That is the message Fourth Grade teacher Jaretta Hamilton received when she and her husband went to the principle to file a request for the standard, required by law, six weeks maternity leave. It didn't stop there though; Jaretta actually got fired for conceiving before marriage by the Christian school that employed her.
Jaretta already had five children from her first marriage which ended abruptly as her husband died unexpectedly. She was engaged to her now husband when they conceived. The couple got married around three weeks after conceiving their baby. We all know that Christian schools have their beliefs about sex before marriage. But the management of Southland Christian School in St. Cloud, Fla. took those beliefs a step too far when they decided that (what they perceive to be) God's laws were more important than the federal employment laws to which they were subject as a school receiving public funding. Jaretta was shocked when her former employer asked her: Well, I am just trying to do the math here. When did you get married again? . Then, after she answered the question, her boss went on to ask her if she conceived before marriage. Too shocked to refuse to answer that question, Jaretta told her boss that, yes, she got pregnant just before she married.
She was out of a job a week later, and the school told everyone about the reasons why. Jaretta did not get the sack because of her pregnancy but because she committed a sin - fornication, sex outside marriage , the Southland Christian School stated. Apparently the fact that they receive public funding and are subject to anti-discrimination laws totally slipped their mind, and the school also seems to have trouble remembering that Jaretta was employed in a secular role. This is a story to be continued, because Jaretta, thankfully, decided to sue the school for lost pay, as well as compensation for emotional distress. I am outraged that blatant discrimination of this nature still goes on in the United States today, and the harsh judgment the school's management passed on Jaretta has little to do with my understanding of Christianity. Furthermore, the laws are so clear on anti-discrimination that even first-year law students could win a case like this. What do you think about what happened to Jaretta?