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Old 06-16-2010, 11:47 AM   #31
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there's a blurry line re: this entire situation, and the line is wether or not the school as an employer has the right to hold it's employees to the same moral clauses that the church would hold it's employees to... and the only reason why this line even exists is because most private schools receive some sort of government aid.
That's one blurry line...whether the morality clauses of an employment contract can be bound by employment contract law. Not clear in this case whether that was even an explicit part of her contract or just implied in the mission and values of the school. Big difference.

Another blurry line is whether the school had any right to ask her about her pregnancy regardless of the morality clause.

The blurry line hatrick was sharing this sensitive information publically which under the circumstances may be considered libel.

Do church rules supersede the law?
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:26 PM   #32
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The blurry line hatrick was sharing this sensitive information publically which under the circumstances may be considered libel.
Not sure it's libel if it's the truth.

To a certain extent, this whole situation is a Catch-22. Firing a teacher obviously creates all sorts of questions. Without being sure of the context for the information to get out, it's tough to make a judgment call on whether the school violated her privacy by explaining the reasons for her firing. Were concerned parents calling the school to understand what happened? Did the school initially want to keep it quiet, but questions from students and parents forced their hand? Did the teacher say she was going to go public with her firing, forcing the school to have to explain? Or did they just pry down a big scarlet 'A' from the rafters and brand her with it? These situations are never as black and white as we might like.

Religious schools should have the freedom to be governed according to their religious principles, with the freedom to hold teachers to a certain moral conduct. At the same time, I do think the school missed an opportunity to be an example of grace to the teacher, particularly since she seems to have done the right thing and married the father.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:42 PM   #33
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Not sure it's libel if it's the truth.
Still public disclosure of a private matter and potential and legitimate grounds for a legal claim.

The school was under no obligation to explain the firing. Pressure maybe, but that's hardly an excuse.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:14 PM   #34
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Religious schools should have the freedom to be governed according to their religious principles, with the freedom to hold teachers to a certain moral conduct. At the same time, I do think the school missed an opportunity to be an example of grace to the teacher, particularly since she seems to have done the right thing and married the father.
Perhaps the school should ask their married teachers to provide DNA samples to prove legitimacy of their children.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:25 PM   #35
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Religious schools do indeed have the right to run themselves in whatever manner they wish, you're absolutely right there. I just think the emphasis on what is considered "moral" and "immoral" behavior is rather ludicrous, myself, and I think religion's focus should be more on the message of treating people with respect and being kind and all that sort of thing and less on someone else's idea of "morality". I don't see how having a child out of wedlock automatically brands you as some sort of "immoral" person worth being frowned upon by a religious school (Mary'd be a sinner, then, too, 'cause Jesus? Not Joseph's son). But that, of course, is my personal opinion.

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Old 06-16-2010, 01:27 PM   #36
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I work for a small, private college and this sort of debate comes up a lot. There are restrictions on what can be taught and professors are required to sign a document. They must be a member of a certain type of church and send their children to private schools. Even in the past few years we've lost some great minds because their choices of how to live their lives and raise their kids could not be reconciled with the school's policy. The last few instances have been picked up by the local media and everything has been thrown in front of the public.

There is a current "issue" being mulled over and to be honest, the outcome will determine whether I'm inclined to seek employment elsewhere. There are some things I *do* feel that strongly about (or in this case, don't feel it is any of my business to judge other people). I'm just a lowly staff employee; since I am not on the faculty I am not required to sign their document or adhere to those religious/moral requirements, but I do have my limits as far as how much I will brush under the rug. I did submit a pretty well thought out yet scathing letter to the Board of Trustees. I am still a member of the church I grew up in but for all intents and purposes I am no longer active and no longer consider myself a member of the denomination.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:35 PM   #37
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At the same time, I do think the school missed an opportunity to be an example of grace to the teacher, particularly since she seems to have done the right thing and married the father.
I'm not trying to single you out, but why is the "right" thing marrying the father? To me the right thing is being a good mother to the child. Sometimes that means marrying the father and sometimes not. I know someone who got pregnant and was pressured to marry the father. He is a lowlife scumbag that treats her and his family like shit. Everyone would be better off without him, including his children. I know someone else that got pregnant and her parents encouraged her to do what she felt was right and not feel pressured to marry the father. She didn't, but three years later, they both had matured and got married and have a healthy family.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:54 PM   #38
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To me the right thing is being a good mother to the child. Sometimes that means marrying the father and sometimes not
I agree 100%. I know it's not the subject of the thread but any man can father a child if he's physically able, but not every man can be a father. What's right for the child starts out with a couple that has a healthy relationship and is right for each other.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:02 PM   #39
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I'm not trying to single you out, but why is the "right" thing marrying the father?
I meant in the eyes of the school. One assumes this is what they think.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:08 PM   #40
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Isn't that your 'flavor' of the right thing to do?

If this school, church says 'out of wedlock' sex is a disqualifier for employment, that is their business.

Do you want them to come into your congregation and set your standards?
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:21 PM   #41
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Isn't that your 'flavor' of the right thing to do?
It's my assumption of what they might believe the right thing to be. Clearly they don't see it that way. *shrug*
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:34 PM   #42
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I respect your right to make your choices within the group you freely choose to associate with.

It becomes much more complicated when some of these 'other' religions want their beliefs accepted in civil laws.
England is looking at accepting some Shia Laws for marriage and divorce, and settling property? disputes within their congregations. I think that is what I recently read. The Mormons in Utah, had to set aside their marriage beliefs in the 1800s and conform civil laws on marriage.

They still retained their rights to restrict people from consuming alcohol within their church ran institutions, even though it is perfectly legal within civil laws.

Their group, just like your group is an "opt in" club.
If you want to play by the rules, stay in.
If you don't want to, leave.

Don't expect Civil Laws to back up or strike down these 'opt in' beliefs.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:43 AM   #43
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^
right, which comes back to the only argument that they could possibly make... and that is that they don't have the right to hold people to those same standards in the school because the school accepts state aid. if a court does, in fact, find in favor of the teacher for that very reason it could change the entire face of private schools in the nation, and not for the better.

a lot of people don't realize that most private schools get tax payer money. when budget cuts come up, aid to private schools is often the first thing that people look to axe. what they don't understand is that if the aid is cut, then tuition at the school has to go up significantly. if tuition goes up, many people enrolled in the school will opt out and return to their public school... which then throws off teacher:student ratio's, class size, text book orders, etc. etc. etc. most districts would actually end up paying more per year if all of the private school students returned to their public school then they do with the students going elsewhere.

if religious schools are told that they can't conform to church rules because they recieve state aid, most of them will have no choice but to either a) significantly raise tuition, or b) close.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:28 AM   #44
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if religious schools are told that they can't conform to church rules because they recieve state aid, most of them will have no choice but to either a) significantly raise tuition, or b) close.
Too bad. If you take taxpayer money, then you play by taxpayer rules.
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:02 PM   #45
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Too bad. If you take taxpayer money, then you play by taxpayer rules.
if private schools close or significantly jack up tuition to the point where the average citizen can no longer afford to attend, the additional surpluss of students back into the public school system will ultimately result in you, the tax payer, paying more. more students either equals more teachers or bigger class sizes. bigger class sizes will of course effect the quality of education. more teachers require a full, competitive salary. and the districts will still be paying for books and transportation of students that they're already paying.

school districts, and taxpayers, save money when a kid goes to private school.

are you willing to see a significant increase in your own taxes, and/or a decrease in the quality of education, just so that the religious school plays by "taxpayer rules?"
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