>Loretto High – Loretto High bans family for its ‘attacks’ – sacbee.com

>Summary of the article:

Drama Teacher works at all girls Catholic high school. Crazy Mom is uber-involved in the anti-abortion campaign. Crazy Mom has photos of Drama Teacher volunteering at a Planned Parenthood BEFORE Drama Teacher took current job at all girls Catholic high school. Crazy Mom emails photos of Drama Teacher to Catholic high school Officials as well as “contacting” parents to alert them to this problem Drama Teacher. Drama Teacher gets fired. Catholic high school Officials turn around and expel Crazy Mom’s daughter from Catholic High School since Crazy Mom “hounded” other parents into getting Drama Teacher fired.

My thoughts:

We were discussing this incident in the office today, and I think the teacher who got fired has a really strong case of wrongful termination. I could be wrong, but I believe the law says that you can’t be fired for your beliefs. I think it falls under discrimination. For example, say you have a Nazi working in your office. But, the Nazi is the perfect employee. She/he is never late. Customers adore him/her. His/her coworkers get along with him/her well. There is nothing on a job performance level that denotes something is wrong with this person. You cannot fire someone just because they are a Nazi. Everyone has a right to their belief, screwed up or not.

It’s tough for me to realize that there are people living in this community who are so intolerant. It’s fine to have differing points of view, but do you have to go and get someone fired because you don’t agree with them about something? How would you like it if someone did that to you? What is wrong with people? I guess I just live in a day to day haze of naivete.

Below is the actual article from the Sacramento Bee:

Loretto High School administrators have barred an anti-abortion activist and her daughter from the all-girl Catholic school for what they called an “escalating series of public attacks” against the school.

Loretto administrators said Tuesday that Ed and Wynette Sills of Pleasant Grove and their daughter Katelyn, a sophomore, are no longer welcome at the private college preparatory school.

Wynette Sills a few weeks ago demanded school administrators fire a Loretto drama teacher for previously volunteering at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Sills e-mailed to the school photos of the teacher escorting people into the clinic.

The teacher, Marie Bain of Sacramento, who ceased volunteering before taking the Loretto job, was fired Oct. 14.

The Sillses’ “attacks” included “taunts, threats and verbal abuse directed against members of our school community, as well as a mass e-mail campaign slandering the school’s reputation as a Catholic institution,” wrote Loretto’s president, Sister Helen Timothy, in a statement.

“We cannot,” Timothy continued, “allow members of a single family to disrupt our ability to serve all Loretto families and provide their daughters with a safe and stable campus environment conducive to learning.”

Timothy said she would not comment beyond the statement.

The Sillses, who live on an organic farm off Highway 99, decried the accusations as “false and defamatory.”

“Our family has at all times acted respectfully in attempting to resolve a difficult situation,” the family wrote in a statement e-mailed to The Bee. “It is unfortunate that the administration has chosen to respond with falsehoods and vindictive spite.”

Catholic schools Superintendent Dom Puglisi declined to comment, saying all inquiries would be handled by the office of Bishop William K. Weigand.

The Rev. Charles McDermott, vicar episcopal for theological affairs for the Diocese of Sacramento and the bishop’s spokesman, said Weigand played no role in the action against the Sills family.

While Loretto operates independently of the diocese, it still falls under the bishop’s authority on issues of morality. And it was Weigand – in a letter to Timothy dated Oct. 5 – who called for Loretto administrators “to dismiss Ms. Bain with all deliberate speed.”

“The first matter was about the doctrine of the church,” McDermott said in an interview Tuesday. “This is about internal discipline. It’s inappropriate for the bishop to get involved.”

McDermott said the Sillses would have to seek any recourse through the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the body that oversees Loretto and affiliated schools.

The stir at Loretto, which burst into public view with Bain’s firing in mid-October, has stoked discussion on a range of sensitive issues, from abortion and the church to academic freedom and the independence of Catholic schools.

Former teachers at Loretto have worried that anti-abortion activists like the Sillses have too much pull within the diocese.

Wynette Sills, who leads anti-abortion rallies outside Sacramento-area Planned Parenthood clinics three times a week, alerted Loretto administrators about Bain’s previous work with the organization in mid-September. She wrote that students were being “put at risk due to her abortion-promoting presence.”

Bain’s case wasn’t the first time Wynette Sills injected her anti-abortion views into Loretto classrooms. The year before she objected to handouts from a classroom presentation on domestic violence that listed Planned Parenthood as a place women could find help, according to former Loretto teachers. The handout was later revised.

Fallout from Bain’s firing and the Sillses’ expulsion has played out on Katelyn Sills’ personal Web site and others devoted to debates over abortion, Catholicism and education.

Katelyn Sills, who the family said served on Loretto’s student recruitment club, posted a brief item about her expulsion on Monday: “This was given completely without forewarning, without a meeting, and without a chance to say goodbye.”

By Tuesday evening, there were more than 230 responses to the post, some from as far as Maine and Pennsylvania.

Bloggers identifying themselves as Loretto students and alumnae variously vilified the school administrators, Bain, the Sillses and the diocese.

Bain, whose attorney is drafting a wrongful termination lawsuit, said she would not comment on Loretto’s decision to expel the family. But she said: “It’s a shame the school is being hurt by this when they didn’t go looking for trouble in the first place. It’s a wonderful school.”

6 thoughts on “>Loretto High – Loretto High bans family for its ‘attacks’ – sacbee.com

  1. christhestampede

    >This is going to sound silly, but you have no idea how much hearing from you cheered me up. Not because pop-ups are such a ghastly problem, but because I have something else going on in my life at the moment (women troubles) and finding out that you still read my blog just, I don’t know. It cheered me up, so thank you.

    In response to your post, I wait tables, so I’m fully aware of the intolerance of people. Many times it’s directed at me. People mistake the job title “server” with “slave.” In any event, I feel the fired teacher certainly could file suit, because she basically got fired for something that she USED to believe. Maybe she doesn’t even think that way anymore, you know?

  2. Cactus Prick

    >Amen, sister. Down with the wingnuts!

    And to answer your question — you would probably be correct if it were a public school, but since it is private they have more leniency when it comes to discrimination because there is no “state action.” Or something like that.

  3. NWJR

    >When I graduated from college, I actually heard these words come out of a recruiter’s mouth–she was working for a Catholic agency:

    “The person we hire should be Catholic. Normally, you can’t discriminate on the basis of religion, but since we’re a private religious organization, we can.”


  4. indygirl

    >Yeah, they can get away with it. But maybe Catholic institutions aren’t the best places to look for work if you aren’t Catholic.

  5. SFChick74

    >Unless you are an actual church, I don’t think you can weed people out because of their religious beliefs.

    I mean what if you work for a private company that doesn’t get public funds of any kind. That company can’t discriminate against you on the basis of religious belief. Unless of course they want some HUGELY bad press and a lawsuit or two.

    I saw the poster in my office today. I’m pretty sure it said that you can’t deny someone employment because of their religious beliefs. I’ll check again tomorrow.

  6. SFChick74

    >Then again, you are probably right. They probably hide under the religious organization blanket and can do whatever they want.


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