Unwed, pregnant -- and fired

The NYCLU takes up the case of an unmarried preschool teacher who was fired for being pregnant.

Published November 22, 2005 3:36PM (EST)

Newsday reports today on a 26-year-old teacher at a Catholic preschool who was fired last month for being unwed and pregnant. Now, the New York Civil Liberties Union has taken up her case, and filed a complaint against both the school and the Diocese of Brooklyn.

"This is a difficult situation for every person involved, but the school had no choice but to follow the principles contained in the teachers' personnel handbook," diocese spokesman Frank DeRosa said in a statement. Newsday notes that the handbook says that each teacher must "convey the teachings of the Catholic faith by his or her words and actions."

But lawyers at the NYCLU -- which argued a similar suit in Buffalo in 2003 and won -- argued that administrators enforced the policy in a way that disproportionately affects women.

"The school used her pregnancy as a marker," attorney Cassandra Stubbs told Newsday. "How do they determine if male employees engage in premarital sex?"

Our thoughts exactly.

By Hillary Frey

Hillary Frey is the Books editor at Salon.

MORE FROM Hillary Frey

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Broadsheet Love And Sex Pregnancy