Teacher fire for getting pregnant on Today

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by ecsmom, Jun 14, 2010.

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  1. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I'll be working at a Catholic school next year and while there is nothing from what I can find right now that I have to uphold Catholic beliefs, trust me I'm keeping my mouth shut about my private life.

    Since she opened her mouth, word would get around and if the Christian school did not do something, the parents who go to the Christian school might have. Bash Christianity all you want-- but its about faith and dedication to God. Children have too many people already telling them sex out of marriage is okay, they don't need their teachers at a Christian school to be sending them a mix message.
     
  2. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Sorry--I am multi-tasking on the computer and trying to do laundry, I misread your post. If she were falsely arrested then no I would hope they would not do anything. The teacher at my son's school had been drinking and driving and made a poor decision to drive. Even though she was not found guilty the school felt that her to continue teaching at a high school where they are preaching for the students not to drink much less drink and drive that her presence in the classroom would possibly present future problems.
     
  3. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    I feel bad for this woman - she was very naive in this situation and I think anyone working in a private religious school can learn from her experience. Does she have a legal case? Probably not for being fired. She kind of dug herself into a moral hole. Does she have a case for the way the administration communicated private information to other staff and parents? Maybe, it depends on exactly what was said. I hope she finds another job and moves on with her life.
     
  4. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    I agree with everything you have said chem. I hope I can send my kids to religious schools for some of the reasons you have stated. This women could have avoided this whole thing by not saying anything, but she didn't. She broke the morality clause fair and square and now has to deal with those consequences. If my child was in that school, I would be pleased to know the administration was holding their staff to the standards they agreed upon when the contract was signed.
     
  5. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    When she went in to request maternity leave, she was asked outright by the head of the school when she concieved. She gave an honest answer that it was 3 weeks before her marriage.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, she gave an honest answer. I'm glad she was honest. But the fact still remains: she had premarital sex. And three years or three weeks...doesn't matter.

    ETA: I'm not indicating I agree with the school's moral requirements or not...I'll save those fun discussions for Teacher Time Out. I'm basing all of my statements on the facts of the case and the requirement set forth by the school that she uphold their moral beliefs.
     
  7. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    I should move to a place that has really high unemployment and start a company. I'll only hire people that sign my 'morality' clause...that way I can control people...sounds like fun.
     
  8. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    By my reply I mean to show that she did not say anything to anyone until she was asked. So the statement that she could have avoided this by not saying anything is not valid.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Ideally, these teachers wouldn't be looked at as being controlled...they would want to "practice what they preach".
     
  10. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    This is not just any company but a school that parents pay lots of money to send their children to. I cannot send my children to public school (which I pay for also in my tax dollars) where do I send my children to attend school with teachers that reflect the morals of my family. No one forced her to sign the contract. She admitted that she violated the contract so the school invoked the clause in the contract. She should have read the contract. In her contract the school also had an amount that they offered to pay her. If she had not violated her contract and they refused to pay her then the school would have violated the contract because a representative of the school signed agreeing to that. It is simple contractual law. No one is asking for you to go to work with a morals clause in your contract. It all goes back to read before you sign.

    Added: I am not controlled by my school. My husband and I made a choice to follow the rules of the Catholic Church as we grew up and did not have premarital sex and to wait. It is not an easy thing to wait but when I stand in front of my class and talk to them about the rules of the Catholic Church, I know that I am being honest with them. They can believe me or not but I know that I believed enough in the rules to follow them. I am being the example in front of my students that I want my children to see in their teachers. I am not judging others but I know that to be true to myself I have to stand by my word.
     
  11. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    What if this was the only job she could find?

    If I didn't have a job and the only job that I could find had a morality clause then I really am forced to sign it if I want to eat and have a place to live.
     
  12. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Are you referring to the pregant teacher or the DUI teacher being offered pay?
     
  13. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Simple contractual law does apply to any company, though, so HMM's suggestion would be perfectly legal. I think he's just pointing out the disparity in power. Someone who needs a job to live can be coerced into things (and suppose every private company decided to enact similar policies? You would have a de facto moral dictatorship by private industry -- most don't have state jobs).

    None of us really know how good a case this woman has at this point, since we don't know what any contract she did or didn't sign may have actually said, or how those provisions have been interpreted and implemented in the past in this school.

    She's unlikely to get her job back, though. Most courts don't like mandating forced relationships. She could conceivably get some money out of it.

    ETA: Of course, the scenario of a huge percentage of private companies adopting Catholic doctrine would be one that would delight the Catholic church. And at that point, the Catholic church would indeed be forcing their doctrine onto anyone who needed a job. Choice in morality would be reserved for business owners or dilettantes.
     
  14. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I am referring to the pregnant teacher. The DUI at my son's school, had no direct student contact after her DUI. They were trying to work out something that was fair for the students. I am not in total agreement about how it was handled but that is what they did.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Come on. So if you couldn't find a public teaching position or even a private position with a morality clause, then I guess you'd just be forced to turn to...what? So when people have turned prostitution and drugs and robbery, I guess they were forced to because they couldn't find another source of income? I'm not buying that you'd be forced to take a position that had a morality clause you didn't agree with.
     
  16. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    I have quite a few catholic friends and it is amazing the instances of how many first children are born 8 months after marriage!
     
  17. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    No she is not entitled to the job if she does not want to abide by the rules of the job. I doubt that this would be the ONLY job she could find. This may have been the only education job but McDonald's is always hiring. What about my rights as a parent to send my child to a school that we are comfortable with morally? I guess I have no rights. Why does she have the right to sign a contract and violate it but I have no rights?
     
  18. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    You don't have that right. There is no right to send your child to "a school that [you] are comfortable with morally" (though there is home-school).

    There's no reason McDonald's couldn't put a morality clause in place. In fact, they wouldn't even have to because they're employment at will. They could just put it in a policy manual (to protect them from claims that wasn't the real reason for termination) and fire you.
     
  19. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Well I am very Catholic and I live in an area that is probably 98% catholic and I know no one that had a baby 8 months after marriage. I do know several who are not married and have children and they would not be hired where I work and I have no problem with that. My children have grown up knowing the order of their life--high school, college, marriage, children. That is actually a joke in our family but they know what we mean is that we hope and pray that they take the morals that we have taught them and put them into action. I know in my heart that I did everything in my power to teach them what I believe is right and what is wrong.
     
  20. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    If I am paying $15,000 a year to send them there then I have that right especially if I am also paying for your children to attend public school. I have no right to expect a public school to do anything that is morally correct but in a religious school I do have the right to have them put in a morals clause and enforce it. If they do not enforce it then I have the right to take them out of the school and send them somewhere else. Is it a constitutional right? No it is not but I can guarantee that if a teacher because pregnant out of wedlock in many Catholic schools, they would have no choice but to terminate her because right now in this economy private schools cannot afford to lose students and they would.
     
  21. HMM

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    Family, friends (if you have some that can help) or the government. You could try and find employment in a different field, but lets face it, a teaching degree does not open many doors to other types of employment (though I don't have a teaching degree:D )


    I guess (if we want to take it that far) it depends on how bad the situation is. If there really were no jobs and the government was not helping, then I guess yes (how long can you go without food).

    then you would be wrong.
     
  22. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Then do not go to work there if you do not believe in their morality. I am not talking about believing in God but about doing what your employer asks you to do or not to do. There could be all kind of what ifs--what if I am offered a job that is a conflict of interest with my husband's job then I do not take it. If I am offered a job with a morality clause and I do not agree with it then I do not sign the contract. My word (all moral aside) is worth more to me than breaking a contract.
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    HMM, I do think that society and circumstances sometimes "create" criminals...so I'm not going to actually argue that. I was thinking more specifically you. I don't think you'd be forced to take a job you were morally opposed to. Forced is a strong word...
     
  24. HMM

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    Can you live off of McDonalds income. I know I couldn't.

    But I guess that doesn't matter to you. As long as people are doing as you direct things will be fine. How very christian.

    To control legal behavior of other human beings...I would hope not, but again, I don't think that matters to you.
     
  25. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I am out of here, because I learned a long time ago that you cannot argue with an atheist because they spend all their time arguing with themselves over a God. All I can say is that I hope that God blesses your life with employment so that you will never have to be hired by a school that my children attend so that they are never exposed to your cynicism.
     
  26. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    I have a PHD is Mathematical Statistics. I have many options for employment. Your typical elementary school teacher does not. I just want to make sure that those people (people that we need in this society) are treated like everyone else.
     
  27. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    I don't think you know what an atheist is then, since they don't "arguing with themselves over a God"

    And I hope that you always have a job that you like. It would be tragic if say Muslims took over all the schools and required you to sign a contract base on their 'morals' in order to have a job.
     
  28. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    HMM, I don't quite understand. If Muslims took over public schools I get there would be issues. If Catholics took over public schools I get there would be issues. We are discussing a private school.
     
  29. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I have to disagree with that based upon real life experiences. My dad is a highly respected businessman, one of the top in our state. He has hired many people with a teaching degree. He always said those were the type of employees he wanted in his business. He knew what kind of workers teachers are. So really, to say your typical elementary school teacher does not have many options is not necessarily true. Granted, it may not be in teaching, but I believe many opportunities are there.
    Ok, sorry for the hijack, just wanted to interject my life experiences with it.
     
  30. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Just a couple thoughts about this they may be at odds with each other

    OK I do feel teachers should be "moral"
    BUT
    Why are teachers held to a higher standard?
    I mean if we are doing a good job at school
    and not doing anything illegal away from school what does it change?

    Three weeks before thy were married! come on now. the only way it could affect the school is if someone leaks the info or it gets published to the press.

    In the town I live in now there is a Marine base, any time a Marine is arrested or gets picked up the paper is sure to "tell the whole world" that it was a Marine. It does not tell about others profession, is that right?
    if a teacher does some "crime" not associated with teaching what does it really matter that they are a teacher?

    Lets see if a teacher who is the "greatest teacher in the whole world" has never come to work after drinking alcohol, never missed a day of work due to a hangover and has a DWI after a reception which is thrown out because "Not being legally intoxicated" why should they be "fired"?

    Now if you are prego but got married (in time) why should you be fired? No one out side the the Administration should know and why should they know? Heck we had a counselor get PGed and not married. She set a great example for our teenagers here in the county that has the highest teen birth rate in the state. I felt she should have taken Pregnancy leave. And she told girls she was not married.

    This is another "zero tolerance" thing. Since People's actions are not Black and white, there many shades of Gray so policy should reflect that.
    The bottom line do we need to be held to a higher standard?
    :2cents::soapbox:
     
  31. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Whether it's a religious school is irrelevant. As a parent, you have no legal right to force a private school to put particular terms in their teacher contract. A parent sending their child to a Waldorf school couldn't force the school to require all its teachers to give up their televisions, even if it's the "proper Steiner method". That would be the school's decision.

    It is, of course, within your rights to take your children out of a private school and send them "somewhere else" (I think that may even be considered a Constitutional right under some interpretation of the BoR, but don't quote me on it). But if there's no where else that offers what you want, you can't force it to exist.

    That the school might lose students if they kept her isn't a cognizable argument. If that were the case, it wouldn't matter if those terms weren't in the contract. The school could still argue that their situation forced the termination.

    Actually, though my posts here probably seem quite opposed to yours, I think your basic original position on the clauses is essentially correct. I'm not a fan of moral turpitude clauses, but I would have to think quite a bit on whether they should be illegal.

    Basically:

    1) Jaretta has a right to premarital sex.
    2) Jaretta contracted away her right to premarital sex for employment.
    3) The school has a right to ownership of their money.
    4) The school contracted away its right for Jaretta's service in teaching and her right to other activities.

    The power differential is certainly an issue (and I find waving it away with "of COURSE she could find another job" to be a bit callous at best), but many contracts involve power differentials. The school could give her a raw deal without ever invoking turpitude clauses simply by requiring certain hours/weekends/etc.

    The question is whether we should EVER allow people to bargain away their morality. If the answer is yes (which it is -- consider celebrity endorsement contracts), a private school can use that to put in a morality clause unless we have some way to distinguish it.

    HMM's implication is also correct, that he could start a company and then start contracting people to work for him and follow a morality clause on pain of being fired. Gated communities, in fact, are sort of like private fiefdoms. I don't feel tremendous sympathy for either the gated communities or the schools for wanting to enforce their morality, but that is indeed where the law stands.

    As for this case, I suspect the school's still at risk from her suit. Moral turpitude clauses would rarely be unambiguous, and may be more so in a (nondenominational?) Christian school as opposed to a Catholic school.

    chemteach, can I ask you how far you take it? Suppose a married teacher were fired for buying condoms (which I believe the Pope is against), would you support it? Or, if someone asked you whether transubstantiation was literal (I believe official Catholic doctrine on it is that it is literal) -- would you support the termination of someone who did not think so (even expressed privately)? If I'm right about Catholic doctrine, I believe both examples would fit as offenses that would support termination.
     
  32. HMM

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    :agreed:
     
  33. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I don't know if any one else is thinking this but could be a little racism here,
    it is a mixed marriage
    could it be without saying "you married outside your race?"
    [​IMG]
    Just saying
    Food for thought (even if it is 2010 we still have racism)
     
  34. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Are you talking about public or private schools?
     
  35. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I understand your point, Dave, but when we're discussing a private, Christian school...well, it makes sense to me that employees have certain morals to abide by. Whether those standards are higher than the general population's is up for debate...

    This conversation would be totally different, I believe, if we were discussing a public school teacher.
     
  36. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    And Dave, I wouldn't be incredibly surprised if the husband's race played a role in her firing. I wouldn't accuse the school of such, I simply wouldn't be shocked...
     
  37. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    How do you like that HHH and I agree :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
     
  38. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    Yes...we need to stop doing that...it is going to make you look bad ;)
     
  39. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I am against birth control except NFP which is the only method sanctioned by the church. (This may be TMI for some but I am an open book so why not.) We never used birth control (not even NFP) because I had endometriosis so we were not even sure that I could get pregnant. If I could have, I would have had 5 or 6 children but God knew what he was doing and after my 3rd was born I had an emergency hysterectomy. That being said, I do not agree with using birth control in a marriage but I can understand people not being able to afford as many children as the Lord can give them and using birth control methods. I guess then my answer to this is that if the teacher signed the contract with the morals clause in it and the school feels like it is in their best interest to fire this person then I would support it.

    The issue of transubstantiation (the changing of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ) is much easier because that is the basic core of the Catholic Church. Going against the belief of the church is specifically spelled out in my clause so yes I would support it.

    I think everyone needs to realize that we are talking about schools that are totally funded by tuition and not at all funded by any tax dollars. We are talking about a private school which you have a choice to attend or not attend.
     
  40. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Well that is the gray point first Private schools are notorious for low pay
    so to me the more morals you want the higher you should pay

    IF this was so egregious you just don't renew the contract (for any school)

    We had two teachers get engaged, so the school paper interviewed the Bride to be. One of the questions was "have you done 'it' yet?" the paper was typed up and ready to print and I just happened to see before it was to go to xerox I brought it to the Vice Principal's attention it was deleted the teacher sponsor of the paper tried to give me a hard time about it well as some of you who have read my posts can guess how I responded :lol:

    That is how tolerant we have become

    I know how all over the board I am here

     
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