I saw this article shared on Facebook with the words "This is disgraceful."
So, Carie Charlesworth, a second grade teacher, was fired because her abusive ex-husband showed up at the school and the school went into lockdown?
“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,” said Charlesworth.Why would somebody report or talk about domestic violence in their life if doing so would put them at risk for even more pain in their life? Why would anyone risk losing their job, their health care (which often goes with a job), their apartment, and more? The article tells me Carie Charlesworth did what she could. She told her employer that her abusive ex-husband might appear at the school.
A 2011 study by Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center shows Charlesworth isn’t alone: Nearly 40 percent of survivors in California reported being fired or feared termination because of domestic violence.
This article from Huffington Post illustrates those fears aren't imagined. What happened to Carie Charlesworth isn't unusual:
According to a 2006 report authored by Legal Momentum Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, up to one half of domestic violence victims report that they have lost a job due, at least in part, to the violence in their lives and 50 percent of sexual assault victims report losing jobs in the aftermath of the crime.As I said, why would an already hurting person risk additional pain in their lives?
One reason this story bothers me is because it is another example of people Jesus would call "the least of these" being kicked to the curb. That's become the norm in our society. Yes, we all know corporations kick people to the curb. How many corporations care about their employees and their communities? But churches too? Yes, churches too. How many personal church abuse stories could kossacks tell?
I also know people who have struggled a lot often have more empathy for other people. They often become better, not bitter. Why don't school administrators realize she would probably be an even better teacher due to her personal struggles?
She taught 2nd grade? I remember 2nd grade. I had a reading problem. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't remember what I read. The teacher-Miss Carlson- reacted angrily to my reading comprehension problem. She reacted by always angrily calling on me first immediately after we read a story. When I couldn't remember, she would get angrier and even subject me to punishments such as putting me out in the hall. I remember I had to sit in a desk separated from everyone else for an entire quarter.
Her tactics didn't help. I wound up going downhill, and ultimately wound up in remedial reading. That's when a few things were discovered. First, I read way too fast never even stopping or pausing at a period. Second, I had excellent reading comprehension when it came to factual reading. For example, I had checked out and read children's biography books in the school library. In 4th grade, I was the only kid who could get up in front of the class and give a book report without any notes. I just couldn't comprehend fiction.
The other ironic aspect to this story is nobody really ever listened or understand that I just had trouble with fiction. Until one day I had a gay teaching assistant. I talked to him. He listened. That was back in the 1980's when a lot of people thought (and still think) gay and lesbian people shouldn't be allowed to teach.
I don't believe a teacher such as Carie Charlesworth would have ever treated me that way!
I think the Diocese of San Diego should hire her back!