Christian School Fires Teachers For Being Catholic

Sue Fitzgerald, 55, a kindergarten teacher, told the P-E that she was fired after working at the school for 14 years. Another fired employee had been there for 22 years.

On its website, CCS has posted its "non-descrimination [sic] statement," which says that while the school does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, or ethnicity, prospective students and employees are screened on the basis of "Christian faith and lifestyle."

That seems to be not uncommon, and it also appears to be legal.* When it comes to matters of faith, religious institutions are exempt from federal non-discrimination law.

Still, it's unusual to find a school willing to engage in a mass firing of veteran employees on confessional grounds -- especially in the midst of a recession, when job prospects are bleak. That's to say that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Eleven families have pulled their children out of school in protest.

The fired employees do have one recourse. The Lutheran employee was rehired after undergoing full-immersion baptism and agreeing to attend Crossroads Christian Church. Mission accomplished.

* At any rate, that's this non-lawyer's interpretation of Corporation of Presiding Bishop v. Amos (1987), in which the Supreme Court upheld the firing of a non-Mormon engineer from a Mormon-affiliated gym.


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