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Catholic principal apologizes after using photo of Ellen DeGeneres on graduation dance invitation

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEWTOWN, Pa. -- The principal of a Catholic elementary school in suburban Philadelphia is apologizing to parents for having used a photo of celebrity Ellen DeGeneres on an invitation to an Oscars-themed graduation dance.

St. Andrew Elementary School principal Nancy Matteo wrote in an email to parents Tuesday that using the photo was "completely wrong" because DeGeneres "lives her life outside the teachings of the Catholic Church," Philly.com (http://bit.ly/1of34Uk) reported.

The site said it obtained the text of the email, which doesn't specifically mention DeGeneres' sexual orientation but calls her a "poor role model." DeGeneres came out as gay in 1997 and married actress Portia de Rossi in 2008.

"A role model, as defined by Webster's Dictionary, is a person who is unusually effective or inspiring in some social role, job, position, etc.," the email said. "This does not describe her at all. We work so hard to be good role models and then I go and do something stupid!"

DeGeneres hosted the Oscars in 2007 and 2014. The image on the invitation for the June 8 dance shows her holding an Oscar statue accompanied by the phrase "Live from the red carpet."

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