Catholic teacher "doesn't know why" she got fired

A 26 year old teacher in ohio state I don't know of the diocese was found in an atheist website where she claims she doesn't believe in God. And she doesn't know why? That's just plain dumb to me.

Hi.

In order for us to discuss this matter fairly, can you provide a news link or other source?

gazetteonline.com/breaking-news/2010/05/28/iowa-math-teacher-fired-for-not-believing-in-god

I think that should work
I think lol
I heard it on my local catholic station

Thanks for the link to this news article.

From what I read, the teacher was fired not for her capabilities in teaching math, but because her (lack of) beliefs would counter what is also being taught at school from a Catholic viewpoint.

I would side with the school on this point. A Catholic school has a right to ensure that its employees do not espouse (privately or in semi-public settings such as Facebook) views that will confuse their students, who attend that school for religious education as well as conventional curriculum.

I sympathize for the teacher only in that she felt blindsided. However, her reaction is not only naive but a sad sign of the times. As a computer industry professional I can warn that there is no such thing as “private” on the internet. Unless you are VERY careful AND very skilled, your views and personal information can and will be seen by many others. While I am curious as to how the school received the teacher’s viewpoints (this isn’t too hard; the teacher likely were “friends” on Facebook with a student or fellow teacher), I do not think, because of the nature of the internet, that this was a privacy issue.

Lastly, being wishy-washy in a faith is a poor place to be when you are working for a school that you know has specific values of faith. In effect, the teacher may have falsely represented herself on her employment by indicating she was something in matters of faith that she was not.

I do agree with the judge’s ruling that she was eligible for unemployment. The woman was fired due to the needs of the employer and not strictly speaking a fault of her own from a secular view.

Yes I agree with you Spencerian

Maybe we can all take a lesson from this. The article notes her face book page was private however it looks like it was pretty easy to find her membership in a public group. Be very careful what you put on the internet - content from Twitter, forums, blog comments, ect is only a Google away for your boss/recruiter/hiring manager.

The school administration found out because a student found the teachers comments and brought in printouts to show the principal. The teacher says she did not have any students listed among her friends on Facebook.

When she was hired earlier in the year, the teacher signed a contract promising she would not advocate “principles contrary to the dogmatic and moral teaching of the church.” By publicly claiming to be an atheist, she broke her contract.
politicsdaily.com/2010/05/28/catholic-school-fires-math-teacher-who-may-not-believe-in-god/

[quote="Dale_M, post:7, topic:200294"]
The school administration found out because a student found the teachers comments and brought in printouts to show the principal. The teacher says she did not have any students listed among her friends on Facebook.

When she was hired earlier in the year, the teacher signed a contract promising she would not advocate "principles contrary to the dogmatic and moral teaching of the church." By publicly claiming to be an atheist, she broke her contract.
politicsdaily.com/2010/05/28/catholic-school-fires-math-teacher-who-may-not-believe-in-god/

[/quote]

That fits in with what I got from the OP's original link. Thanks, Dale.

[quote="Dale_M, post:7, topic:200294"]

When she was hired earlier in the year, the teacher signed a contract promising she would not advocate "principles contrary to the dogmatic and moral teaching of the church." By publicly claiming to be an atheist, she broke her contract.
politicsdaily.com/2010/05/28/catholic-school-fires-math-teacher-who-may-not-believe-in-god/

[/quote]

But BEING an atheist WOULD BE okay? :confused:

[quote="graceandglory, post:9, topic:200294"]
But BEING an atheist WOULD BE okay? :confused:

[/quote]

Well, she attended Mass and joined in group prayer. If she never made her internal thoughts known, who would know otherwise?

The problem is that she acknowledged being atheist on two different online sites to which her students had access, and they discovered her position. It was her public statements which caused the problem. Her contract required that she not oppose Church teaching, which she did.

What it is in the article is that she said:
"Nurre said her views constantly evolve and that she is constantly trying to expand her knowledge, whether on religion, astrology, fitness or politics."
So God is no good but astrology is fine! :confused::confused:

Reminds me of this story I used to read about this middle eastern man from long ago, forgot his name. Anyway, he followed his conscience and tried to discern the truth as best he could, and a whole bunch of people got together and hung him on a cross, spitting on him, demeaning, mocking and ridiculing him. :(

This particular story is still sad, but I'm glad the punishment isn't the same anymore.

[quote="VeritasLuxMea, post:12, topic:200294"]

This particular story is still sad, but I'm glad the punishment isn't the same anymore.

[/quote]

Ouch.

I agree that the punishment was harsh for what could have been seen as a minor infraction. I am not sure I would have supported termination for those two postings.

I do wonder, however, if there wasn't more going on which wasn't made public. The local newspaper didn't write about Nurre's firing, which is unusual.... especially when newspapers around the state, and even some national news outlets, covered the story.

[quote="Dale_M, post:13, topic:200294"]
Ouch.

[/quote]

Gotcha.

I agree that the punishment was harsh for what could have been seen as a minor infraction. I am not sure I would have supported termination for those two postings.

Well, I believe the Church had every right to fire her. I mean, I even think it was the "right" thing to do in some ways (even if she was just a math teacher). That's just my take.

Buuuuut... I do have some concerns that atheists are being scared off from discussing these issues civilly for fear of being isolated from friends and family, and also that they are becoming the new "them", if you know what I mean. A recent poll revealed that they are the most reviled group in America (they actually rank well below Muslims, believe it or not).

The area hits home for me because I have a buddy who struggles with belief, and his entire family disowned him. He's really tortured by it. He says he feels like if he lies when asked then he is doing wrong, but if he comes forth with the truth, then he is doing wrong again.

I just do my best to try to counsel and support him, because he's such a good guy, he just can't break through. The funny thing is that he used to be one of the most involved in mass, he really took things to heart more than the average joe who comes by once a week and never bothers to investigate his religion. He would always be the one tearing up during powerful sermons when others are playing with their cell phones in embarrassing fashion.

I do wonder, however, if there wasn't more going on which wasn't made public. The local newspaper didn't write about Nurre's firing, which is unusual.... especially when newspapers around the state, and even some national news outlets, covered the story.

I see what you mean.

I can't muster any sympathy for this teacher and wish that more Catholic schools would take a stance against teachers who dismiss or scoff at the Church's teachings. I know one teacher at a Catholic middle school who openly promotes Planned Parenthood, her pro-abortion opinions and has gone so far as to hand out contraceptives to her students (7-8th grade). The principal has found out about at least some of these activities but has done nothing more than lecture her about it. We also continue to struggle with the pro-Muslim & anti-Catholic propaganda that was taught to our son by one teacher at his Catholic high school. He'll tell me about the hatred preached by the Catholic church, how many of the foundations of our faith are wrong, and gets angry when anyone promotes the Islamic extremist "myth." We didn't understand the full scope of what this teacher had told him until he graduated, and when I complained after the fact, the principal took the stance that, since I was no longer the parent of a student, I didn't have much to complain about. I personally wouldn't want either of these teachers around any students, not just Catholic ones.

[quote="Gordon_Sims, post:15, topic:200294"]
I can't muster any sympathy for this teacher and wish that more Catholic schools would take a stance against teachers who dismiss or scoff at the Church's teachings. I know one teacher at a Catholic middle school who openly promotes Planned Parenthood, her pro-abortion opinions and has gone so far as to hand out contraceptives to her students (7-8th grade). The principal has found out about at least some of these activities but has done nothing more than lecture her about it. We also continue to struggle with the pro-Muslim & anti-Catholic propaganda that was taught to our son by one teacher at his Catholic high school. He'll tell me about the hatred preached by the Catholic church, how many of the foundations of our faith are wrong, and gets angry when anyone promotes the Islamic extremist "myth." We didn't understand the full scope of what this teacher had told him until he graduated, and when I complained after the fact, the principal took the stance that, since I was no longer the parent of a student, I didn't have much to complain about. I personally wouldn't want either of these teachers around any students, not just Catholic ones.

[/quote]

Having never attended Catholic school I'm not familiar with their policies but I would think what you describe would be grounds for immediate termination.

You're teaching in a school that adhere's to Church teaching... you go against that and from the sounds of it stomp all over it. You're fired. The only plausible reason I can think of for not firing someone like that is fear of a wrongful termination suit but I would imagine that at a private institution they have policies in place that would prevent that from being an issue. If I ever have kids I'd rather they go to a public school if I couldn't rely on my "Catholic" teachers adhering to Church teachings.

This is a problem I have with these faith-based schools, religion having to be a requirement to teach at a particular school. I say let's not worry about religion, and have the teacher teach whatever it is he/she is supposed to

[quote="Gift_from_God, post:17, topic:200294"]
This is a problem I have with these faith-based schools, religion having to be a requirement to teach at a particular school. I say let's not worry about religion, and have the teacher teach whatever it is he/she is supposed to

[/quote]

I am sorry but that does not make any sense to me. Religion should be integral part of a Christian's life, that is what Bible says. How can we teach that to the students while at the same time we say that it does not really apply to their teachers. Ethics (the study of morality) enters in almost every topic that is taught in school (e.g. literature, art, science etc.). How can we ensure that Christian morality is taught when the teacher does not agrees with it.

[quote="Gift_from_God, post:17, topic:200294"]
This is a problem I have with these faith-based schools, religion having to be a requirement to teach at a particular school. I say let's not worry about religion, and have the teacher teach whatever it is he/she is supposed to

[/quote]

There may be some Catholic schools which share your opinion. Certainly in the US, I think 20-30 years ago, it may have been more common than today.

I've noticed a shifting towards the attitude that teachers are role models for their students, and not simply instructors. I think there is some merit to that view, as students, particularly in high school, often know about details of their teachers lives and talk about their teachers lives

[quote="Dale_M, post:19, topic:200294"]
I've noticed a shifting towards the attitude that teachers are role models for their students, and not simply instructors. I think there is some merit to that view, as students, particularly in high school, often know about details of their teachers lives and talk about their teachers lives

[/quote]

For better or worse, you are certainly correct. Look at the teacher who was suspended (or fired?) for her former porn star background. See also the teacher who expressed pro-Nazi views online. Both of these teachers kept these things from their students, yet the students found out about them anyway.

I'm not so sure this is a good thing, though. At what point does it reach too far into one's personal life? Somewhere enough has to be enough. And where do you draw such an arbitrary line?

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