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‘To Teach Here, Promise You Will Never Do Anything We Think is Immoral’

‘To Teach Here, Promise You Will Never Do Anything We Think is Immoral’

A Catholic school in Lafayette, Louisiana is forcing its teachers to sign a morality clause that asks them not to take birth control, marry outside the church, or engage in homosexual activity. They must also pledge not to cohabitate with their partners or get pregnant before marriage, and they must also speak out against abortion. This clause is a new part of the teachers’ contracts at the order of the Diocese of Lafayette and is affecting teachers at Our Lady of Fatima School.

Some teachers are, understandably, outraged at this addition to their contract. One teacher who is an open lesbian, Jane Riviere, has decided to leave the school at the end of the year, despite her love for her students, coworkers and the school itself. Riviere said, “Fatima School did not ask me to leave. It was because I could not sign my contract and be honest to its content… The leadership was very respectful, compassionate and understanding during this process… I love this school and wish all the best to everyone involved. While I do not agree, I accept the position of the Diocese.” Only time will tell if other teachers will follow in her footsteps.

Parents are also unhappy with this decision. School Council President, Jaci Russo, stated in an open letter to the principal of the school that it’s a good thing lying wasn’t mentioned in the morality clause:

I believe that the new Diocesan morality clause is flawed in many ways. By listing these “sins”, a number of teachers are forced to either lie about who they are, or deny the things they may have done in order to keep their jobs at Fatima. This is a travesty, as I know there are teachers who have had children out of wedlock and are divorced and remarried without annulment, yet they signed the clause and continue to teach.

Diocese director of human resources, Maureen Fontenot, made a statement saying that it is not the policy of the Diocese of Lafayette to discuss the terms and conditions of contracts.

Putting the “morality” of teachers before their teaching ability is detrimental to students’ education. School administrators at Our Lady of Fatima School would clearly rather have teachers who can’t teach but who fit into their definition of “moral” than excellent teachers who openly admit that they participate in the stated prohibited activities outside of school, none of which impact the teachers’ ability to teach whatsoever. The private lives of teachers should remain private as long as it doesn’t affect their teaching ability, yet the Diocese of Lafayette clearly believes otherwise.

Unfortunately, even though this morality clause is immoral in many ways, it is probably not illegal, according to LSU law professor William Corbett. He said:

Some states actually do have state employment discrimination laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, about 24, 25 states have state laws that say that. Louisiana’s does not. Louisiana’s state employment discrimination law covers all the grounds covered by Federal law, and a few others, but not sexual orientation… It’s been proposed at the Federal level a number of times to amend the Federal employment discrimination statue to include prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. It’s come very close to passage, but never quite made it.

However, despite the legality of the clause, it seems counterintuitive for a school to drive away good teachers because of it. It also seems counterintuitive for an institution so intertwined with the Catholic faith. As Jaci Russo stated in her letter, “In the New Testament, Jesus says, ‘I did not come to call the virtuous, but the sinners.’ If we removed all sinners from our school there would be no faculty left to teach the students and no parents to enroll their children.”

The bottom line is that keeping this morality clause as part of teacher contracts at Our Lady of Fatima would not only be detrimental to students’ education, but is also immoral in and of itself. If you want to do something about this issue, sign this petition and tell Our Lady of Fatima School to remove the morality clause from their contract.

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5:40AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

Isn't teaching to think the meaning of education?

3:49AM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

If you don't like the requirements don't apply.

9:11AM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

They need to clean up their own act before they try to control someone elses act! What about your pedophile priests? Have you fired them? NO! You just keep moving them around so they don't get "found out" and can molest other young boys! I have no faith in a religion that does not practice what they preach! AND what would Jesus do? Oh that is right, he does not make the rules! If he did he would crucify these priests. And Nuns having babies, is that immaculate conception? Not hardly! People who live in glass houses should not throw stones!!

8:36AM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

Somehow I think this school has drifted away from following the principles of "what would Jesus do"!

3:27PM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

Once upon a time, I recall reading the clause 'moral turpitude.' Haven't we progressed beyond that?

10:20AM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

Peter N is a real Glutton for punishment is he not? Like the energizer bunny he keeps going and going and going…except he is hardly energizing in his thoughts and the batteries died long ago. There is an aura of energy akin to dead batteries being shown in the continual illogic trotted out. He states that he “fights fire with fire” but is very much the verbal pyromaniac. He wants us to believe that some woman have negative traits. As in some share his exact thought processes? Frightening thought, female Peter N clones. No…don’t think Mother Nature would allow for that. (Exception, lol a chuckle with char l…re: unsweetenedmarie nut bars a la juliecaesar…inside joke).

10:20AM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

Would be fascinating for Care2 to establish a Troll2 Fee, they could raise millions when Peter N takes to the keyboard and pontificates about the wrong doings of women. Adam C, unravelling twisted pretzels takes a lot of painstaking work.

Perhaps? This link to unravel the twisted pretzel.

Sharon H, yes certainly some of the nuns in a teaching position have been very cruel and I forgot to mention that in public school a teacher who quoted the Bible non-stop was constantly hitting students with her ruler (before assault on students became a charge). Students were transferred from her class. Wonder why!

10:01AM PDT on Apr 15, 2013

Peter N.....Who is trying to flatter themselves ?.....Certain amount of insecurity there Peter?........Maybe you just like to see your "thoughts" repeated over and over?....You haven't had an original thought since.......well really you haven't had ANY original thoughts....


9:55AM PDT on Apr 15, 2013


Your comments contradict each other. If all you did was have sex with willing females, there's no need to "control your urges". Also there's no explanation for your excessive anger towards women (or anyone you think who supports women).

The only reason to "control your urges" is if they had some negative effect. Consensual sex with adults do not fall into that category, so what you said makes no sense.

Do I think all women are perfect? Absolutely not. If some women willingly have sex with you there's obviously something wrong with their self esteem.

9:52AM PDT on Apr 15, 2013

Mary B. said:

"Peter N....I see you saved up all your angst to spew back at everyone who disagrees with you. (Especially when you have an open forum).... you are very childish in your posts and I wonder what pleasure you get out of your repeated 'drivel'..... were you upset that we lost interest in your ongoing parroting?.."

Don't flatter yourself.

I'm just trying up a few loose ends.

Thanks for caring though.

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