Industry News

Teacher Fired Because of Sex Before Marriage

by Hugh Collins of

Courtesy of Jarretta Hamilton

(June 9) — A Florida teacher alleges that she was fired from her job instructing fourth-graders at a Christian school because she got pregnant before marriage — an act school authorities labeled “fornication.”

Jarretta Hamilton, 39, admitted to school authorities at Southland Christian School in St. Cloud, Fla., in 2009 that she had conceived before her marriage in April of that year. One week after requesting maternity leave, she was unemployed.

Jarretta Hamilton, shown with her husband and their baby daughter, says she was fired by Southland Christian School in St. Cloud, Fla., because she admitted she had become pregnant before her marriage.

“It’s obviously marital status discrimination,” Ed Gay, Hamilton’s attorney, told AOL News. “They admitted that if she had conceived during the marriage she would’ve remained in employment.”

School Principal Jon Ennis declined to comment on the case and told AOL News that the school was seeking legal counsel.

In a letter to Gay dated July 2009, the school said that Hamilton was not fired because she was pregnant, but because of “fornication, sex outside of marriage.” The letter, which Gay provided to AOL News, says that Hamilton agreed in her job application to uphold standards related to the school’s values.

“We request that Jarretta withdraw her case and consider the testimony of the Lord,” the letter said.

Hamilton, who was hired in January 2008, is suing the school, seeking compensation for lost pay and emotional distress, Gay said. They also plan to prosecute the school for invasion of privacy after school authorities informed parents about the details of the case, including why Hamilton was let go.

“The facts of her situation were around the school before we, management, even knew anything about it,” the letter said. “Since this is a Christian school, parents want to know why their child’s teacher left so abruptly.”

Gay said that the religious nature of the school did not provide any shelter from charges of discrimination.

“This is not a church, it’s a school,” Gay said. “Even if it’s based on church beliefs, it’s still a school.”
Filed under: Nation

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