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Teacher to sue after she is fired over premarital sex
Orlando Sentinel ^ | June 8, 2010 | Anika Myers Palm

Posted on 06/09/2010 10:00:05 AM PDT by inflorida

Fourth-grade teacher Jarretta Hamilton was newly married and expecting a baby when she went to speak with her supervisors in April of last year.

But the administrators at Southland Christian School in St. Cloud parried her query about maternity leave with a query of their own: When did she conceive?

After Hamilton admitted that her child had been conceived about three weeks before her February 20, 2009, wedding, the school fired her.

Now she's suing in federal court.

"She wants compensation for the loss of the job, and she's seeking compensatory damages for emotional distress," said Edward Gay, Hamilton's attorney who filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Orlando.

In the complaint, which asks for a trial by jury, Hamilton alleges her termination was based on the fact of her pregnancy — and that the school offended her by disclosing the information about when she conceived to other school staffers and the parents of students Hamilton taught during the 2008-2009 school year.

Hamilton did not authorize the school to reveal that information, according to the complaint.

She also tried to keep the matter from getting to this point, Gay said. She filed discrimination charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Florida Commission on Human Relations, but has since exhausted her options.

A July 20, 2009, letter signed by school administrator Julie Ennis explains why the school's administrators thought they had to fire Hamilton:

"Jarretta was asked not to return because of a moral issue that was disregarded, namely fornication, sex outside of marriage," the letter reads. "The employment application, which she filled out, clearly states that as a leader before our students we require all teachers to maintain and communicate the values and purpose of our school."

(Excerpt) Read more at orlandosentinel.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: christianity; marriage; moralabsolutes; school; sexuality
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

That’s the Christian spirit I’ve come to know and love so much on FR! Sure, the school has pulled this family’s private affairs into the public domain and stigmatized the child, but all the good Christians on FR can sleep well tonight having found someone to cast criticism upon.


51 posted on 06/09/2010 10:20:04 AM PDT by LanPB01
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To: DonaldC

The employer has the right to do what it wants regarding employment of the employee, but does it have the right to publically embarrass the employee like this?

“Come on Brian. Let’s go to the Stoning!”


52 posted on 06/09/2010 10:20:08 AM PDT by sauropod (The truth shall make you free but first it will make you miserable.)
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To: Stayfrosty
It is no ones business period.

If she wasn't willing to abide by the terms, she didn't have to take the job. Period

53 posted on 06/09/2010 10:20:10 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: texan75010
"I believe masturbation falls under the same morality code as pre-marital sex. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

In the matter you cite, I think it would be a case of "Let him with the free hand throw the first stone."

54 posted on 06/09/2010 10:20:29 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: DonaldC; All
Amazing how employers should be free to do what they want for their business until it comes to a Christian school.

Isn't it though? And isn't it odd that so many FReepers seem to have an issue with private entities enforcing moral standards within their own organisation? Funny how our FRiends' libertarianism goes out the window when it comes to sex, and how other people deal with it.

55 posted on 06/09/2010 10:21:01 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
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To: sauropod

She is the one making it a part of public record.


56 posted on 06/09/2010 10:21:24 AM PDT by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: Stayfrosty
sounds christian-talibanish to me.

You sound DUish to me.

57 posted on 06/09/2010 10:21:45 AM PDT by kanawa
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To: inflorida

Not too bright a bulb since she has been working there and knows the environment and what the outcome would be. Answer should have been, “I don’t know, my wedding night?”


58 posted on 06/09/2010 10:21:54 AM PDT by mikey_hates_everything
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To: inflorida

The school had every right to fire her. In a private school in an at-will state, they can fire her for the color of her eyes.

Where they SO messed up was in the violation of the HIPPA laws in that they revealed medical information without her express permission.

That lady is going to win this case based on that - the school administration is staffed by a bunch of dunderheads!


59 posted on 06/09/2010 10:22:21 AM PDT by SoftballMominVA
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To: LanPB01
That’s the Christian spirit I’ve come to know and love so much on FR! Sure, the school has pulled this family’s private affairs into the public domain and stigmatized the child, but all the good Christians on FR can sleep well tonight having found someone to cast criticism upon.

So, you're version of Christianity ssays that Christian organisations cannot set standards for the behaviour of their own employees, but teachers are perfectly free to lie when signing a contract?

Not sure I care for your brand.

60 posted on 06/09/2010 10:22:33 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
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To: TnGOP
Of course the school did the right thing. In fact, they should have all non married applicants have their virginity verified before employment! < /Sarc>

You applying for the job? / ;)

61 posted on 06/09/2010 10:22:52 AM PDT by piroque (God bless Lee and the rest of the True Americans. . . The Confederates!!”)
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To: My hearts in London - Everett
The school erred ;simply stating she was not returning due to personal reasons would have been enough .In fact, I don't believe there is any mandate to disclose why someone is leaving any job if they and the employer don't wish to reveal that information.Many times an employer simply wants the "problem" employee to leave with the least fuss possible for everyone.

I smell a lawyer in the woodpile and the temptation of revenge upon the school.

62 posted on 06/09/2010 10:23:19 AM PDT by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a credit card?)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

It’s funny how much of a hypocrite you are. Bust out the Talibanish rules. once you go down this road where does it stop? You allow this to stand you will have sex police in peoples bedrooms. Don’t laugh, this was actually considered in the church at one time. Jesus would not have approved of this. BTW - this is still no ones business and not her employers business either. Call me liberal call me what you will, but I guarantee you I am much more conservative than most freepers on here. This is just one of those issues that makes conservatives look like a bunch of talibans.


63 posted on 06/09/2010 10:23:24 AM PDT by Stayfrosty
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To: inflorida

I don’t think the school should have gone to the length of counting the days. She did get married shortly thereafter, so when the child was born, it was legitimate.

It may interest people to know that a study of early records indicate that a large number of pregnancies in the colonial US and even into the 19th century were “out of wedlock” and that people often got married after the pregnancy was confirmed. Hence, the “shotgun wedding” once dear old Dad found out about it.

But they did the right thing and the kids grew up just fine, with a mother and a father; what’s a couple of months when you’re an embryo?

I don’t think she should sue, but on the other hand, I think the school made itself ridiculous by consulting its handy 9-months-to-the-day calendar.


64 posted on 06/09/2010 10:23:37 AM PDT by livius
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To: Stayfrosty

“This is the kind of BS that turns people off from the party.”

You’re right. Seems like we should be happy about the fact that she chose not to abort and married the father (a little belatedly, I admit, but come on folks!).


65 posted on 06/09/2010 10:23:44 AM PDT by The4thHorseman
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To: My hearts in London - Everett
Glad to see a school, Christian or otherwise, stand up for what is right. I applaud this school and its principal.

I don't - they should have kept their collective mouths shut and just say that her firing was a private matter, instead of releasing medical info.

66 posted on 06/09/2010 10:23:45 AM PDT by SoftballMominVA
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To: SoftballMominVA

I thought hippa just covered doctors and insurance companies. I’ll have to research that a bit further.


67 posted on 06/09/2010 10:23:47 AM PDT by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: DonaldC
She is the one making it a part of public record.

Really?

In the complaint, which asks for a trial by jury, Hamilton alleges her termination was based on the fact of her pregnancy — and that the school offended her by disclosing the information about when she conceived to other school staffers and the parents of students Hamilton taught during the 2008-2009 school year.

68 posted on 06/09/2010 10:24:07 AM PDT by sauropod (The truth shall make you free but first it will make you miserable.)
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To: The4thHorseman

Thank you!!! Well stated!


69 posted on 06/09/2010 10:24:09 AM PDT by Stayfrosty
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To: texan75010

It is a private school. They can do what they wish to do.


70 posted on 06/09/2010 10:24:26 AM PDT by MBB1984
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Three weeks ain't countable.

I suspect you have lots of problems with late fees, utillities cut off, and like Obama you always claim it is someone else's fault.

For the rest of us three weeks is a large and easily identified chunk of time.

71 posted on 06/09/2010 10:24:44 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: businessprofessor
The release of private information does not seem authorized. The school may have a problem on this issue.

I agree, on that count. By telling the other parents and teachers, the school probably violated the law concerning privacy. They did nothing wrong, however, in firing her for the infraction itself.

72 posted on 06/09/2010 10:25:10 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

You had better get a bigger platform, Mr. self righteous.


73 posted on 06/09/2010 10:26:05 AM PDT by Stayfrosty
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

The legally binding contract had a morality code, sexual immorality, which is any sex outside of marriage including but not limited to masturbation.

So are we going to pick and choose who we fire or are we going to uphold this Christian standard across the board? When are they going to query the faculty about this and fire them?

If we are going to have standards, then let’s have standards. To hell with mercy, grace and forgiveness.


74 posted on 06/09/2010 10:26:16 AM PDT by texan75010
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To: MBB1984

ping for crazy.


75 posted on 06/09/2010 10:26:59 AM PDT by VaRepublican (I would propagate taglines but I don't know how. But bloggers do.)
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To: texan75010

We need to have sex police, and moral enforcers... hmm that sounds familiar... I think the Taliban had these and posted them in bedrooms. It’s funny how the religious christian right sometimes has some of the same ideas as the extreme Islamic right. Funny isn’t it?


76 posted on 06/09/2010 10:28:07 AM PDT by Stayfrosty
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To: DonaldC

That would be interesting, my undertanding is that HPPA covers many businesses and many situations.

I could be wrong, it’s happened a time or two in the past :)


77 posted on 06/09/2010 10:28:10 AM PDT by SoftballMominVA
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To: MrEdd
I suspect you have lots of problems with late fees, utillities cut off, and like Obama you always claim it is someone else's fault.

Your clairvoyance is 180-degrees backwards.

My bet is your such an idiot you actually carry credit card debt, don't you?

78 posted on 06/09/2010 10:28:16 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

My kids go to a private Christian school, and I think the school was wrong to ask. If she was 4 months pregnant and unmarried, then I think the school has grounds, or if she was living with a boyfriend out of wedlock.

Plus, she’s married and handling the situation responsibly.

Let’s not forget that all have sin and fallen short of the glory of God.


79 posted on 06/09/2010 10:28:20 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: Stayfrosty
I Cor 5:12 It is not for Christians to judge non-believers, but they are to confront fellow Christians for their sin.
80 posted on 06/09/2010 10:28:28 AM PDT by My hearts in London - Everett (So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.)
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To: SoftballMominVA
Where they SO messed up was in the violation of the HIPPA laws in that they revealed medical information without her express permission

I do not believe the school is bound by HIPAA. PHI (Personal Health Information) is typically considered confidential info accessible by health care professionals, facilities, and insurance companies.

I don't believe the school is bound any more than your local hair stylist. If he asks you when you got pregnant, you tell him, and he tells his entire clientele, too bad for you.

The actual employment decision (to terminate) has some serious EEOC implications. But the HIPAA thing is a nonstarter. There could be violations of internal policies with such disclosures though.

81 posted on 06/09/2010 10:28:39 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: domenad
The question has a medical connotation to it, they had no right to ask it under HPAA laws.

Pregnancy is not a medical condition or disease.

82 posted on 06/09/2010 10:29:15 AM PDT by Reeses (Sowcialist: a voter bought with food stamps)
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To: texan75010
I believe masturbation falls under the same morality code as pre-marital sex.

Was masturbation covered in the terms of the contract as well?

Is what you believe as important as to the agreement the two partied made prior to employment?

Do the terms of contracts matter in any way if one of the parties decides they don't like them anymore? Should the other party still be bound by the contract?

83 posted on 06/09/2010 10:29:44 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: MrEdd
The statement in bold, I will point out is an absolute and unavoidable requirement to achieve what you posted. Private medical information indeed.

are you really that ignorant? Do you really think that every child is born exactly 270 days post conception? Google the stats. I can usually ignore sanctimonius jackasses, but occasionally I'll see a sanctimonius horse's ass and I just can't help replying.

84 posted on 06/09/2010 10:29:53 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government,)
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To: Izzy Dunne

What exactly about upholding Christian values in a Christian school do you not understand?


85 posted on 06/09/2010 10:29:56 AM PDT by My hearts in London - Everett (So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.)
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To: MBB1984; All
Yes, it is amazing the number of idiots on here who will chastise a Christian school for maintaining Christian values.

Unfortunately, the "Christian values" of a lot of FReepers appear to amount to:

It's sad how petulent, childish, and immature these folks are. Essentially, their argument is the 40-year old version of the five year old who pitches a fit when his parent doesn't ler him do something.

86 posted on 06/09/2010 10:29:57 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
"The biblical injunction against fornication, ya think? Seriously, dude, this isn't rocket surgery..."

Conceiving a child weeks before getting married is "fornication"?

"Haven't heard of that sort of thing being slowballed in one of these Christian schools. I think you're thinking of the public schools."

Yeah...OK. I guess fingers in ears is also a "biblical" principal to be upheld too.
87 posted on 06/09/2010 10:30:25 AM PDT by VanDeKoik (Iran doesnt have a 2nd admendment. Ya see how that turned out?)
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To: inflorida

I hope she ruins some careers and walks away rich.


88 posted on 06/09/2010 10:31:15 AM PDT by Melas
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To: Stayfrosty

Yeah, I can’t believe they went to the extreme of beheading her like they did! /s


89 posted on 06/09/2010 10:31:23 AM PDT by My hearts in London - Everett (So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.)
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To: Stayfrosty
No ones business what goes on in the bedroom unless it is illegal, with a minor, or someone’s life was in danger.

What is "illegal" is defined by "the state," aka Barry Sotero. I thought we were all for the people's right to define morality? Private schools are run by private individuals, aka the people.

90 posted on 06/09/2010 10:32:32 AM PDT by MarineBrat (Better dead than red!)
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To: inflorida

Although the decision to engage in premarital sex while employed by a Christian school was unwise (as I believe all premarital sex to be), the school had no right under existing HIPAA law to ask the question regarding the pregnancy. They can’t even ask that of a person when being hired.

It sounds to me that the staff and parents were engaged in gossip, and so the school decided to assuage that sin by releasing the medical information. There is a greater problem in that school than just this pregnancy.

She’s at fault for deception, but the school broke the law. No one wins in a case like this.


91 posted on 06/09/2010 10:32:38 AM PDT by scott7278 ("...I have not changed Congress and how it operates the way I would have liked." BHO)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
I think your arguments are spot-on, but in appearing to defend this school's churlish handling of the situation, you have picked a tough row to hoe.

92 posted on 06/09/2010 10:33:12 AM PDT by Genoa (Luke 12:2)
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To: Melas

I hope so too. People always point out the negative. At least she is married and taking care of her child. No one can live up to the glory of god. Not even the pope himself.


93 posted on 06/09/2010 10:33:40 AM PDT by Stayfrosty
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To: Stayfrosty
Sex police in people's bedrooms caused by a Christian school firing an employee who did not follow its values?

Police are employed by the government not a church. I will call you exceedingly irrational.

94 posted on 06/09/2010 10:33:41 AM PDT by MBB1984
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

No one is upholding out of wedlock sex. However, once you get self-righteous prigs taking it upon themselves to interrogate pregnant women about the date of conception, you’ve gone waaaay too far.


95 posted on 06/09/2010 10:34:42 AM PDT by Melas
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To: Stayfrosty
It’s funny how much of a hypocrite you are. Bust out the Talibanish rules. once you go down this road where does it stop? You allow this to stand you will have sex police in peoples bedrooms. Don’t laugh, this was actually considered in the church at one time. Jesus would not have approved of this. BTW - this is still no ones business and not her employers business either. Call me liberal call me what you will, but I guarantee you I am much more conservative than most freepers on here. This is just one of those issues that makes conservatives look like a bunch of talibans.

The problem with so much of Christianity today is liberals (and yes you are a liberal, and no, I doubt you are more conservative than most FReepers) such as yourself who can't stand to actually see people and organisations live by the rules they set for themselves.

Sex police in the bedroom? What kind of idiot child hyperbole is this? She was fired (private action) after she violated a stipulation in a contract (private action). Not too hard to figure out, eh?

You are a hypocrite. If you can't stand to see biblical morality lived in a Christian organisation, then you need to stop claiming to be a Christian.

96 posted on 06/09/2010 10:35:09 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
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To: This Just In
She is a teacher, so she should no better

ROFLOL!!!!

97 posted on 06/09/2010 10:36:02 AM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: Retired Greyhound
When she conceived is nobody’s business.

School apparently disagrees with that.

98 posted on 06/09/2010 10:36:36 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

This is not about rules set for oneself, its about rules set for others. That is not Christianity. Christians obey by choice, not by law.


99 posted on 06/09/2010 10:37:00 AM PDT by texan75010
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

You don’t find asking a married, pregnant woman when she conceived to be morally repugnant and criminally invasive? I sure as hell do.


100 posted on 06/09/2010 10:37:58 AM PDT by Melas
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