Victory for transgender former teacher
NEW YORK (WABC) -- 60-year-old Marla Krolikowskii, formerly known as Mark, was fired after 32 years in October, 2012 as a teacher at St. Francis Catholic high school in Queens. She claims it was because she declared she is transgender, that the then vice principal called her worse than gay.
"It's terrible. They robbed me of dignity and livelihood I loved," said Krolikowski.
School officials refused to speak to Eyewitness News on Monday.
"She was fired for appropriate non-discriminatory reasons. She was insubordinate," said St. Francis Prep Attorney Phil Semprevivo.
However, Andrew Kimler, Krolikowskii's attorney said that there was no insubordination, and that the insubordination was that she was transgender.
Both sides squared off in court Monday, Judge Duane Hart was openly skeptical about the school's insubordination claim.
"Insubordination after 32 years of teaching? And the insubordination seems to coincide with the expression of being transgender?" Judge Hart said.
Judge Hart then rejected a separate 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.
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