PETITION TO ADDRESS DISCRIMINATORY HIRING PRACTICES AT FONTBONNE ACADEMY
Dear Fontbonne Academy Administration and the Archdiocese of Boston,
We are the Fontbonne Academy students, alumni and community members who strongly disagree with recent discriminatory hiring practices conducted by your administration. We write to demand a public apology to Mr. Matthew Barrett and the immediate incorporation of anti-discrimination language in school hiring policies. The decision to rescind Mr. Barrett’s job offer based on his sexual orientation is shameful, unlawful, and contradictory to the mission of our school.
As members of the Fontbonne Academy community, we believe in both church and school as spaces that foster growth, yield opportunity, and challenge us to better ourselves and the world in which we live. In our alma mater hymn, we sing “We are women of courage, by this fountain made strong.” In order to be truly courageous, we must pursue things that frighten us – things which represent historic changes in action to render a more just, moral experience. This starts with taking responsibility for our wrong-doings and working tirelessly to correct our mistakes. Rescinding Mr. Barrett’s job offer upon learning of his husband was an egregious error that contradicts our values and diminishes our integrity. It must be addressed by admitting fault and ensuring the prevention of further discrimination against any potential or current employees on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (as well as sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, marital status, disability, pregnancy, or genetic information).
In 1989, Massachusetts passed a comprehensive anti-discrimination law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, credit and services. The law, which applies to employers with six or more employees, forbids employers from refusing to hire or discharging a person for reasons of sexual orientation or gender identity. Furthermore, the Fontbonne Academy mission states our school as an “inclusive community that embraces diversity in many forms,” while promoting social justice in the classroom. Without taking immediate action to rectify the school’s discriminatory practices against Mr. Barrett, we cannot stand as one community claiming this identity in good faith.
"Just as the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say "thou shalt not" to an economy of exclusion and inequality.” –Pope Francis