Naiad Reich, who worked in a Catholic school, decided to keep the baby instead of getting an abortion. She was subsequently fired. As Newswatch 16 reports, Naiad Reich and her boyfriend Matt Graboski are expecting their first child together. It's supposed to be a happy time for the couple who live near Shamokin. Instead, Reich was fired from her teaching job at a Catholic school because they are not a married couple.
A spokesperson for the diocese said back then, “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.“ A similar incident happened with Catholic school teachers who were fired for being in a same-sex relationship, cohabitating and attending a lesbian wedding.
Reich could keep her job as long as she got married immediately, as Sister Mary Anne Bednar said. An unwed, pregnant teacher likely would not have been fired from a Catholic school if she were to get married, officials of the Harrisburg Diocese say.
Sister Mary Anne Bednar, principal of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School near Shamokin, made that point Friday during a Northumberland County court hearing.
So did the Rev. Edward James Quinlan, the secretary of education for the diocese. “We always try to work with employees,” he said.
The funny thing is that women could easily be fired from their job for getting pregnant, but it’s not a big deal if any priests or male teachers impregnate women. More interesting is the fact that, in such cases, the Catholic Church did everything to hide that.
Timothy A Bowers, Reich’s lawyer on Wednesday amended the complaint to include an allegation his client’s termination violated the federal Civil Rights Act. The diocese is accused of discrimination by firing a female, pregnant, qualified teacher employed in a non-ministerial capacity. Reich is not even Catholic. Reich testified she will not have insurance for postpartum care.
Most of the parents are on the side of the fired teacher: "I get their reasoning behind it and why they have to, but I don't agree with it. I don't think it was very nice to do," said Ashley Stroh of Coal Township.
"This teacher is not even Catholic. I don't care if she would have been, but it's still wrong for her to lose her job," said Geri Albertini of Shamokin.