Pennsylvania Catholic school teacher fired due to pregnancy out of wedlock
A Pennsylvania high school teacher says she was fired from her job after administrators learned she was pregnant out of wedlock.
Naiad Reich, who taught at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School in Edgewood, Penn., for the past two years, recently informed her employer that she and her long-term boyfriend, Matt Graboski, were expecting a child.
Reich, 31, told local outlet The News-Item that she and Graboski made the decision to start a family together now but have no immediate plans to marry and wish to do so on their own terms.
However, the good news was not well received by school administrator Sister Mary Anne Bednar, who allegedly told Reich that her pregnancy "would be a problem" and that she "had to contact the diocese" about the situation.
"It was very apparent that she was not happy with the circumstances. Of course, her problem was Catholic morals," Reich told WNEP.
Last Friday, less than a week after informing the school that she was expecting, Reich said she was given an ultimatum and subsequently fired from her position when she did not adhere to it.
"If there's no eventual plan in the near future to get married, it was either that or I had to be let go," Reich told WNEP.
A spokesperson for the diocese responded to reports of Reich's firing, stating, "The Diocese of Harrisburg is unable to comment on personnel matters. However, as outlined in our policies, every professional employee agrees to follow the teachings, doctrine, and laws of the Catholic Church as part of the hiring process."
Reich, who says she understands but disagrees with the school's decision, is due in June 2019 and is planning to seek legal counsel over her firing.
"I feel like I’m a rewriting of 'The Scarlet Letter' at this point, just minus the affair," the teacher said, according to the Associated Press.
The heartbroken teacher added that she already misses her students "more than I think they can ever understand."