Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Teacher Fired for Pregnancy

When school officials at the Seventh-day Adventist Linden School in Queens, NY discovered that Jewel Redhead was pregnant, they first asked her if she planned to marry the father of her unborn child. When she said no, they fired her. Now, Redhead, who is a Columbia University graduate, is suing:

Redhead, who grew up a Seventh-day Adventist in Trinidad, said her problems began when the school's superintendent found out she was expecting a child and wasn't married.

She said her boss asked her whether she planned to eventually wed her baby daddy.

When Redhead responded no, the supervisor said, "We're going to have to terminate you," she claimed.

"How can you fire me for being pregnant?" Redhead said she asked - breaking into tears as she relayed her version of the conversation to jurors.

"That's how it's done," the superintendent allegedly answered.

Ross Weaver, the lawyer for the school, said Redhead "violated one of the basic precepts of the Seventh-day Adventist Church" by having premarital sex - and that the school was within its rights to get rid of her.

OK - there are two things wrong with this story. One is that this school fired a woman based on her marital status. They deserved to get sued. The other... "baby daddy?" Really? We can use that sort of 'hip' language in the newspaper because Jewel Redhead is black, right? Classy, New York Post.

5 comments:

FeministGal said...

This is horrible!! I can't believe this story!

"One is that this school fired a woman based on her marital status."
And also based on her reproductive status (is that a term? i don't know... but either way, based on whether or not she was pregnant).

feministblogproject said...

"baby daddy"? Seriously? Because getting fired for being pregnant out of wedlock isn't disrespectful enough. It's almost like the paper is agreeing with the school by characterizing her relationship in such a way.

Casmall said...

You know.. this is why they started a school, so that they can hire and fire whomever they want.
Anybody with a legal background feel like speculating whether she has a case?

Habladora said...

Perhaps the 'but it was her choice to work in a private, religious school' would make more sense to me if it weren't for the continual push to allot greater and greater public funds to... private, religious schools.

Renee said...

I am not the least bit surprised by this story. My father is seventh day adventist and so I have a lot of experience with this church. It is very fundamentalist in nature and does a really good job in slut shaming. It is constantly policing the congregants, from dress, sexual behavior to food consumption. As a young woman my fathers participation in this religion lead to a difficult adolescence for me.
I wish her the best of luck with her suite but honestly as a member of this religion I cannot believe that she was surprised by their reaction. There is nothing progressive about this religion at all. It seems to thrive on keeping women silent and oppressed.