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April 28, 2010. Vancouver, BC. Vancouver school (music) teacher Ms. Lisa Reimer says she was fired from Little Flower Academy, a Catholic girls' school, because she is a lesbian parent. Laura Leyshon for the Globe and MailLaura Leyshon for The Globe and Mail/The Globe and Mail

She believes she lost her job as a music teacher at a Catholic school because she was a lesbian. The school insists she still has her job and continues to pay her.



Two conflicting accounts emerged late Wednesday about the situation at Little Flower Academy, a girls high school in a ritzy pocket of Vancouver. At the centre of the controversy is the question of whether a teacher who remains on the payroll but is not allowed into the classroom has been fired.



Events leading to the public exchanges began earlier this week, when music teacher Lisa Reimer returned to the school following time off after her partner gave birth. She told reporters she was informed that parents who found out she was a lesbian had complained to the administration, worried that their daughters might be influenced by her.



She was advised that the school would pay out her contract but she could not continue to teach her music class.



Ms. Reimer was told by the principal that the school had no concerns about her ability to teach, her supporters stated in a news release distributed yesterday by the B.C. Teachers' Federation on behalf of the B.C. Pride Education Network.



"The Catholic school has knowingly employed her as a lesbian during the current school year, but suddenly dismissed her without warning," the press release said. "Ms. Reimer was told that she was dismissed because many parents had complained since they had become aware of the fact that she had recently become a parent and that her spouse was a woman."



She was not available for an interview. The school website yesterday continued to list her as a faculty member.



Celso Boscariol, chair of the board of directors for Little Flower Academy, stated in a news release that Ms. Reimer has not been fired.



"When the teacher announced that she and her same-sex partner were planning to have a baby in April, she requested leave. The school encouraged the teacher to take the leave owed to her and use it at the time of the baby's birth," he said.



She did so when the baby was born, he added. When she returned to work, a meeting was held to discuss projects "consistent with the music theory curriculum," he said.



"The school understood that her proposed role was acceptable and the matter was resolved. Therefore the school was quite surprised by the press release issued today," he said.