Can a hardworking, devoted teacher be fired for her sexual activities outside of school in her own home? Apparently, she can. Jarretta Hamilton was fired from her teaching position at Southland Christian School in St. Cloud, Fla. for the act of fornication. You read it correctly. Hamilton became pregnant 3 weeks before her wedding to her then fiancé Samuel Treftz. Hamilton states that her problems are all the result of her being honest. A widow with five children from her first marriage, she had began work as a teacher at Southland Christian School in January of 2008. Meanwhile, she also met Treftz, and they planned a Feb. 20, 2009, wedding. Three weeks before the wedding, she conceived her daughter, Sarah.
The problems began when Hamilton requested maternity leave and was then questioned by the school authorities on when she became pregnant. Hamilton answered honestly and was subsequently let go for the act of fornication. Hamilton is now suing the school for violating federal anti-discrimination laws. In addition, they allege in a pending lawsuit, the school’s principal, Jon Ennis, invaded Hamilton’s privacy by telling other teachers and the parents of her students the reason she was fired.
If Hamilton’s activities outside of the school were somehow affecting her students in some way then I can understand the schools concern. At what point is it acceptable for an employer to use a person’s private affairs as a source of scrutiny and judgment for their lives? At what point can an employer enter into our homes and even our bedrooms and scrutinize us?
If you are going to use the rationale that the school is a Christian school and must assure that their teachers are role models in their behavior then my question is whether or not they are going to do a background check on every teacher and employee there and assure that they never committed sins of the flesh in their lifetime? Have any of the other teachers ever had premarital sex? Are any of their children the result of premarital sex? Have any of the other teachers ever had extramarital affairs? Have any of the teachers ever tried any drugs during their lifetime? Do the teachers curse while they are outside of the school doors? These are the questions that must also be asked if they are going to judge their teachers behavior so harshly and attempt to assure that every teacher is being the best role model that they can be in and outside of school doors.
I respect the schools need to protect their students innocence and guide their morality compass however this type of intrusion into their employees lives is opening a door to that will lead down a slippery pathway of condemnation, and biased decision making. Where does the act of protecting the students end and the bold prejudiced behavior begin?
Read more: MSNBC
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