Twenty thousand supporters from across the country sent a petition to the Montana Catholic school that fired Shaela Evenson, a teacher who was let go for becoming pregnant out of wedlock.
Administrators at Butte Central said they “had to act” when they found out Evenson was pregnant last month via an anonymous letter.
“A Catholic school teacher enters into an agreement not only with the district but with parents and teachers ... to follow a lifestyle in line with Catholic teachings," said Helena Diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson at the time.
But thousands have protested the action, spearheaded by a left-leaning group called Faithful America.
“Firing an unmarried teacher for becoming pregnant is cruel and hypocritical. Give Shaela Evenson her job back, and start taking Pope Francis’s words about love and healing more seriously,” the organization said in a statement.
Despite the petition, delivered to Helena Diocese Bishop George Leo Thomas, Bartleson said that it’s “unlikely” that the decision would be reversed.
“I am deeply saddened by these recent events, and caught between the values of upholding the Catholic identity of our schools, while desiring to provide pastoral outreach and understanding to the teacher,” Thomas said. “At the end of the day, there are no easy answers or facile solutions.”
Evenson, who is not and never claimed to be Catholic, is hoping that the law will side with her. Her attorney, Brian Butler, cited “state and federal laws that specifically protect women from discrimination because they are pregnant” as they pursue legal action.
Sources: Great Falls Tribune