Catholic School Fires Teacher for Being a Domestic Violence Survivor
Photo Credit: KNSD-TV
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A San Diego Catholic school fired a teacher and domestic violence survivor due to her ex-husband’s “threatening and menacing behavior,” KNSD-TV reports.
Second-grade teacher Carie Charlesworth said she received notice of her termination after an incident in which her abusive ex-husband followed her to Holy Trinity School, where she worked. Charlesworth had been teaching in the district for 14 years.
"They’ve taken away my ability to care for my kids,” she told KNSD. “It’s not like I can go out and find a teaching job anywhere.”
Charlesworth went on leave after in incident in January that forced her to call the police on her husband three separate times. As KNSD reports, she went to Holy Trinity the next day to warn the principle “to be on the lookout for her ex-husband,” who “has a trail of restraining orders and 911 calls.”
Sure enough, Charlesworth’s abuser showed up at the school’s parking lot, sending it into lockdown. The next day, she received a letter informing her that she and her children were put on “indefinite leave.” And three months later, the teacher received a letter from Holy Trinity informing her that the school “simply cannot allow” her to return to work.
It didn’t matter that Charlesworth’s ex-husband is currently behind bars for his crimes, as the school has “no way of knowing how long or short a time he will actually serve.”
Sadly, Charlesworth’s story is part of a larger pattern of employees losing their jobs after incidents of domestic violence. As KNSD reports, a 2011 study shows that “Nearly 40 percent of survivors in California reported being fired or feared termination because of domestic violence.”
Charlesworth is telling her story to raise awareness of this problem, saying: “I mean that’s why women of domestic violence don’t come forward, because they’re afraid of the way people are going to see them, view them, perceive them, treat them.”