A former Florida teacher said the administrators of a Christian school where she was employed fired her because she became pregnant just before her wedding, MyFoxOrlando.com reported.
Now, she has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the private school in St. Cloud, Fla.
Jarrestta Hamilton said April of 2009 was the happiest month of her life. She was a newlywed and newly pregnant and teaching fourth graders at Southland Christian School. She said it was about that time when she approached by the administration to talk about "maternity leave."
She said when asked, she admitted that the baby was conceived three weeks before the wedding. A week later, she said the school fired her. Attorney Ed Gay is helping Hamilton sue the school, claiming that her termination amounts to discrimination based on her pregnancy and marital status.
"If they're going to single her out because she conceived prior to marriage, but allow people to remain employed who conceived during a marriage, isn't that discriminating against her based on her marital status?" asked Gay, according to MyFoxOrlando.com.
School administrator Rob Ennis said the school had not seen the lawsuit. "At this time, we're going to seek legal counsel, and I really don't feel comfortable making any comment to be honest with you."
MyFoxOrlando obtained a letter sent to Hamilton from the school which asked not to return because of "fornication," sex outside of marriage. It also claims that Hamilton knew about the school's moral stance through the employment application process.
"Just a vague reference to upholding standards and purposes of the school," said Gay. "That's what they're going on as a 'morals' clause."
Ultimately, it could be the federal courts that decide who is right and who is wrong. Hamilton also claims that the school violated her privacy by telling parents and students why she was fired.