A gay student at a Catholic high school in southwestern Ontario is taking on the school board over her religion teacher’s alleged bullying.

Brooke Mulligan, an 18-year-old student at St. Thomas of Villanova school in LaSalle, Ont., alleges that the female teacher has been bullying her in part because of her sexuality. 

“She has always been a bully to everyone. She’s been that kind of person,” Mulligan told reporters this week during a protest in her community, near Windsor, Ont.

But when the teacher discussed homosexuality in class – telling students gay people can’t get married in a Catholic Church – “her tone was crossing the line,” Mulligan said.

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board is denying Mulligan’s claims.

“At this time, I’ve come to the assumption that those are false,” superintendent of education Mike Seguin told CTV Windsor.

Mulligan first told her story to Xtra! in late February. The story made the rounds online and a small protest against homophobia was organized outside Mulligan’s school on Friday.

Although Mulligan’s sister Ashley said their mom wrote letters to the school about the alleged bullying, the school board said it first found out about it through the Xtra! article.

“In order for there to be any kind of intervention, there has to be a complaint and the school wasn’t privy to the fact that she felt bullying,” Seguin said.

Mulligan’s mom, Tina Dagenais, told reporters that her frustrated daughter wrote an obscenity on her religion exam, which got her in trouble.

In response to one of the exam questions, Mulligan wrote: “F*** all Catholics. I am gay and God loves me,” Dagenais said.

As a result, Mulligan was suspended from school for three days.

“Her back was against the wall. She was defending herself because one too many times she felt bullied from this teacher and she did what she did,” her mom said.

Dagenais also said the school threatened her daughter with a defamation lawsuit.

 “That is false, completely false,” Seguin said. “There was never a lawsuit threat.”

He said St. Thomas of Villanova is one of the more progressive schools in the region, with a gay-straight alliance and a social justice equity club.

With a report from CTV Windsor’s Rich Garton