E-mail Story   Print Story
  Comments (0) Total Wednesday Apr. 16, 2014
 
Catholic School Teacher Fired Over Pregnancy
Unmarried teacher at middle school in Butte has been fired after getting pregnant.
BUTTE — An unmarried teacher at a Roman Catholic middle school in Montana has been fired after getting pregnant, the Diocese of Helena confirmed.

Patrick Haggarty, the superintendent of Catholic schools for the diocese, said Tuesday that Butte Central teacher Shaela Evenson "made a willful decision to violate the terms of her contract," which requires her to respect the moral and religious teachings of the Catholic Church in both her professional and personal life.

"The Catholic moral teaching is that the sacrament of marriage is a holy union between a man and a woman," Haggarty said. "And we certainly believe and we teach our children who attend our schools about the sacrament of marriage. That's as old as our church. Not only do we teach that to the children kindergarten through 12th grade, but we're held to that standard as well."

Evenson told The Montana Standard that she is pursuing legal action, but deferred other questions to her lawyer. An email from her attorney, Brian Butler of Cincinnati, said he was not available to answer questions until Wednesday.

Butte Central elementary and middle school Principal Kerrie Hellyer told the Standard that Haggarty dismissed Evenson on Jan. 10. She taught sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade literature and physical education for just over eight years.

"She was an excellent teacher," Hellyer said.

The diocese doesn't investigate the personal lives of its employees, but it was forced to act when it learned about the pregnancy, Diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson said.

"A Catholic school teacher enters into an agreement not only with the district but with parents and teachers ... to follow a lifestyle in line with Catholic teachings," Bartleson said.

The firing comes after a Catholic school in a Seattle suburb drew attention in December for forcing out a gay vice principal.

Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish, Wash., said Mark Zmuda was aware of Catholic doctrine and violated his employment agreement.
 
No comments have been posted for this article.

 
Kellyn Brown
Kellyn Brown15h
@kellynbrown
Detroit Selling Foreclosed Homes For $1,000 In City's Latest Attempt To Rebuild http://t.co/kDuivFcnV8 via @consumerist
Dillon Tabish
Dillon Tabish8h
@djtabish
EPA official: "We're ready to designate this site as a Superfund site." #CFAC #mtnews
Molly Priddy
Molly Priddy11h
@mollypriddy
@ilikemints Same. http://t.co/1tfvzHIHnJ
Tristan Scott
Tristan Scott18h
@tristanscott
Developers Pitch Scaled-Down Version of Whitefish Subdivision http://t.co/FIT51ZAP8b New proposal emerges for 62-lot subdivision
Flathead Beacon
FB Headlines9h
@flatheadbeacon
Public meeting to get public reaction to having CFAC added to Nat Priorities list; won't add it without community support #mtnews