As parents, when you drop your children off at school, you do so with the confidence you’re leaving them in the hands of patient, caring, and qualified people. As long as those in charge are making a positive impact on your child, then all’s well!

Families at St. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Miami, Florida, found just that in Jocelyn Morffi — parents and students alike loved her. So you can imagine their outrage when they came to school one day to find her gone and all of her belongings left behind for a truly baffling reason.

Jocelyn Morffi is a 32-year-old woman who lives in Miami, Florida. She was a first-grade teacher and she loved what she did, the kids loved her back, and the parents adored her as a teacher. Everything was perfect — or so it seemed. 

Jocelyn Morffi / Facebook

Jocelyn was well known by the parents and staff and was one of the most popular teachers at the school. Parents of her students praised her and referred to Miss Morffi as the “Mother Teresa of teachers, and for a good reason! 

Miami Arch

As a teacher of children who are so young and impressionable, Jocelyn found it difficult to talk to her students about the tragedies that occur around the world on a daily basis. She wanted her conversations with them to be filled with hope rather than fear.

St. Peter and Paul Catholic School

Together with her class, she started brainstorming ideas on how to give back to the community and instill hope in her students. They came up with the idea to volunteer at their local homeless shelter.

Jocelyn Morffi / Facebook

 Jocelyn recalled, “When I came back from that first feeding, I asked the school if it’s possible for them to back me up, and I got authorization to send out a letter to the parents stating what’s going on and if they would like to contribute in any way.”

Additionally, Jocelyn used her platform on social media to start a program to encourage her students, their parents, and the community to join her in her new initiative. She used the hashtag #TeachHope to spread the word.

Jocelyn Morffi / Facebook

With her social media campaign and the support of her students, Jocelyn was ready to start her campaign and could only hope that the community followed in her footsteps. 

Jocelyn Morffi / Facebook

Jocelyn was overwhelmed with support when her students and their parents showed up to volunteer at the homeless shelter with her. Parents also brought generous donations like loves of bread, meats, cheeses, and snacks to bag up and hand out.

Teachhope70x7

Miss Morffi’s students were passionate about her new program. A class parent and co-worker stated, “They wake me up bright and early on Sunday saying, ‘Mom, we have to teach hope.'” She was an integral part of the school, community, and their lives.

Teachhope70x7

Having their kids spend every day with the “Mother Theresa of teachers” is every parent’s dream. That’s why the parents were immediately concerned when Jocelyn stopped showing up to school — and very confused.

Twitter

See, Jocelyn was scheduled to have some time off from work because she was celebrating something very special. She was about to marry the love of her life and best friend. She just assumed when it was all over, her life would return to normal.

Prior to the big day, Jocelyn set up a wedding website to show all of the important information regarding her wedding and to inform her guests of the festivities. She set up a wedding hashtag so her loved ones could follow the event online.

The couple planned a weekend-long celebration at the Key Largo Lighthouse estate. On Friday they held a welcome bash, followed by a seaside wedding ceremony on Saturday, with a goodbye barbecue on Sunday… but things didn’t go as planned in the days following.

Michelle Lawson

When parents brought their children to St. Peter and Paul Catholic School following the wedding, they were shocked to see that their beloved teacher had not returned. When the parents learned why Miss Morffi was no longer there, they were outraged. 

Since Jocelyn was such a known presence in the community and on social media, the school saw pictures of her wedding ceremony. According to the school, what they saw in those photos left them with no choice but to fire her. 

Her Instagram displayed photos of Jocelyn and her wife joining in holy matrimony. Because same-sex marriage is not accepted in the Roman Catholic church, the school relieved Jocelyn of her duties as a teacher at the school. 

NY Daily News

Jocelyn took to her social media and wrote this: “This weekend I married the love of my life and unfortunately I was terminated from my job as a result. In their eyes, I’m not the right kind of Catholic for my choice in partner.”

NBC4I

  The parents who didn’t follow Miss Morffi on Instagram found out from a letter through the school, which stated that “She is no longer teaching at our school,” and it was “a difficult and necessary decision.”

The following day, dozens of angry parents showed up at the school. One parent told the news, “We feel cheated. She was the best kind of teacher that you can ask for and our kids, everybody, every parent here — our kids loved her.”

Parents threatened to pull their children from the school if she wasn’t reinstated. Unfortunately, Catholic schools, like many other schools, are not subject to the states public school laws. So, in the eyes of the Catholic school board, Miss Morffi was in violation of her contract when she married the woman she loved.

As of 2018, Jocelyn was seeking legal advice to figure out her options. Her attorney stated, “Jocelyn is humbled by all the love and support she has received from family, friends, the students’ parents, and the public. She feels that the manner of her firing was unfair, not only to her, but to her students as well.”

NBC4I