Chicago Catholic School Teacher Outed & Humiliated By Students, Then Fired

Stephanie Lulay/DNAinfo Chicago
Courtesy Stephanie Lulay/DNAinfo Chicago

Matt Tedeschi, a Religion and French teacher at Chicago's St. Ignacius College Prep, has been fired after students found his OkCupid profile and outed him to the school.

Tedeschi had taught at the institution for 4 years, and alleges he was fired because of his sexuality opposing the Church's views. He told DNAInfo"In this place that prides itself on being a value-based school and teaches us to care for the vulnerable and marginalized, it's precisely the same religious basis that allows horrible harassment to take place."

The teacher had not discussed his sexuality in the classroom, and his online dating profile did not include his name or his profession The account had three photos on it, one shirtless, but none explicit. Several others teachers from St. Ignacius also have profiles on OkCupid, DNA Info reports. 

"[A student] 'outed' me to a bunch of students," Tedeschi said. "He knew that he was making fun of me and insulting me. He wanted to embarrass me." 

Tedeschi went to the school administration when he found out a student had screenshotted his profile and sent it around the school, but officials did nothing more than give the student two detentions. Then Tedeschi was told his contract would not be renewed the following year, and, after he discussed this with a colleague, was immediately asked to leave. 

While the school cited "poor judgement" in posting a shirtless photo as their reasoning for letting Tedeschi go, he believes it's due to his sexuality.

"It's a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, because they are worried about negative fallout," he said. "I never would have taken this job if I thought this could happen to me." 

When asked if they would ever hire openly gay teachers, the school said in a statement, "The questions that you raise touch upon issues that are taken seriously by our school. Saint Ignatius College Prep has as its core mission a diverse community dedicated to educating young men and women for lives of faith, love, service and leadership. Through outstanding teaching and personal formation, the school challenges its talented student body to intellectual excellence, integrity, and life-long learning and growth. Inspired by the gospel of Jesus Christ, this community strives to use God's gifts to promote social justice for the greater glory of God."

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