NEW YORK — A judge in New York on Monday refused to dismiss a complaint by a former teacher at a Catholic school who was fired after notifying school officials that he was transitioning from male to female.Marla Krolikowski, 60, alleges in a lawsuit filed late last year, that she was wrongfully terminated from her teaching position at the St. Francis Prep in Queens, N.Y., after 32 years and receiving numerous accolades for her work, including leading students in a musical performance for Pope Benedict XVI.
But school officials claimed Krolikowski “was fired for appropriate non-discriminatory reasons. She was insubordinate,” according to St. Francis Prep Attorney Phil Semprevivo.
On Monday, both sides squared off in court, where Judge Duane Hart was openly skeptical about the school’s insubordination claim, reported WABC-TV.
“Insubordination after 32 years of teaching? And the insubordination seems to coincide with the expression of being transgender?” he questioned. said.
Hart then rejected a motion by the school that Krolikowski’s was essentially a minister, and that religious institutions have the right to hire and fire those employees without court interference.
Krolikowski said that regardless of the eventual outcome of the case, she’s already won because she’s finally living her life as who she is supposed to be.