Charlotte Hannah
March 01, 2013

Christian School Fires Pregnant Staff Member for Premarital Sex, Offers Job to Guy Who Got Her Pregnant

Photo credit: Expecting Baby by Petr Kratochvil

Teri James was fired from her job as a financial aid specialist at San Diego Christian College for having premarital sex.  Her termination letter, which she included in the lawsuit James filed against the college, stated “Teri engaged in activity outside the scope of the Handbook and Community Covenant that does not build up the college’s mission.”

In other words, the 29-year-old broke a contract that she signed with the school when she was hired. The “community covenant” that San Diego Christian College has its students and teachers sign asks them to abstain from “abusive anger, malice, jealousy, lust, sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex, adultery, pornography and homosexuality, evil desires and prejudice based on race, sex or socioeconomic status.”

According to James’ attorney, Gloria Allred, the contract “does not say that you will be fired if you do not comply” – which makes sense, since it’s pretty harsh to give someone the boot for feeling jealous, and pretty hard to prove most of those things anyway.

But James’ violation of the covenant could be proven. She’s pregnant.

According to James, she was called into her supervisor’s office in October and asked point blank if she was pregnant. When she confirmed she was, she was terminated on the spot.

“I had to leave right after the meeting. I had to go into the office with all of my co-workers and say I’m leaving,” James told NBC News. “I never came back so I don’t know what my co-workers thought, but for me, it was humiliating. I felt like I was in trouble.”

And then it got worse. As if it wasn’t enough to fire James for something she did in her personal life, San Diego Christian College then turned around and offered her old job to her then-fiancé (the two are now married). Yes, the father of her unborn kid. And yes, the college knew they were engaged — and thus could reasonably assume he’d had some premarital sex of his own. He didn’t take the job.

So, remember the part of the college’s special, oh-so-important covenant that required that students and faculty abstain from prejudice based on sex? Perhaps whoever was in charge of this boneheaded, discriminatory decision should be fired too.