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Catholic School Teacher Fired Because of Pregnancy

A Catholic school teacher in Helena, Mont., was fired last month for being pregnant and unwed.

The Diocese of Helena confirmed that Shaela Evenson, a Butte Central teacher who taught 6th, 7th and 8th grade literature and P.E., was dismissed because she "made a willful decision to violate the terms of her contract," Patrick Haggerty, the diocese's superintendent of schools told The Montana Standard. He said the contract requires teachers to maintain the morals of the Church in their professional and personal lives.

And that includes being married before getting pregnant, according to the diocese.

But not all Catholics are supporting Haggerty and the decision.

"Critics say the move is in conflict with the message of Pope Francis," writes the Standard. "Last month, the pontiff baptized the child of unwed parents inside the Sistine Chapel. And in September, Francis called an unmarried Italian woman who’d chosen not to have an abortion and offered to baptize the baby himself."

While she referred all press questions to the diocese, according to the Standard, Butte Central elementary and middle school principal Kerrie Hellyer called Evenson an "excellent teacher."

Evenson told the Standard that she is pursuing legal action.

Photo via Ravalli Republic

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