a feminine style.”

Krolikowski’s lawyer, Andrew Kimler, told ABC News:

In 2011, Krolikowski was summoned to the office of the principal, Brother Leonard Conway, where he revealed that he was transgender and that he intended to start coming to work dressed as a woman.

According to Krowlikowski’s lawsuit, Conway told the teacher that being transgender was “worse than gay” and that he could no longer appear at public events if he planned to begin appearing as a woman.

“He is extremely upset given the dedication and devotion he showed to the school for 30 years,” Kimler said adding that although his client worked for a private, religious school, Krolikowski was still protected under the city’s and New York state’s anti-discrimination laws.

Kimler would not specify the damages his client is seeking in the lawsuit.

Phil Sempervivo, an attorney for St. Francis Prep, said the school had cause to fire the teacher and he was not relieved due to his gender identity.

“His employment was terminated for appropriate non-discriminatory reasons,” Sempervivo said.

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24 more reader comments:

  1. That makes me sad.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:39pm
  2. Yeah, as of anyone thought that would go over well.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:41pm
  3. If**

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:42pm
  4. Wow

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:42pm
  5. She can do better than that school anyways in a place that respects her for who she is and not what they want her to be

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:43pm
  6. Lying attorney.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:44pm
  7. Well, it is a Catholic school, so what did he expect? As prejudice as this story is, Catholics aren’t too in favor of gays, let alone transgenders.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:45pm
  8. In America what the Hell can be “worse than gay”? Did she like reek of gin and pot or something? Fuck it… call the ACLU!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:46pm
  9. I wouldnt want to work at a place full of judgmental people like that in the first place.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:47pm
  10. I’m sick of employers who pretend to be a good place to work, trying to inspire loyalty. Loyalty is expected from the employee, but never found in the employer.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:49pm
  11. Not to be an asshole I am all for gay rights and allowing people to freely express themselves in anyway. I’m also anti religion. But he obviously shouldn’t have expected anything more than what happened to him, he worked at a catholic school. Catholics are anti-gay and with that I’m sure goes the transgender issue. I hope he wins so it’ll set an example for those hateful religious groups, but at the same time if he loses I’d understand why.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:53pm
  12. I’m catholic and so is my family. But we never judge. Never, and when I have children, homophobic will be a word they do not know. Not all Catholics are asses. I will always fight and defend the lgbt community until the day I die.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:22pm
  13. Why anyone gay, lesbian, trans would want to work at a religious school or for a religious organization is beyond me.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:40pm
  14. Not cool catholic school gits!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:07pm
  15. she’s transgender working in a catholic school. i think she should be sued for being a traitor to her people and working in a catholic school. wake up. you are not religious. you are brainwashed. work for people who are ethically unclean than you shall become ethically unclean. get a grip woman.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:28pm
  16. Sue those homophobic fucks

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 12:16am
  17. I’m sorry, but if this was a public school she would have a case… Since it is a private religious school she does not have a case. I do not agree with the discrimination shown by this school, but as a private religious organization they have the right to hire/not hire/fire anyone who does not fit within their religious bigotry. Just like a gay person can’t sue the Fred Phelps crazies if they fire them because they are gay. It is not right, but it is part of America. If we want Churches to keep out of our secular laws (even tho they don’t, but they should) then we can not impose our secular laws onto them- UNLESS a persons physical safety is at risk, then the secular world should step in.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 12:23am
  18. Makes no sense lol anti gay in a Catholic Church yet catholic priests aren’t so innocent themselves especially the men having intercourse with little boys how holy is catholic religion ? Lmfaoo she is who she is and deserves a chance. :)

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 1:45am
  19. So why did they hire her?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 4:10am
  20. **PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE THIS PETITION TO THE UK GOV**

    Officially recognise the Roman Catholic Church as a hate group.

    Responsible department: Home Office

    In his annual Christmas address to the College of Cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, demeaned and belittled LGBTQ people worldwide. Using hateful language and discriminatory remarks, Pope Benedict’s hurtful and homophobic attacks portray LGBTQ people as second-class citizens.

    The Pope called same-sex marriage a “manipulation of nature” to be deplored and an attack on the “essence of the human creature”, and policies allowing gay marriage and families “threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.”

    Hate crime/incitement to hatred is a criminal offence when perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic, including sexual orientation.

    “‘…we should be embracing each other’s differences, not persecuting each other for them.
    To abuse or attack someone because of who they are is inexcusable, it denies the most basic of rights – to live life as who you are.” L Featherstone MP, Hate Crime 14/3/12

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43686

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 5:02am
  21. **PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE THIS PETITION TO THE UK GOV**

    Officially recognise the Roman Catholic Church as a hate group.

    Responsible department: Home Office

    In his annual Christmas address to the College of Cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, demeaned and belittled LGBTQ people worldwide. Using hateful language and discriminatory remarks, Pope Benedict’s hurtful and homophobic attacks portray LGBTQ people as second-class citizens.

    The Pope called same-sex marriage a “manipulation of nature” to be deplored and an attack on the “essence of the human creature”, and policies allowing gay marriage and families “threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.”

    Hate crime/incitement to hatred is a criminal offence when perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic, including sexual orientation.

    “‘…we should be embracing each other’s differences, not persecuting each other for them.
    To abuse or attack someone because of who they are is inexcusable, it denies the most basic of rights – to live life as who you are.” L Featherstone MP, Hate Crime 14/3/12

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43686

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 5:02am
  22. Good Luck.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:44am
  23. Lucien, just so you know, there’s an editing feature on facebook. Just so you don’t have to make two comments <3

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 9:52am
  24. Wow. Of all places, the pedophile church fired him?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 10:40am