Fitzgerald: "I'm sad and hurt by what has happened."
INDIANAPOLIS -- Roncolli High School is all Shelly Fitzgerald has "ever known and loved."
She went to high school there and returned to become a guidance counselor, and did it all while concealing the fact that she was married to another woman. Now, 15 years later, she is on the verge of losing her job.
"People knew and people that I worked with knew," Fitzgerald said of her marriage to RTV6. "People who I call friends and love. That wasn't secret from the school. There were tons of people who knew and loved me. It just happens to be that the wrong people found out."
According to Fitzgerald, the wrong people were those within the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, including the Archbishop.
"I was emailed by Joe Hollowell, our president; just asked if he could have a meeting with myself and Chuck Weisenbach, our principal," Fitzgerald said of the moment she realized her job was in jeopardy. "When I walked into the meeting, they had a copy of my marriage certificate."
The school said someone had brought the copy of her marriage license to the school. The school was then forced to give it to the Archdiocese. Soon after, Fitzgerald said she was given four options:
"The gist of it was that I could resign, that I could dissolve my marriage, that I could stay quiet until the end of the year and keep my job as long as possible if it stay out of the media, and that they would not renew my contract," Fitzgerald continued.
She said she feels sad and hurt by what has happened.
Fitzgerald added she is overwhelmed with support from both Roncolli students and fellow staff members. She's urging the students she mentors to "not cross the line" and to not show negativity towards the school in showing their support if they wish to give it.
In the meantime, Fitzgerald's attorney, David Paige, said they would like to open a dialogue with the archdiocese and Roncalli to try to find a path toward resolution so they don't have to resort to litigation.
Fitzgerald is still employed by Roncolli but has been placed on indefinite leave.