Catholic Schools...Oy vey!

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by otiscampbell7, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. otiscampbell7

    otiscampbell7 Rookie

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    I'm a first year hopeful, and feeling somewhat desperate for employment, as August is quickly approaching. Today I saw an opening in a private Catholic school, but...

    ...I happen to be Jewish. Has anyone here worked in a Christian school, but not been Christian? My resume obviously indicates that I'm Jewish, as I've been teaching Hebrew school, volunteering in the Jewish community, and travelling to Israel.

    I'm going to apply for the job, since I guess it can't really hurt, but should I get my hopes up? Will not being Christian hurt my chances? If I got the job, would I be a fish out of water? I would appreciate input from anyone who has experience in Catholic schools.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    the school cannot discriminate against you. Of course you can be hired.
     
  4. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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  5. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    WOW! I am no longer the lone Jew!

    I had a friend (I lost touch with him) that went to my temple that taught at a Christian school. He had no problem getting hired as this school was quite progressive and they actually enjoyed having a Jewish person on staff. He said the biggest aggrivation was always being asked "Ted- now you're Jewish....what do you think about...."

    I say go for it. You can always find ways to stick to Torah material for religious instruction as I understand it is the basis for the Old Testament.

    ~J
     
  6. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    A Catholic school in my town had a Reform Rabbi on staff. Go for it!
    Also put your resume on the National Association for Independent Schools Website! Good luck! Terry G.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The Catholic HS I'm returning to is losing a WONDERFUL teacher who happens to be Jewish. Ellen is retiring after 21 years at our school, most of which she spent as Social Studies Dept. Chair.

    They probably won't ask you to teach religion, but everything else is fair game!
     
  8. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    I would not hesitate to take the job, do you know what 'content area' they are looking for? What is your subject of expertise that you are applying for?
     
  9. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I'm Catholic and attended Catholic schools my whole life. I had a bunch of teachers of other faiths. It wasn't a big deal. The only time I can see a conflict is in the "religion" class, and in middle/high school that was always taught by a nun or a priest. In elementary school, it was taught by our homeroom teacher, who also taught everything else, like elementary teachers do. So, that may be your problem, depending on whether you are elementary or not.
    Kim
     
  10. emccoy

    emccoy Companion

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    I taught at a school where it was required that you be a member of the church, so yes, you can be discriminated against; but it won't be labeled discrimination.

    However, that being said, Catholic schools are not very likely to be discriminatory. Most just do not seem to be very conservative in that respect. I'd say go ahead and apply, the worst they can do is say no thanks.

    A similar discussion about a Baptist school is at http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=20887

    Good luck with the job hunt,
    Ed
     
  11. otiscampbell7

    otiscampbell7 Rookie

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    Wow! I didn't expect such a number of responses. Thank you all for replying. I'm definitely feeling more confident now. Thanks again!
     
  12. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Hiring non-Catholics

    Actually, a faith-based school CAN decide not to hire anyone from a different denomination and most certainly a different religion. AND they should not be considered discriminatory. They are considered "private" in that they do not get aid from the government. Most faith-based schools - especially Catholic and Lutheran - originally established their schools to teach children within their own theology. A Catholic or any other faith-based school, is a community where we nurture a child's faith in God. Religion isn't something that is taught once a day for forty minutes. It informs everything we do. Originally, the faith was integrated into every aspect of the curriculum and in fact is in my school.

    Therefore, faith-based schools are under NO obligation to hire anyone outside their own faith because of the purpose of these schools.

    Unfortunately, it is a prevailing attitude among so many that faith-based schools teach religion for one period a day and the rest of the day is just like the public schools. Unfortunately, a few have become that way due to the fact that the majority of the staff is of a different faith or no faith at all, turning a school into a private school with a required class in religion. (And unfortunately, that has contributed to the false perceptions of these schools). That was never the intent of any of these schools to begin with. So, please do not criticize faith-based schools that try to maintain their original philosophy of faith-based education by saying they discriminate. It does not have to do with how "good" the person is but with their philosophy.

    Catholic schools, because of their low salaries and lack of colleges training teachers to teach within the catholic school system (the Lutherans still maintain these programs), will often hire outside the catholic community. This is NOT a criticism, but an acknowledgement of reality. They may ask you to sign a morals clause which may include not living with someone outside of marriage, not promoting abortion, etc. If they did not ask what your religion or denomination is, being a non-catholic will probably not be held against you unless a person with equal qualifications is a catholic.

    BTW: My vent was not against the OP, but the fact that some feel it is discriminatory for faith-based schools to take ones denimination or religion into consideration when hiring. It really is not even against any individuals on this thread who stated that. Many with no TRUE understanding of the fiath-based schools philosophy have that same misconception.
     
  13. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    I went to Catholic elementary and high schools. IMHO being Jewish might be the next best thing to being Catholic when it comes to hiring. There have been many ecumenical movements involving Catholics and Jews. Catholics recognize the shared roots of the two religions and I am sure Catholic educators recognize the value of Jewish educational tradition. Catholic educators are not as paranoid about teachers with other religious backgrounds as some fundamentalist Christian educators. Usually, the only requirement is that you do not proselytize, and that isn't usually a problem with Jews.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    A faith based school, regardless of its faith, is well within its rights to ask that its teachers be a part of that faith. It's not discrimination, it's part of the faith that they profess.

    BUt, in my experience in NY, that wouldn't interfere with the OP getting a job in the Catholic Schools I've worked in.

    An added PS: I turned down a job at a wonderful Lutheran school. The pay would have been 2/3 of what I'm making at my Catholic school. The moral: there are no absolutes. Some schools pay remarkably well, others not as well. Do your homework and give them all a shot!
    Good luck!
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    And, if you're a member of Jews for Jesus, so much the better.
     
  16. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Thanks for enlightening me about the discrimination issue. :eek:. I guess, I now understand the difference.
     
  17. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Lutheran Schools don't pay any better than Catholic Schools. In this area the catholic teachers make less than the Lutheran teachers, but as you so wisely stated - There are no absolutes! :)

    Miss Frizzle, don't be embarrassed. It is a VERY common misperception.
     
  18. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I think I should be though because I am looking into the Catholic Schools( I am catholic) and should be more educated about this at the very least.
     
  19. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    I taught in a Catholic School and we had teachers and other saff members that were not Catholic. They only thing they could not do was teach Religion----they were expected to still encourage the Catholic way of life etc.....
    They should not discriminate based on religion, many Catholic schools do have some funding from the local districts. I know the state gave us kickbacks for certain thigns we did that the local elementary schools gave us aide for textbooks.
     
  20. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I was asked at my interview whether I would mind teaching religion. I stated of course not. This is what led me to believe that hiring outside of the faith was a common thing. I think this is why I used discriminate incorrectly.
     
  21. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Frizz........sidetracking here.......but when are you going to get some news on that job????????
     
  22. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    who knows:(
     
  23. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    Hi!

    I worked in the Catholic schools for many years (and I'm Christian but not Catholic) but we got a new principal and he fired everyone who wasn't Catholic. We talked to laywers and everything - there was nothing we could do.

    Kelly :)
     
  24. emccoy

    emccoy Companion

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    Sorry to hear about that.

    I was faced with the same situation two years ago. They weren't firing people because they wouldn't become a member of the church. They simply weren't renewing your contract. I changed churches (since I wouldn't have been teaching there if I wasn't ok with the church to begin with) but we lost several good teachers. Over 100 years combined experience walked out the door that year. The school is still suffering the effects of this policy, enrollment is down about 50% from 3 years ago.

    So sad.
     
  25. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    I'm sorry to argue here -

    It is AGAINST FEDERAL LAW to descriminate based on religion during hiring. (I was a hiring manager for MANY years in the private sector and I have become a virtual legal library when it comes to employment laws)

    It is a federally protected class. Period.

    NO - ABSOLUTELY - NO

    It is NOT within the school's rights to require that you be a part of their faith. PERIOD.

    That's not to say they won't do it - It is to say that it is not legal for them to do it.

    ~J
     
  26. Kris8806

    Kris8806 Companion

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    I went to Catholic school and i had a few non-catholic teachers. It wasn't a big deal. I remember in 6th grade there was a teacher that was Greek Orthodox (I think) and another teacher would teach her religion class. That was the only difference.

    I say go for the job. I think it would be a shame for the school (and a loss for THEM) to turn away a qualified teacher based on religion.

    Good Luck!
     
  27. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I always thought they had to be EOE ( Equal Opportunity Employers). Which is why I mentioned the school could not base a decision soley on a candidate's faith. Even if someone wasn't hired for not being Catholic, do you think they could ever prove this? I doubt a school administrator is going to admit it.
     
  28. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    (I belong to the same denomination as wig does - and have been a teacher in our parochial schools.) With the legal separation of church and state, the churches that operate their own schools do NOT have to hire outside of their religion. Two Lutheran schools that I was at hired only Lutheran teachers. Two other Lutheran schools hired mostly Lutheran teachers and a few who were other religions. It is totally up to the church/school to decide.
     
  29. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Thanks GlendaLL
     
  30. ElemStudentTeac

    ElemStudentTeac Rookie

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    I went to a Catholic school in Louisiana and actually had a jewish religion teacher. she taught from our catholic beliefs, and never once mentioned that she did not believe in the same faith. she did make us aware that she was jewish on our 1st day of class and that f we had questions she could not answer she would have them for us the next class period. she was one of the best religion teachers i have ever had. i personally do not think you have a thing to worry about.
     
  31. wig

    wig Devotee

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    A public school cannot hire or reject based on one's religion. And you are right in many, many cases about hiring or not hiring based on religion - but not when it comes to faith-based schools. That would be the same as saying that a synagogue would be forced to hire a Christian to lead the congregation. That would certainly take the jewishness out of the synagogue wouldn't it?

    glendaLL is correct.

    You could take it to court and I could guarentee you that you would not win.
     
  32. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I have no background in adminsitration, but here's how I understand the funding:

    Religious and other private schools receive "aid" in two forms:
    a) Aid that goes directly to the students: textbooks, busses, special ed where applicable. Again, these go to the students, not the school, and have strict parameters. For example, around here the texts cannot be changed twice within 5 years for the same course, the busses are only for schools within a certain radius, and so on. The students would be receiving these services regardless of where they were educated. On Long Island, private school kids have to pick up their texts at the local public schools.

    b) Aid for "mandated services": The government requires schools to perform certain tasks unrelated to what they teach. For example, schools must take attendance, administer state assessments, check immunizations, and so on. Private and parochial schools are paid to perform these non-educational tasks, to save the local districts the bother and expense of doing it themselves.

    But non-public schools do NOT receive aid to further their mission as a school. So, for example, if the school I teach in decides to update the science labs, we're on our own. If the Catholic (or Lutheran or Jewish...) elementary school in town wants to upgrade the playground, they have to raise funds to do it. Likewise improving the heating, giving the teachers a raise, and so on. None of these things go directly to the kids or are mandated by the state, so the state doesn't pay for them

    Anyone who has administrative experience or just knows better, feel free to correct me!!
     
  33. wig

    wig Devotee

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    You are correct except in our state, this does not happen:

    Private and parochial schools are paid to perform these non-educational tasks, to save the local districts the bother and expense of doing it themselves.

    Maybe that is a state decision.
     
  34. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Alice, I could be wrong, but most of what you said I think correlates with Wisconsin law. We don't receive aid for textbooks though. Parts of it are the same...........some things are not. WIG I believe is correct........varies state to state.
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That makes sense. Then my impressions are based on what I've seen in NY.
     
  36. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    In AZ (where I was a hiring manager) There was a case (I can look it up if I dig out my old stuff - I can't ever get rid of anything) where a woman sued a First Baptist conregation for discriminating against her for a SECRETARIAL position which they had advertized in the Arizona Republic based ont he fact that she was an Atheist.

    AND SHE WON.

    The AZ supreme court ruled that any position that is posted for public hire must obey EOE standards. That is why most newspapers are required to list an EOE statement. Had the congregation not put the ad in the paper (but rather hired from within - or posted this in a "non-public" arena - this would be a non-issue).

    And your analogy RE: hiring a non-faith minister or rabbi is a false analogy as these positions are not HIRED in a traditional sense - but rather appointed or elected to the position.

    I would also argue that ANY school (regardless of affiliation) that receives so much as one penny of public funding would fall under EOE.

    Not to mention that there is no "separation of church and state" - just the first amendment statement which allows for no officially sanctioned religion and no prohibition against the practice of religion. There is no actual "separtion of church and state" outside of the uspreme court decision in Everson v. Board of Education which is a ruling and not a law.

    The state can still step in when a Priest or Rabbi steals from his or her congregation or abuses a child or engages in other illegal activities. If there was a real separation of church and state the way you are claiming - then they would have to keep their noses out of all church activities that are illegal - not just illegal hiring practices.

    I'm not saying that suing a school for violating EOE would be an easy win or a slam dunk - but I am saying that there are plenty of court decsisions that would hold up and make it a possibility for a win. It is a gray area that traditionally leans towards EOE and not away from it.

    ~J
     
  37. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I think that in MD, most private schools get no money at all from the government. I can think of a couple that do get Title I funding, but very that's very few, and those are also all Catholic. There's no help with buses, no help with texts (although that was a bill up for vote in our state gov. recently, but it didn't pass), no help for administrative duties.

    My sil was a Title I employee in a Catholic school for several years, without any teaching background or training. She was not employed by the school itself. She was employed by the school system, and was a contract type employee with a specific list of children she needed to see while at the building every day. Her paycheck came from th county schools, which I always thought was odd. I wonder if that changed the way they accept funding?

    Many ministers ARE actually hired. I've seen ads in religious magazines. They do recruitment, even.
    Kim
     
  38. wig

    wig Devotee

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    .
     
  39. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    I do want to quickly state that even your attorneys don't want to receive certain funding because it enters into the gray area. Hence why I said that most of the current way of dealing with this issue leans towards EOE.

    And just because it isn't a slam dunk doesn't mean that my argument holds no merit. That is a logical fallacy. It can be seen in the False Dillema fallacy, Disjunctive Syllogism and in the less formal black and white fallacy. It falls under slippery slope as well. It is a form of binary thinking that gets people into a lot of trouble with real world applications since the world does not operate on binary standards.

    However, as you state....

    We'll just leave it at that, then.

    However, in the future - I think it is a good idea to make sure your arguments are out of my qote line as the way you quoted me makes it look as though I am speaking during your argument. :confused:

    I also enjoy debating the subject with you. I was captain of my forensics team in HS and the co-captain in my first 2 years in college. It is always nice to have a good debate. :)

    ~J
     
  40. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I can see a secretarial position in a private/faith based situation as a job where one need not be of the denomination. A school where religion is taught however is different. If a private school wants to require that those who are teaching religion to share that religion, that seems reasonable to me. It's kind of like the 'highly qualified teacher' thing in public schools. A public school is not obligated to hire a science teacher for an English position- the science teacher would not be highly qualified to teach English. Same thing in private schools - they may not view a 'non-believer' to be highly qualified to teach a specific religion and the school may not have the resources to have another teacher teach that subject for the teacher of a different religion. This is not to say that I don't think teachers of other beliefs can do a great job in parochial schools- I taught in several Catholic schools and knew a few great teachers of other denominations. I'm just saying I can see a school's reason (and possible right) to not hire someone that they viewed as not qualified. Look up Bonafide Occumpational Qualifications- could religion in such a case be a BFOQ that allows 'discrimination'?
     
  41. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Whoops! I do apologize for that :eek: I did not mean for it to appear that way. I was responding to specific things you were saying.
     

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