BUTTE, Mont. (AP) – 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 (
http://bit.ly/1cRNElh) 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.
Information from: The Montana Standard,
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night