A teacher who alleges that he* was fired from a school where he had worked for over 30 years has filed charges against the Catholic New York City school for damages.

Mark Krolikowski was terminated from St. Francis Preparatory School in August of 2012 after a parent complained about his feminized appearance. Krolikowski confided to then-principle Leonard Conway that he was transgender and after gradually coming to school with more feminized aspects that he was planning to teach as a woman. According to the New York Post, Krolikowski was called “worse than gay” and ordered to tone down his feminine appearance if he wanted to continue to attend public events at the school. Despite agreeing to do so, Krolikowski was later terminated.

Krolikowski’s lawyer Andrew Kimler, told ABC News that although the Catholic school was a private institution he was still protected under city and state anti-discrimination laws. The legal counsel for St. Francis Preparatory School, however, maintains that Krolikowski was terminated for reasons that did not relate to his disclosed gender identity. Currently, an online petition has generated over 1,500 signatures from former and current students defending Krolikowski, “Mr. K” as he is called.

Krowlikowski taught music and social studies at St. Francis for 32 years. He also lead students in musical performances for Pope Benedict the XVI in 2008.

*No pronoun preference has been issued to media sources. As a results, male pronouns were used in accordance with other media sources.

Media Resources: New York Post 1/9/2013; Huffington Post 1/8/2013; ABC News 1/7/2013; New York Post 1/7/2013

Transgender flag button from Shutterstock

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