A gay student at a LaSalle Catholic high school spoke out against the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board Friday.

Brooke Mulligan,18, says she has been bullied by her religion teacher, in part because of her sexuality.

"She's always been a bully to everyone, she's been that kind of person," says Mulligan.

Board officials deny those claims.

About 20 students and supporters joined Mulligan outside the board offices Friday. The social media inspired rally comes on the heels of an article that was written about the St. Thomas of Villanova student in late February by Toronto-based gay publication Xtra.

Mulligan says on numerous occasions her religion teacher allegedly treated her differently than other students. She says her teacher told the class ‘homosexuals can't get married in a Catholic church.’

“Her tone, the way she used it, was crossing the line," says Mulligan.

Mulligan’s mom, Tina Dagenais says her daughter had been hauled into the school's office a number of times and was once threatened with a lawsuit for defamation.

Board officials say there was never any threat of a lawsuit.

“That is false, completely false,” says Mike Seguin, WECDSB superintendent of education. “There was never a lawsuit threatened.”

The issue gained momentum online and a Facebook event page was created for Friday’s demonstration. Mulligan was joined by her older sister Ashley Mulligan at the protest. She says her younger sister felt intimidated and overwhelmed.

“Brooke has been trying to reach out to people for quite a while,” she says. “Even my mom wrote letters to the school board and got no response."

But board reps say it first learned of the alleged bullying through an online article, not a letter.

“In order for there to be any kind of intervention, there needs to be a complaint,” says Seguin. “And the school wasn't privy to the fact that she felt bullying."

Dagenais says her daughter reacted negatively during an exam in the religion class, where her response to a question was "F--- all Catholics. I am gay, and God loves me."

The Catholic board handled the situation, which according to Mulligan, resulted in a three-day suspension.

"Her back was against the wall, she was defending herself," says Dagenais.

Seguin says Villanova is one of the more progressive schools, rolling out not only a provincially mandated gay-straight alliance, but also a social justice equity club. He says this situation is proof that more needs to be done.

“It still happened, so we gotta keep working at it. Nothing's perfect, and we're learning too," says Seguin.