Pregnant teacher fired

Sharon - posted on 06/14/2010 ( 76 moms have responded )

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She worked for a Christian School. The school claims they had her sign a contract agreeing that she would conduct her life in accordance with their religious beliefs.



She claims she had no idea what that meant.



She got pregnant 3 weeks before she got married. The dean/principal? asked her pointed questions about when she conceived the baby and then fired her.



http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/fi...



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I think she's full of shit. I think she knew full well what it meant to live a "christian life" and while I don't fully agree with the principal I think what they did was right. Kids can add & subtract and figure out what was up when the baby came due. She is not a proper christian model for behaviour.



Mind you - I wasn't married to my husband for the birth of our first two kids. i didn't want to be married but I didn't want to work for a christian organisation either.



Who is right here?

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Sharon - posted on 06/16/2010

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If she had been working for a public school, I'd be screaming "FOUL!!!" for all I was worth. But she took this job with a private religious school with their own agenda - this is on her.

The way the dean went about this was shitty and I think she has a case there. But getting pregnant out of wedlock breaks the one of the most obvious christian tenents(sp?) and most provable.

Even I know better and I think I'm a decent christian. I would figure I had it coming if I had done that. I also know I would have kept my mouth shut about the due date and said "aww baby came early." and the consequences be damned. fornication outside of marriage is not the unforgivable sin. She should have sucked it up and said jack shit.

She invited this mess into her life.

Mary - posted on 06/15/2010

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Christina, I'm not "missing" your point, I was simply stating that the mother of the man who started Christianity was also a woman who conceived out of wedlock. How that conception occurred may be an absolute in your mind, but not all of us subscribe to the literal translation of the Bible.

Perhaps it was okay because of that whole Immaculate Conception thing? (see Lindsay's post about what that is)

Sara - posted on 06/15/2010

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As much as I don't agree, if she signed a contract and now claims she didn't understand it, then it's her fault for signing a contract she didn't fully understand. It's legal and binding.

Mary - posted on 06/15/2010

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Christina, regardless of whether on not I believe that Mary was impregnanted by the Holy Spirit, the Angel Gabriel, or some random guy that caught her fancy, she was still a teen who conceived out of wedlock.

I guess she was just lucky that it was a Jewish guy named Joseph who was going to marry her, and be a father to her (technically) bastard son named Jesus. If it had been up to that so-called Christian principal, she she would have been cast out as a sinner.

I'm not sure about the legality of his decision, as I have no firsthand knowledge of the actual terms of employment. I do, however, take issue with the morality of his actions. Admittedly, I'm a bit of half-assed Catholic, but his message is one of intolerance and judgement....not my idea of Christan love and forgiveness.

LaCi - posted on 06/15/2010

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let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I'd like to know who else on the staff had sex with their fiance before they got married, being catholic they should oppose all methods of birth control as well, so it very well could have happened to any of them.

If I were her I would have just lied and avoided the situation altogether.

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[deleted account]

What a fun thread! I've been gone for 2 weeks and this was a good one to catch up with.

The school was within their legal right to dismiss the teacher. However, IMO, the manner in which they terminated the teacher was 100% wrong. The principal/school official should have taken the matter privately behind closed doors and not air the dirty laundry to the entire school community. A simple stattement of "the teacher has been terminated for undisclosed reasons" would have done. I wonder if there is now a red flag on this school? I mean, I wouldn't want to send my kid to a school that has little regard for their staff.

What about a possible male teacher who impregnanted his fiance' 3 weeks before their wedding? Would the same standard apply? I highly doubt it.

[deleted account]

I abhor the contract but hell - she signed it! She made the agreement. I'm a diehard atheist and I say she should have been fired according to that agreement. Sorry - pregnant or not, she knew, she darn well knew.

Suzette - posted on 06/17/2010

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Marabeth,

I didn't know about them until I took Employment Law and Contract Law either. It completely took me by surprise and then I felt like a huge doofus for all the times that I left jobs not realizing that they actually had a contract with me. If I had known that and then left for problems with them (there were only 2 that I left for those reasons) I could've had them where the problems were resolved. Ah, well the things we don't know about when we're young! (I was only about 19-21 at the time.) Now I'll know for future reference. :)

@Kati,
http://research.lawyers.com/Florida/Empl...
That's a link for Florida "at will" employment. They are reluctant to go so far about a handbook, but they have done it.
"The Florida courts have traditionally been reluctant to declare policy statements or employee handbooks to be an employment contract, unless there is an expressed reference to a certain period of employment and to the benefits associated with this time period."

However, it also states that under Florida Law it is illegal to discriminate and terminate (wrongfully) for pregnancy. I'm not sure whether their courts would consider this wrongful because of the whole religious factor. (We all know how fickle courts can be, especially dependent upon the Judge.)

She could very well be eligible for COBRA. If so, then the school could have to pay for part (or all) of her unemployment medical benefits.

Personally, I hope they find that the school has to pay for ALL of her COBRA. (Though that's a very touchy thing, and it depends on a lot of factors, COBRA is a pain in the butt!)

That link touches on some of it, I'm not fresh on the course that I took or I'd explain in more detail. Sorry!

Rosie - posted on 06/17/2010

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i looked it up cause i was curious but florida does not have an implied contract clause in their at will status of employment. she should've known better than to say something, how stupid can u be.

Marabeth - posted on 06/17/2010

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i was only saying there was no contract because in the article of the original post it said there wasn't one. it was her quote though, so i'm sure suzette's points have merit here. that's interesting that a handbook can be considered contracct. it makes sense though, most handbooks are just the general guidelines of a specific job.

the verbal agreement they came upon when hiring her sounded really vague too, wasn't it something like "to live according to christian standards?" that could be interpreted in as many ways as there are people. i'm curious to see how this case turns out.

Suzette - posted on 06/17/2010

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Jamie,
"I realize that according to the school she made a verbal contract and she signed the application and agreed to adhere to the school's values. That's not being disputed...however if legal action is pursued, the school is going to have a difficult time proving that a verbal agreement was reached if the teacher doesn't agree."

I think that some of the things she's said, she's already self admitted there was a verbal contract in her application agreement. About the courts agreeing, it can be difficult, but it can happen even if she's nto being shunned by her church. What the church does is separate from what is going on with her job.

It doesn't mean I agree with it, it's the legal aspect of it that I personally find fascinating. (Again, not that I agree with that either, most of the time I don't agree with the legal aspect of certain things.)

I agree with you about taking the job and that I wouldn't work for a religious organization either, regardless of how strict/lenient they are. I just wouldn't work for one period. I also agree it's shitty, but she put herself there.

@Marabeth,

"since there was no contract it was considered at will employment. which means she can leave anytime she wants and they can fire her anytime they want. most of us have 'at will' employment."

First, there's no proof there's not a contract, whether it was a written and signed one or a verbal one.

Second, most people do have a contract they just don't realize they have one. If you have an employment handbook, it CAN be considered a contract in the court of law. Most people do not realize that and they never look into it when they're fired for menial things. There are many things that may make employment a contract actually, however, many people do not bother to take the time to look into such things.
http://www.employerhelp.org/jimcollison/...

In fact, from the Employee Handbook Audit, Update 14, Alexander Hamilton Institute, a summary statement, there's a very broad statement that tells exactly what a judge and jury will enforce as contract employment,

"To have a binding obligation in an employment context, it is not necessary that the terms of the agreement be in writing. Instead, courts will look at the conduct of the parties, the practices of the particular industry, oral representations, the longevity of the working relationship, and the damage that will be suffered by one party if his or her reliance on the representations or actions of the other party are not enforced as binding obligations."

Employment contracts aren't as clear cut as they sound, or as they used to be.

C. - posted on 06/17/2010

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Marabeth.. Oh good grief, I don't know why I even bother.. Anyway, you have no proof that there was no contract. Also, a PRIVATE RELIGIOUS SCHOOL is not the same as just any old job out there. You do realize that, right? She knew what her job entailed (which included living a Christian lifestyle as a role model to young children) and she was caught doing otherwise. It isn't unlawful to fire someone who isn't doing what they should be doing when it comes to their job. It's not like they were discriminating against her just b/c she was pregnant.. They just didn't want someone that didn't follow the 10 Commandments working at that school and they have every right to have certain standards for their employees just as every other job has that right.

Marabeth - posted on 06/17/2010

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christina - since there was no contract it was considered at will employment. which means she can leave anytime she wants and they can fire her anytime they want. most of us have 'at will' employment. that said, there are a few reasons why americans cannot be fired for (for example pregnancy, race, sex, sexual orientation, etc.) now if a company wants to fire someone because of these reasons they can't but they CAN fire for any other reason really.. if the school was smart they would have written her up three times for something really lame and dismissed her based on three write ups. that's how companies get around EOE and fire whoever they want. the school was stupid though and blatantly fired her for something that which is unlawful to be discriminated against. if my job were that stupid i would go for retribution, it just turns out most places of businesses aren't that stupid.

Jennifer - posted on 06/16/2010

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I totally agree with Mary:
"The average person, when told her due date, and knowing when she got married, would just assume it was a honeymoon baby....UNLESS they were looking for a reason to can her. I think this school was just hiding behind some Christian value bullshit to hide behind not wanting to cover maternity leave. "

C. - posted on 06/16/2010

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None of you can tell me that if it was your religion and you understood everything, that you wouldn't be able to find a justifiable reason. I think some of you think it's 'shitty' to fire the teacher b/c you want to find any reason not to like a specific religion.

That school had every right to fire her. If she didn't want to get fired for breach of contract, she should have kept her mouth shut. Not that I condone lying, but at least she wouldn't have gotten fired. Part of me thinks she did it on purpose so she could sue them, though. She knew that part of her job was to live a Christian lifestyle b/c she was a role model for young children within that religion. Part of being a role model for those kids is to not have premarital sex.. Again, that is one MAIN REASON why some parents send their kids to a private religious school, to instill their morals and values in their children with all hope to keep them 'pure'. That teacher wasn't living a pure life, plain and simple, so why should she have been able to stay when she violated her contract??

Anyway, Hamilton (the teacher) said "I didn't know that they were going to judge so harshly, that this was the way they felt about premarital sex," she said. "I wasn't clear what their stance was on certain issues."

She is full of poop, Ok? HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW WHAT A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL'S STANCE IS ON IMMORAL ISSUES LIKE PREMARITAL SEX??? And like I stated before, if there was any confusion, though I don't see how there could be b/c anyone with a functioning brain that knows anything about the Bible at all knows that premarital sex is frowned upon, SHE SHOULD HAVE ASKED!

Jenny - posted on 06/16/2010

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I just think we can say it's shitty to treat another human being like that. To me there is no justifiable reason to fire a pregnant woman, none. It should be a right and we should not bend those rights for any special interest groups. Just because shitty behaviour is hiding behind private enterprise or belief systems should not mean we condone it.

Jenny - posted on 06/16/2010

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Ya but when does society get to say enough is enough. You don't get to be a dick to people because of your religion? That is why I don't support it. Personal faith is the only "religion" worth supporting. Anything organized just seems so prone to human rights abuse.



Can you imagine, in this day and age, having your financial security ripped out from under you because you're having a baby with your husband? Just say it out loud. It's fucking ridiculous.

Jaime - posted on 06/16/2010

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I still maintain above all that she took the job and should have made herself fully aware of the consequences in such a strict working environment. I would never work for a religious organization because I know it would be absolutely impossible to uphold their standards. I just think it's shitty that something as subjective as religion has caused someone to lose her financial security during such an important time in her life.

Jaime - posted on 06/16/2010

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Suzette, I realize that according to the school she made a verbal contract and she signed the application and agreed to adhere to the school's values. That's not being disputed...however if legal action is pursued, the school is going to have a difficult time proving that a verbal agreement was reached if the teacher doesn't agree. As well, the courts might not view her pre-marital sex as a breach of school policy because her actions don't make her any less of a Christian. She's not being cast out of her church and she's not being shunned by her fellow believers...so the fact that she was fired over something as menial as pre-marital sex is pretty harsh. This is my personal problem with religion...and although my personal opinion doesn't hold water in the case of this teacher vs. the Christian school, I still think it's a harsh consequence.

Also, the principal should be fired for his conduct...I'm pretty sure his actions are morally-questionable according to the values of the religion he was so readily 'protecting'.

Suzette - posted on 06/16/2010

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Mary, I completely agree with you. I'm pregnant right now, half the time I couldn't tell you, without looking up the weeks, how many weeks I am. Well, until recently and that's just because I'm at the "final countdown." LOL.

Honestly, I look at it in months, hubby looks at it in weeks. A little backwards, lol.

IF they were looking at it from the "value" standpoint, I can see it somewhat, only somewhat though. But, I don't believe that was all there was to the entire situation, as you stated.

She did screw herself when she answered honestly, as most people do when they don't know what a legal interview question is or what a legal question is when an employer asks them. They do have a right to ask the employer what it has to do with their job description or flat out tell them they don't need to answer that as it has nothing to do with their job. Unfortunately, people just don't know that.

Suzette - posted on 06/16/2010

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Jamie,

"Obviously the contracts speak more so to businesses than schools, but the point being, if when she was interviewed for her job she agreed to uphold the values of the school, there is no contract there. Even in her job application where in the article it states; "she wasn't let go because of her pregnancy but because of "fornication, sex outside of marriage......she agreed in her job application to uphold the school's values." She agreed to uphold the school's values. Having pre-marital sex doesn't make you any less Christian than someone who abstains in my opinion."

Yes, they apply more so to businesses to schools. However, this is a private religious school which means it is not only a school but a business. They collect money for services, a public school does not do that.

A person who interviews for a job working as an internet tech agrees that they will uphold the values, (certainly not sex related I'm sure) and integrity of that company. If they break that code, they are breaking that contract. They did, indeed, agree to a contract.

Again, a matter of opinion in regard to the Christian faith wouldn't be upheld much when it comes to a contract based upon the values of that particular school. Even if every Christian in the world (minus those affiliated with the school) disagreed, if it is found that there is a contract, the law won't care.

I do agree that the way she was dismissed, the way everyone was informed, was not handled correctly. It was beyond distasteful.

Suzette - posted on 06/16/2010

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LOL Amie! I didn't think you'd be awake that late!!! No you didn't imply (by any means) that your system was any better than ours. Just that they're different, I don't take offense to someone pointing out how imperfect (or flat out saying the system is crappy) our system is. By all means, I know it. LOL

"In that 2nd blurb though about discharge and discipline. Sex means male or female. It has nothing to do with pregnancy or actual sex."

In all other sections they refer to pregnancy, including sex. So, honestly, I'm unsure whether or not it's included or not with that area. It very well could be.

As far as creating a hostile work environment by telling everyone, I think it would go further than just that. It would not only create a hostile work environment but it could create a problem for her finding a job elsewhere. What if one of those teachers happens to work at another school she applies at? What if one of the parents has a child going to a different school she applies with? All it takes is word of mouth, and it's not like what they'd be saying would be untruth.

"No wonder the states is known for sue happy people."
HA! I definitely agree with that, even if it were meant as a joke. There are so many stupid frivolous lawsuits out there that it's beyond ridiculous. It's too damn bad we don't have MORE judges that laugh the idiots out of court!

Mary - posted on 06/16/2010

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Amie, one of the "problems" here is that laws vary greatly from state to state with regards to employment. I think we are all trying to debate something that none of us truly know all the details of, such as that specific state's laws about contracts (verbal or written), employment/termination law, as well as the specific terms for employment of this school. It's why I have no true opinion on where she stands LEGALLY...but I have pleanty to say about the principal's "morality".

Obviously, they wanted to can her for some other reason...perhaps it was as simple as not wanting to cover maternity leave. While I understand that most "Christian" institutions are against pre-maritla sex, I think we can all agree that calling a widowed mother of 5 who conceived 3 weeks before re-marrying "promiscuous" is a bit of a stretch by anyone's standards. For crap's sake, if she truly conceived 3 weeks before the wedding, she may not have even KNOWN she was pregnant when she got married. ANd as numerous posters have pointed out, and 3 week discrepancy is not a big deal. Hell, 37 weeks is considered full-term in the world of obstetrics.

Most males do not think in terms of a pregnancy being 40 weeks...they think 9 months. The average person, when told her due date, and knowing when she got married, would just assume it was a honeymoon baby....UNLESS they were looking for a reason to can her. I think this school was just hiding behind some Christian value bullshit to hide behind not wanting to cover maternity leave. Unfortunately, it is *just* plausible enough, and the definition of Christian values is vague enough that they may get away with it, depending upon the judge, and the actual employment laws of Florida.

She unwittingly screwed herself when she answered honestly about when she conceived. No, they had absolutely NO business asking her that, nor was she required to answer, but she did. Once she put that info out there, she was sunk. It's unfortunate that her honesty and naivete were her undoing instead of some truly outlandish behavior, but that seems to be the world we live in.

Jaime - posted on 06/16/2010

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From what I've read about verbal contracts, (they are binding in Florida) they are hard to prove unless the contract has been written down and a monetary exchange has been made. Obviously the contracts speak more so to businesses than schools, but the point being, if when she was interviewed for her job she agreed to uphold the values of the school, there is no contract there. Even in her job application where in the article it states; "she wasn't let go because of her pregnancy but because of "fornication, sex outside of marriage......she agreed in her job application to uphold the school's values." She agreed to uphold the school's values. Having pre-marital sex doesn't make you any less Christian than someone who abstains in my opinion. If faith and belief is a personal journey, then she was not in the wrong. I think it's abhorrent for the school to put such a harsh stipulation on her teaching career in the Christian realm but, on the other hand, it was her choice to be employed there.

What it comes down to is the way in which her dismissal was handled. I don't think it was necessary for the principal to inform the entire staff, students and parents of the students of the reason for her dismissal. Considering the very personal nature of her offense, it could have been delivered to everyone as a simple clash of cultural and religious views that were not conducive to the values of the school.

Amie - posted on 06/15/2010

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That's a lot to read this late Suzette. LOL!

I never said our system was perfect either. I never implied it in either fashion. I seem to get that a lot though when talking with Americans. I am sorry if it came across that way though.

In that 2nd blurb though about discharge and discipline. Sex means male or female. It has nothing to do with pregnancy or actual sex.

I'd say telling ALL the staff and ALL the parents of her students would create a hostile work environment. Wouldn't you? Even though there are some that agree with her, I'm just as sure there are some hardcore Christians that attend the school as well.

And I STILL think it's ridiculous that any judge would rule solely on the basis of he said, she said. How on earth do you know for 100% certainty who is telling the truth? No wonder the states is known for sue happy people. (haha! Ties into the stereotype thread. Sorry for the tender people who can't take a joke either!)

Suzette - posted on 06/15/2010

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Amie,

I'm sure it is different here, I have no doubt about that. No one ever said that our system was perfect... I'll be the first to admit it's not, especially after the time I spent studying it.

According to the U.S. EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), the laws in regard to the Americans with Disabilites Act of 1990 (ADA) are as follows:

"Pre-Employment Inquiries and Religious Affiliation or Beliefs
Questions about an applicant's religious affiliation or beliefs (unless the religion is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ)), are generally viewed as non job-related and problematic under federal law.

Religious corporations, associations, educational institutions, or societies are exempt from the federal laws that EEOC enforces when it comes to the employment of individuals based on their particular religion. In other words, an employer whose purpose and character is primarily religious is permitted to lean towards hiring persons of the same religion. This exception relieves religious organizations only from the ban on employment discrimination based on religion. It does not exempt such organizations from employing individuals due to their race, gender, national origin, disability, color, and/or age. Other employers should avoid questions about an applicant's religious affiliation, such as place of worship, days of worship, and religious holidays and should not ask for references from religious leaders, e.g., minister, rabbi, priest, imam, or pastor."
http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/inqui...


Which likely means that the school didn't employ her without her being the same religion.

In regard to discharge and discipline,
"An employer may not take into account a person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information when making decisions about discipline or discharge. For example, if two employees commit a similar offense, an employer many not discipline them differently because of their race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

When deciding which employees will be laid off, an employer may not choose the oldest workers because of their age.

Employers also may not discriminate when deciding which workers to recall after a layoff."
http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/index...

However, since the above is quoted on religion and religious organizations being exempt, this muddies the waters.

On harassment (asking her about conception date) and the ADA,
"Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not rise to the level of illegality. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.

Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance. "
http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/haras...

There is also a clause there about undue hardship caused to the employer to replace the worker, though I'm not sure it would apply in this case at all.

There doesn't have to be a signed contract, as I stated before some states will hold a verbal contract just as highly legal as they hold a signed contract. There doesn't have to be a third party witness for it either.

Amie - posted on 06/15/2010

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Good lord go outside for the day and the thread just hops!
I'm going back to where I was before hand so sorry if this ends up being long.

Suzette,
I said GENERALLY it's for criminal records, I did not say ONLY. I have yet to obtain a job where they need my medical history. A physical MAY be required but that is a far cry from your ENTIRE medical history. Though there may be some jobs out there that require it, I have never heard of one. I'm also no scholar on EVERY job out there. For a teacher though? HAHA! Ok then. EVEN IF this was plausible, there IS paperwork that needs to be filled out by BOTH parties. Though again... that may be different in the states. It is not given out here without the person you are in inquiring in on signature. Privacy laws! I know that because I have had to do a criminal history check before. So has my mother.

The thing with verbal contracts though, they don't often hold up to muster. There still has to be proof. Otherwise everyone would sue everyone else. Though with the way people sue in the states, maybe it holds more water there than here. =S

I'll also reiterate this again for the few who have repeated it.
There was no signed contract that we're aware of. Maybe one will pop up as time goes by with this case. Who knows as it stands right now, there was not one according to anybody.
The principal ASKED her when she conceived AFTER (supposedly) griping about it being hard to replace mat leave teachers. She had asked for 6 weeks off. He griped, then asked when she got married, then asked when she conceived. As I've stated before when caught blind sided by a question they don't expect people generally A) tell the truth because they're in slight shock at being asked or B) bluster and blubber for words since they are slightly shocked at being asked. She obviously told the truth. She got fired for it.

I also agree with the other ladies. I bet if it was a man, he wouldn't have been fired. I bet that they are not checking their other employees to make sure they are living "the right way". If the principal had not had the audacity to ask such a personal question during a meeting for a request for mat leave, they never would have known. Which leads me to believe they are not all that strict ANYWAY. Otherwise they would have been on top of it long before she asked for the leave. Or maybe the teachers don't interact with each other at all? Is that something else that is different in the states? I know all the teachers around here (even when I was in school) were always chatting away, making plans for after school/weekends/etc. and celebrated together marriages, births, etc. /:) So how is it they didn't know anyway? That's more my personal query now. She got pregnant half way through the school year! Well even later than that since in most states you guys start early and end early then we do up here.

Jenny - posted on 06/15/2010

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@Loureen Some areas believe it is more important to protect individual's beliefs rather than individual's real lives.

Ava - posted on 06/15/2010

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I honestly don't think it's any of the students' business to be adding up when she conceived and when she married. This is why I hate religious education. I hope someday all schooling is purely secular, period. Church and state should be separated for a reason and that includes allowing a pregnant woman to be fired from her job.

Suzette - posted on 06/15/2010

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@Sara,
"If there was no signed contract then I think she has a case of being wrongfully terminated."

Verbal contracts do hold legal standing in some States. If she went into a verbal contract with the school, it could hold legal weight in that State, I'm just not sure about that certain States law in regards to Verbal contracts or if there was a verbal contract.

@Group, Jamie stated "Lea, if you read the article she has an interview with the "Today" show and she admits to telling the Principal when he asked that she conceived before they were married."
If she willingly gave up information, then they didn't breach any privacy laws.

"According to her interview she filled out her application and agreed to uphold the practices of the school....the school...not the religion. Her personal life should not have factored into that. There was no contract signed...and last time I checked a job application is not a contract...just personal contact info and your social insurance number."

If part of the school's policy is to uphold the practices of the school and the practices of that private school include the practices of the religion, then she is under a contract to do so. Also, in some States just reading an Employee Handbook and agreeing to the terms in that Handbook it is considered a legally binding contract.

Jaime - posted on 06/15/2010

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According to her interview she filled out her application and agreed to uphold the practices of the school....the school...not the religion. Her personal life should not have factored into that. There was no contract signed...and last time I checked a job application is not a contract...just personal contact info and your social insurance number.

Meghan - posted on 06/15/2010

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I'm in the middle. Because the principal did call ALL the parents and told ALL the staff about it and that isn't right for him to do that. But at the same time I think she knew what she was signing and knew what could happen if the sitaution occurred which it did. But coming from a private school growing up, I went to school with quite a few girls who got pregnant and they were not ask to leave, in a catholic school they don't like that. I'm not saying that it was right or wrong and that is why I'm in the middle because I can see both sides.

Jaime - posted on 06/15/2010

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Lea, if you read the article she has an interview with the "Today" show and she admits to telling the Principal when he asked that she conceived before they were married.

Lea - posted on 06/15/2010

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I have a question... how the hell did they figure out she got preg 3 weeks early? well i suppose she told everyone her due date. i guess she should have kept it to herself. but honestly, i think The only people who follow the no sex before marriage rule to the letter are nuns (cuz the priests are doing the kids excuse me if i offended u) who dont get married anyway. if u look at who is getting pregnant before marriage its the Christian kids who dont take sex ed. But don't get me wrong, my sister-in-law is a teacher too and when she got married a (high school) kid asked her "oh do u have kids?" and when she said no he said "then why?" so a lot of kids have a backwards idea about things too. i do think u should get married before having kids and be married a little while before having kids. sex, on the other hand its only realistic to think it should happen in a loving committed relationship and be smart about it.

Caitlin - posted on 06/15/2010

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Loureen - I know here they aren't technically allowed to ask anything about your personal life, but if she offered up the information, I think it's her fault really. (I didn't read the article, I don't know if she offered up the info or was asked..)

Charlie - posted on 06/15/2010

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Ok im asking in all seriousness because its illegal here to ask about a persons sex life in regards to their job and especially to fire them for being pregnant , are there not laws to protect this woman's privacy ?

Caitlin - posted on 06/15/2010

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I don't think any of the kids or parents could have done the math to be honest with you since due dates are so give and take.. My first was 8 days late, my second 1 week early, both due dates were a guess due to irregular periods and not only having sex once a month (because we weren't trying really by conception tests or anything - just letting nature take it's course whenever it felt like it). Having her be 3 weeks early wouldn't be a stretch, The second time around, my doc estimated the due date as end of march, the ultrasound said I was due March 1st and she was born on the 22nd of Feb (full term and big..)

Jessica - posted on 06/15/2010

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Oh for god sakes... lol, this is retarded. It's definatly much better to leave her without a job and expecting... go team religion...

Tracey - posted on 06/15/2010

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Why did the school feel the need to phone her pupils parents and tell them why she was sacked? That must be breach of some sort of contract or privacy policy?
She obviously thought she was not doing anything wrong or she would have lied about how far pregnant she was.
I don't know how employment laws work over there but I believe in the UK they can ask for a worker to be sympathetic to the christian ethos but can't hire / fire anyone on the grounds of religion.

Hannah - posted on 06/15/2010

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While I don't think she misunderstood the verbage, I don't think she should be fired. If there wasn't a formal contract especially. A violation of policy doesn't always result in immediate termination. There is usually steps taken before someone is terminated. I think a written warning that this is in breach of her contract, would have been sufficient. Without any of the kids or parents knowing, it wouldn't have ever been a big deal.

On the other hand, I do understand that this is against the religion and is something that the parents do not condone. It is a toughie. I'm not sure!

Isobel - posted on 06/15/2010

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I certainly hope that the school hasn't hired any divorcees...or do they fire you the minute you separate? cause I think divorce is supposed to be worse than premarital sex isn't it?

Isobel - posted on 06/15/2010

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I believe that every teacher working within that school has broken one of the tenements of the Christian faith within the past school year...she should prove it, and see if they all get fired.

Jaime - posted on 06/15/2010

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I was just about to jump in on the 'immaculate conception' concept but then I went back and read Lindsay's post and now I don't have to, so thanks for pointing that out Mary.

If this teacher was foolish enough to sign a contract that prohibited her from living outside of the religious realm by which she was employed, then that is her fault alone. If there was no contract and she was dismissed based on a moral disagreement, then she is entitled to seek legal action against the school. It's really that simple. I agree that before a contract is signed, the signer has to be absolutely certain they are prepared to face the consequences, just as much as they are looking forward to receiving the benefits that some offer. Contracts are legally binding...but again, if there was nothing written, then the school's actions are unfounded.

Becky - posted on 06/15/2010

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Well, if there was no signed contract, then couldn't they just dismiss her for whatever they wanted to? I wouldn't accept a job without a contract that outlined what was expected of me and what I could get fired for. But I'll admit, I'm not familiar with laws regarding employment, I just know that I would want the job expectations in writing so that there was no room for misunderstandings. Particularly if I were working for a religious organization.
If she signed a contract and was in breech of it, then yes, I think they had the right to fire her. Personally, I feel this was a situation where a little compassion was called for, but I would think they were within their rights.
As for doing the math - I got pregnant in my first month of marriage and my son was born at 37 weeks. If you do the math, his birthday is 5 days short of 9 months after we were married. I know for a fact I was not pregnant when we got married (because I got my period at the end of our honeymoon!) but an employer wouldn't necessarily. I would not want to get fired over that!

Sara - posted on 06/15/2010

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If there was no signed contract then I think she has a case of being wrongfully terminated.

Isobel - posted on 06/15/2010

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Come on now...there's nothing more Christian than a shot-gun wedding ;P

Marabeth - posted on 06/15/2010

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the article says that there was no signed contract. and i dont think working in a christian school would necessarily conflict with her morals, views or practices. we cannot begin to know if that's the case or not. pre-marital sex is simply one issue. who knows what the rest of her moral compass is? i don't feel that there's anything wrong with a highly qualified christian woman who just happens to have pre-marital sex with her fiancee working for a christian establishment. i mean, who 100% agrees with their bosses all the time anyway? even if you have an extremely compatible employer/employee relationship there's going to be *something* you don't see eye to eye on.

C. - posted on 06/15/2010

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"she was still a teen who conceived out of wedlock."

THAT'S NOT THE POINT, MARY.. The point is that she DIDN'T conceive her son by committing a sin! THAT is the point! If you're not going to comprehend it, don't read it.

Oh good Lord.. I don't have time for this, I have a dentist appointment soon.. Anyway, if the woman didn't READ and COMPREHEND her contract BEFORE she signed it, that is nobody's fault but her own! You should NEVER sign a contract w/o reading it first.

Jaime - posted on 06/15/2010

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Well, if there was no contract, then she was not in the wrong as she did not breach any agreement. I still wouldn't obtain a job in a Christian-run facility because there would be too many morally-conflicting views, practices and situations. It's shitty that she got fired, but maybe now she can move on and find a job more suited to her beliefs. I would still file a grievance with regard to her wrongful dismissal, but she needs to move on. Clearly she is not going to get the sympathy or support she would need, from a Christian school.

Jaime - posted on 06/15/2010

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My views on religion aside, if she signed a contract and then breached that agreement, she is in the wrong.



I do think that it's impossible to live up to all of the religious standards and expectations but that's why I would NEVER obtain a job where that was required of me. I just think that our personal free will, and the ability to choose what we want for our lives outweighs any religious 'law' that would prevent us from being true to ourselves.



I have much doubt though, that the Principal or other staff of that school haven't strayed from their pious doctrine a time or two.

Mary - posted on 06/15/2010

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Probably not, Cathy....
He could just claim that his wife got knocked up by some other guy (who looked just like him!) before the wedding, but his Christian morals prohibit him from divorcing the slut!

Suzette - posted on 06/15/2010

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Amie,

"And Christina, a background check is generally done for a CRIMINAL history. Not for medical reasons."

Actually, they can run a background check for criminal history, credit checks, and basically whatever they'd like when they're looking you over for a job.
http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs16-bck...

I'm not sure if any States have anything that protects their residents or not, but this is mainly what they're allowed to call forth on background checks. So when you (generally) sign that slip that gives them the right to run one on you, this is what you're signing over.

"Our Catholic schools are not like that. At least around here. They do not kick students out for ending up pregnant. They encourage them to finish their education and counsel them for any help they need."

I'm only going by what I know for the State of Arizona, that's how they did it for the one school where she went. I'm sure there's a lot of them out there that aren't like that. I wish she hadn't had to hide her pregnancy, but she did. And being a cheerleader made it damn hard on her too. Thankfully she was able to graduate and walk with her class.

I don't think any of this is right by the way, being that I'm agnostic, but I do understand (somewhat) where they're coming from with the 'teaching' aspect.

However, if there wasn't a contract, or if it was ONLY verbal and it wasn't "clear" then they have NO grounds to stand on. (I think I stated that before, or at least implied it within my previous text.) As you said, Amie, sometimes things aren't coming across as clear as you'd like them, I think mine is being a bit misintrepreted too.

I don't like what was done, but I do understand to a degree. As I said a few times though, if the contract (verbal or written - if there was one) wasn't clear, they don't have a leg to stand on and they should be disciplined appropriately, I don't give a flying rats booty whether they were told by the voice of their God to do what they did.

Lindsay - posted on 06/15/2010

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Quoting Christina Prato
" But she didn't do it by having SEX outside of marriage! It's called Immaculate Conception! IF you're going to take something out of the Bible, do us all a favor and put it ALL out there."

The Immaculate Conception is not the conception of Jesus, it's the conception of Mary being pure and to be born without original sin...

Honestly, I think this entire situation has been handled so wrongly. She's a 4th grade teacher. Whether it's a Christian or Catholic school it should not matter. The students should not know what's going on in her personal life. How would they know her wedding date? Sure it's a simple mathematical equation to find out a due date from a conception date but not necessarily when the baby is born. That information shouldn't even be a factor in what the teacher is teaching.

*Lisa* - posted on 06/15/2010

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This is a tricky one. Her contract states that she must uphold the christian values, which she didn't by having sex outside marriage. The principal didn't need to call every one of the students though, that was a bit full on. But if you sign a contract, you should expect the consequences of not fulfilling your side of it. She says that she didn't know where they stood in regards to pre-marital sex (which I personally think is a load of rubbish as all christians regard sex outside of marriage as sin). Perhaps the school should have defined clearly what they required of their teachers in writing rather than just assuming that everyone knows what a 'christian life' entails. She'll probably win her court case because it wasn't written clearly for her.

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