An all-girls Catholic high school in Bloomfield, Michigan fired 9-year teaching veteran Barb Webb after Webb announced that she was pregnant. Better ask the Virgin Mary what she thinks about unmarried pregnant women.
Webb says that while she wasn't told exactly why she was canned, the timing of the termination came suspiciously soon after she informed Marian High School administrators that she was pregnant, and that she and her long term partner were planning on raising the child together.
According to HuffPo, discriminating against pregnant employees is a legal no-go, but many religious schools have tried to circumvent that by forcing their employees to sign a "morality clause," which is actually just a workaround that allows religious schools and organizations to discriminate against people and say that it's legally defensible because that's how an invisible man in the sky would have wanted it. Because Webb is g-g-g-gay! she was already towing a dangerous line with the school, but her pregnancy breaks way too many Catholic rules for the holy rollers in charge.
As the famous saying by Jesus goes: "Sinners? Fuck 'em."
Students, alumnae, and followers of news aren't happy. A petition to reinstate Webb to her position as chemistry teacher and volleyball coach has garnered more than 2,000 signatures, and a Facebook group in support of Webb boasts more than 4,000 members, many of whom are alumnae and parents.
According to the Detroit Free Press, school administration has explicitly instructed current teachers not to discuss Webb's firing with students, many of whom are upset that their beloved teacher has been let go. And the school attempted to buy off Webb herself, according to a Facebook post from shortly after her firing. Webb wrote,
Marian's options to me, after 9 years of dedication including league winning coaching, 4.0 averages in AP chemistry scores, PD for the school based on my personal best practices, and dozens of students and family testimonials is 1) resign or 2) we will terminate you.
Their offer of resignation included health care through May, of course they claimed it was to help their conscience after firing a pregnant woman for no other reason than for being pregnant and getting pregnant outside the Catholic way...but really I think they were interested in the gag order that came along with it.
Well, you're damn right I wasn't going to sign something that said I willing was leaving and their $4k of health insurance wasn't enough to buy my silence.
To their credit, by trying to silence, shame, and intimidate people out of speaking out, Marian administrators are definitely responding to Webb's pregnancy in the most Catholic way they possibly can.
Image via Facebook