CATHERINE – DISCIPLINED FOR EXPLAINING RELIGIOUS VIEWS

Case Type:

Freedom of Speech, Religious Freedom in the Workplace

Catherine – Disciplined for Explaining Religious Views

Status: Resolved

Catherine – Disciplined for Explaining Religious Views

Catherine* is a Catholic high school teacher who was disciplined at work because she explained the Catholic teaching on abortion to students in her biology class. The school that Catherine has taught at for over 20 years is a Catholic school.

Catherine was teaching her class about the theory of natural selection when the topic of abortion incidentally arose. After persistent questioning from her students Catherine provided the Catholic perspective on abortion, explaining that this was also her position. Some of her students did not like her answers, were antagonistic, and reported her to the school.

Catherine received a disciplinary letter from the school informing her that she was under investigation and alleging that she had talked about abortion in an inappropriate way with her students.

Catherine was shocked. She had explained the Catholic position at a Catholic school. She experienced a severe amount of stress and anxiety due to the investigation and had to take leave as a result.

The investigation concluded with Catherine being disciplined for her conduct. She is not sure that she can face going back to teaching at the school after the way she was treated.

*Clients have been de-identified where settlements were confidential, where issues are sensitive, where requested or where the matter is currently before the Courts.

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