Skip to comments.Rockwall teacher fired for out-of-wedlock pregnancy
Posted on 04/11/2012 9:44:41 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd
ROCKWALL Cathy Samford, a volleyball coach and science teacher, was fired from Heritage Christian Academy for getting pregnant and not being married, the school acknowledged.
"I looked it up and thought, 'They can't do this,'" said Samford, 29.
For almost three years, she coached volleyball at the private school. Samford was named "Coach of the Year" and recently began teaching science.
But when she got pregnant last fall, the school fired her because she was not married.
"We all have different views and interpretations," Samford said. "It's not necessarily the Christian thing to do to throw somebody aside because of those."
"You can't discriminate against someone who's pregnant or has a pregnancy-related medical condition," said Colin Walsh, her attorney. "That is both state and federal law."
But Heritage Christian said this case is not so simple.
"I understand some people that would say 'It's a heartless thing to do,'" said the school's headmaster, Dr. Ron Taylor. "It wasn't easy to do."
Taylor acknowledged that Samford could not get fired for an out-of-wedlock pregnancy in a public school. But HCA is a private, religious campus, and Taylor said the school considers teachers to be ministers, since they're allowed to share their beliefs in the classroom.
"The Supreme Court, as a matter of fact in the last month, has ruled 9-to-0 that a Christian school does have that right, because this is a ministry, so we have the right to have standards of conduct," Taylor added.
Taylor said Samford violated the morals clause in her contract and was not a "Christian role model" to her students.
"How's it going to look to a little fourth grade girl that sees she's pregnant and she's not married?" Taylor asked.
Mediation did not result in a resolution between the two parties. The school said it also refused to settle the case.
Taylor said HCA was contacted by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding the firing.
Samford and Walsh said they're now considering legal action. The fired teacher and expectant mother said she did nothing wrong, and faces financial problems now, including giving birth without insurance.
Cathy Samford ... volleyball coach and science teacher
I can see two of the three sides of the argument. The side I cannot accept is to keep her hired and move on like nothing happened. Like it or not, she is a big role model of Christian beliefs and behaviours. These do not include celebrating “conduct unbecoming a role model.”
While not a Christian leader, a friend of mine was in this situation a couple years ago. He was engaged and they married earlier than planned. They got up before the church and told the congregation about their sin and asked their forgiveness, which they received.
On the other hand, I knew a minister who had an affair. It was not revealed until about a year later at which point, he was relieved of his duties immediately. In my opinion, by breaking his marriage vows, he lost his Biblical authority as a teacher and pastor. In his case, the church helped out with some family costs for a while.
The Bible is pretty clear that Christian teachers and ministers are held to a very high standard. There is a cost if they break that standard. So in that case, she is paying the cost of her sin.
As a Christian Standardbearer, she knew what the cost may be.
See my post #39. Ever check your yellow pages to see the number of listings under "Abortion Alternatives"? There are scores of good Christian organizations who will arrange a confidential adoption to a loving family who pay all expenses.
There is a long waiting list with such families. The birth mother won't have to pay a dime out of pocket. My sister and bil listed with a half dozen such agencies and waited four years before they got a call. They would have waited even longer had they insisted on a child of the same race.
The next single woman teacher that gets pregnant (and it will happen) will now face this choice:
1) Keep the child and lose their job
2) Quietly have an abortion and keep their job
The unintended consequence of the school’s action is, sometime in the future, a child will be aborted that otherwise would have lived.
That is not inconsistent with my observation.
Correction: Im a "Christian" and I dont believe this is right.
You need to brush up on Scripture and stop omitting those quotation marks, MikeWUSAF.
Maybe she should sue the owner of the penis she was playing with.
Maybe she should sue the owner of the penis she was playing with.
I see Catholics doing a better job handling this kind of problem than most denominations, offering spiritual council and support, prenatal care and often adoption assistance...
Really? And how do you see Catholics handling the kind of problem they have with pedo priests?
This is why I give money to school choice (vouchers) private school tuition charities and why I still curse GWB for abandoning the same to get NCLB through the Senate (and a pic with Ted Kennedy yet.)
I wonder if their employee insurance covers birth control... that would be a good question.
She wants the school (insurance) to pay her birth related medical expenses LOL
It's even worse than that! Because of your post, some woman out there will think that it is not such a bad thing to get pregnant without being married. She'll get knocked-up, and struggle to pay for the child. A child will starve that would otherwise have had food, just because of your post!
Or, maybe, we are all responsible for our own actions. So the woman who aborts her baby to escape the consequences of her actions would be morally responsible... not the school she fears will fire her.
Why are you on a conservative site, anyway?
Lame argument. Very lame argument. Didn’t you read the article? This is a Christian we’re talking about.
While Christians are imperfect and may even get pregnant while unmarried, they do not “Quietly have an abortion and keep their job”.
Thanks for determining who is pure enough to pass your muster...
If she doesn’t know that sex causes pregnancy, she is too stupid to be a teacher
>>>What if she was raped and decided to keep the baby? Should she be punished? Your sense of morality is full of holes and you also know nothing about the circumstances here.<<<
Why bring up a hypothetical that is completely different from the facts of this case? She has made no claim that she was raped. I’d imagine if she had become pregnant as a result of being raped, the school’s reaction would have been totally different and they would have been very supportive.
With that reasoning, anything goes.
Render unto Caesar... and to God what is God’s. Here, she loses under the Caesar clause. And as a Conservative, there is a hint of responsibility that needs to be taken here as well.
It’s not about “her”, it’s about what’s best for the students.
We have become a “me first” society and some people’s reactions to this story are proof.
The school handled this correctly.
So. We should condone (endorse) immoral behaviour in a Christian environment or else that person will go on to have an abortion.
Are you listening to yourself?
She will serve a greater good: youngsters who see this story will learn there are consequences to bad choices.’
Again, this isn’t about what’s best for HER, it’s about what’s best for the students.
“Really? And how do you see Catholics handling the kind of problem they have with pedo priests?”
All too often, not very well at all.
The Bible has other penalties for fornication and/or adultery ("Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Matthew 5:17) which most jurisdictions do not enforce.
What does the Bible say to do under these circumstances?
No BC is 100% sure even when used correctly.
“Maybe she should sue the owner of the penis she was playing with.”
I expect she will and she should.
Nothing wrong? Didn't commit either fornication or adultery?
Maybe I missed something, but NOWHERE IN THE ARTICLE is the word "rape" even mentioned. You must be pro-death to come up with the typical pro-abortion canard.
I'm sure there'd be an exception if that were the truth, but, I'm sorry, I didn't see rape even mentioned, nor did she hint that she was in anyway put upon.
Not but the chance of a failure causing a pregnancy is extremely low.
“She should be on her knees”
Yea. Just think of all the trouble she would have avoided.
Well, as Pat Dye said “hindsight is 50/50.
This has everything to do but with enforcing a contract. Nobody forced her to sign the contract with her employer and nobody forced her to violate that contract by willingly getting pregnant (I am assuming the pregnancy was not due to a rape).
So, she should suck it up and not complain. If she can’t afford insurance or pregnancy related expenses, then she can always give up the baby for adoption. Next time she will realize what not to get when she can’t afford to.
1) A quick check of my posting history will expose me as a flaming liberal as well as an avowed atheist—Not!
2) I believe we should deal with this type of thing with love and humility, knowing that we ourselves are no less a sinner in the eyes of God than anyone else.
1Jo 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1Jo 3:11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;
I’m not saying this was an easy situation for the school to handle. I just think I would have handled it differently.
I hear you! And to think Arkansas actually firing their popular coach violating a morality clause.
If she signed a contract to work there then I’m sure there is something in there about this/if that is the case she does not have a leg to stand on.
On the OTHER hand, I taught school for many years and stood up for what was right and was called the “Best damned Spanish teacher I’ve ever seen.”, but still wasn’t wanted BECAUSE I stood for what was right and set standards of excellence at every level. Go figure. Doing better now that I’ve escaped from Alca-public education. Now, since I was in the public school system, maybe I should have fathered some children out of wedlock. Probably would have gotten more support. :D
Absolutely not! But that is not what happened here.
or else that person will go on to have an abortion.
My concern is that to save $40,000 (or whatever her pay is) a year and that knowing that if word got out that she was pregnant that she was lose her job, that she'd take the easy way out of legal murder to save that money. It would be done, and the only ones to know would be the select few she would know about.
>>>What does the Bible say to do under these circumstances?<<<
5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentilesthat a man has his fathers wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortionernot even to eat with such a person.
12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore put away from yourselves the evil person. - 1 Corinthians 5:1-12
You mean it isn't caused by storks? That's what I was told as a kid.......
Back in my younger days I knew a couple of them.
The world already has the perfect society where everyone suspected of being a sinner is killed - Iran! They’ve got biblical morality perfected and they have even added to it. On the other hand, Christ established his church for and among sinners - I don’t think the followers of pure works righteousness would want to have anything to do with that.
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
She violated the contract, she gets to be fired. In the early part of the 20th century even public school teachers were expected to be moral role models and could get fired for things that seem insignificant today. People then understood that children which includes teenagers are very influenced by immorality in teachers and other adults they interact with. It's simple natural law.
You are absolutely correct. All the whiners on this thread can go break their contracts and see if they get fired or not.
And children will know that Teacher screwed around without being married and everyone is fine with it. So they will assume they can do the same.
Not a word in this piece about the baby’s father. Where is he?
I’d say give them an opportunity to marry. No marriage, or a flighty bum of a father and she’s fired. Her choice. That seems simple enough.
More info from another source:
She and her fiance had been planning to get married at the end of the summer, but a series of events had delayed the wedding.
Samford said she never dreamed she would be fired for her pregnancy and went into her conversations with the school thinking their biggest concern would be her missing part of the basketball season since she was supposed to coach.
When she was told she was being terminated, Samford was “totally shocked.”
“I didn’t think I would lose my job,” Samford said. “I was in shock and devastated and that’s when I said, ‘If this is the problem, I’m willing, and so is my fiancé, to go ahead and get married. That wasn’t the issue. We were going to get married regardless.”
The school denied her offer.
“It’s not that she’s pregnant. The issue here is being an unmarried mother,” Taylor said. “Everything that we stand for says that we want our teachers, who we consider to be in the ministry, to model what a Christian man or woman should be.”
Samford, who has two children from a previous marriage, maintains that she did not violate her contract in any way and that the contract’s clauses about being a “Christian role model” are vague.
She could marry any man who was willing to be a parent for the baby. He would not necessarily need to be the biological father of the baby.
Exactly - it's a contract thing, not a Christian thing.
As for challenges to contractual authority, then you get into the nasty grounds of limiting a free person's right to contract. So you have to bring in arguments concerning denial of that freedom, like (usually) fraud, or coercion, or limited comprehension, etc.
Of course, at the very bottom you have Muslims, who use freedom of religion to justify contracts that can be used to commit murder and slavery, but then that same religion denies the authority and process of the contractual legal system it is exploiting. So its continued existence is a political issue, not a legal one - it has no legal grounds to exist.
see post 97.