ICYMI: Mount St. Mary teacher's resignation letter, forced on account of her marriage | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, October 19, 2013

ICYMI: Mount St. Mary teacher's resignation letter, forced on account of her marriage

Posted By on Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 7:25 AM

click to enlarge NEWLYWEDS: Barb Mariani (left) and Tippi McCullough, human faces to the march toward civil rights.
  • NEWLYWEDS: Barb Mariani (left) and Tippi McCullough, human faces to the march toward civil rights.
I posted a link to this last night, but just to make the record clear:

Tippi McCullough, in her 15th year as an English teacher and coach at Mount St. Mary Academy, did send a resignation letter yesterday to principal Diane Wolfe, who told her she otherwise would be fired because she married her partner, Little Rock deputy prosecutor Barb Mariani, earlier in the week in New Mexico. This is known as a constructive firing, Wolfe removed McCullough from the Mount St. Mary staff roster Thursday night.

McCullough wrote:


Pursuant to the conversation we had Wednesday evening, I sadly and respectfully resign my position as English and Theory of Knowledge teacher at Mount St. Mary Academy after fifteen years of coaching and teaching.

I am tendering my resignation on the basis that I was notified by you that my legal marriage on October 16, 2013 in New Mexico to my partner of fourteen years was a violation of the moral clause in my contract because my "lifestyle" is considered contrary to Catholic teaching.

I am greatly disappointed that the powers who control the hiring and firing at Mount St. Mary have taken this stance which seems to be in direct opposition to the Mercy Value recognizing "The Intrinsic Worth and Dignity of Each Person." It is especially heartbreaking because the Mercy Values were one of the many reasons that made it such an honor and joy to work at Mount St. Mary Academy.

I am truly thankful for the love shown to me by current and former students, parents, and teachers.


Tippi McCullough

Mount St. Mary has refused to answer our calls or e-mails about the matter, but one official told the Democrat-Gazette it wouldn't discuss personnel matters. Wolfe gave insight into her thinking in a form e-mail she sent to a number of correspondents. We reprinted that here. She said she was following church guidance in invoking a morals clause in teaching contracts.

Students plan a demonstration in support of McCullough. The  Human Rights Campaign, which broke news of the firing, plans a news conference Tuesday in Little Rock next week. None of this will alter the outcome. The Catholic Church won't yield. The school can't, really.  And McCullough told me  Thursday night she couldn't return to such an environment even if it were possible.

To borrow a cliche, it is important for consciousness raising. A teaching moment. Some 16,000 people have signed a petition. Two good and respected people who love each other have provided two more human faces in the march toward equality and dignity for all. Such people's public witness explains the proliferation of happy progress elsewhere, if not yet in Arkansas. May their number increase. (Speaking of Arkansas, an article in the D-G today summarized defenses by the state and county lawyers to the lawsuit challenging state bans on same-sex marriage. They were as empty against the U.S. Constitution as past interposition arguments have been. "If our constitution says it, it's so. Federal law doesn't count.")

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (31)

Showing 1-31 of 31

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-31 of 31

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Two more get prison for feeding program fraud

    Two more people got prison sentences today for defrauding the state-run program that uses federal money to provide meals to poor children.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Friday's open line

    Here's today's video. And it is the open line.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Steve Bannon leaving White House

    The odious Steve Bannon, right-wing nationalist, is departing his White House job as strategist for Donald Trump.  Alas, Trump is still there.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Friday's open line

    • I had a busy afternoon but did manage to be in the mighty truck when…

    • on August 19, 2017
  • Re: What's your Big Idea for Arkansas?

    • Do you need an urgent loan to start up business, debt loan? buy a car…

    • on August 19, 2017
  • Re: Friday's open line

    • Cato, you could see where Glibbus was going immediately in prelude to his "dramatic" one-liner…

    • on August 18, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation