A catholic private school has fired a teacher for being pregnant out of wedlock.
In 2018, Naiad Reich, an English and creative writing teacher, has been fired at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School near Shamokin, Pennsylvania when she told the principal she is pregnant and not married.
The school has a strict morality clause that prohibits unmarried employees from becoming pregnant.
“This is their beliefs and their moral code and what they live by and I understand that,” Naiad told WNEP. “Though I don’t agree with it, I understand.”
“If there’s no eventual plan in the near future to get married, it was either that or I had to be let go,” she said.
Naiad and her boyfriend, Matt Graboski, who lives near Shamokin are expecting their first child together at the time.
It was supposed to be a joyful time for the couple but instead, Naiad was fired from her teaching job at a catholic school.
She says that when she told Principal Sister Mary Anne Bednar and the administrator about the good news, they were less than impressed.
“It was very apparent that she(principal) was not happy with the circumstances,” she said. “Of course, her problem was Catholic morals.”
“Her response, honestly, is one that will sit with me for a very long time, because she was very displeased,” Naiad told PennLive. “She said it would be a problem and she had to contact the diocese.”
Naiad worked in the school for 4 years. She loves her students and didn’t want to leave, but the principal wanted to know if they had any plans of getting married soon.
But Naiad said that she and her boyfriend prefer to get married on their own terms.
Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School is a part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, which said in a statement it does not comment on personnel matters for legal reasons.
“The Diocese of Harrisburg is unable to comment on personnel matters,” The Diocese of Harrisburg said in a statement. “However, as outlined in our policies, every professional employee agrees to follow the teachings, doctrine, and laws of the Catholic Church as part of the hiring process.”
The diocese’s personnel code states that every employee is “expected to conduct himself or herself at all times in accordance with Catholic morality and the rules and regulations of the school and the Diocese of Harrisburg and to avoid any embarrassment or scandal to the individual school or the Diocese.”
The Roman Catholic Harrisburg Diocese officials had reached a decision: Reich’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy was a violation of a morality clause in her contract.
The diocese’s website lists “immorality” as a reason for dismissal and Naiad said that was the reason for her firing.
The former teacher, who is not Catholic, said that even though she does not agree with the diocese’s beliefs and moral code, she understands them.
She has a moral code of her own too, which is honesty.
“I could have sat in that meeting and said, “Sure, I’ll get married,” I could have saved my job,” Naiad told the Daily Item. “But I was honest with them. I wasn’t going to lie.”
Despite all of that, Naiad and Matt say they have no ill will towards Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School or the Diocese of Harrisburg.
“I’m extremely excited, it’s one of the most rewarding things you can possibly go through,” Matt explained.
Naiad and Matt are focused on being “extremely excited” for the “rewarding” birth of their first baby.
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