Teacher Fired For Actions Of Ex Finds Little Support In Community But A New Job In LA (VIDEO)

Carie Charlesworth and one of her four children, all kicked out of Holy Trinity School because of a father’s bad behavior. Where’s the teachable moment? Image @RealTalkRealDebate

Carie Charlesworth and one of her four children, all kicked out of Holy Trinity School because of a father’s bad behavior. Where’s the teachable moment? Image @RealTalkRealDebate

Remember the story about Carie Charlesworth, the 2nd grade teacher with 14-years at Holy Trinity Catholic school in El Cajon, CA, who was fired – and her children removed from the school – after her ex-husband showed up briefly to create a scene in the school parking lot? The story of Charlesworth’s firing triggered some outrage, particularly at the notion that a domestic abuse survivor, raising 4 kids on her own and with an exemplary teaching record, could so callously be thrown to the wolves even after the school made clear no one had actually ever felt threatened. And while the firing and upheaving of her four grade-schoolers was bad enough, the school dug the knife further into her back with the final “letter of termination,” which included the draconian announcement that not only was she fired from this school, she was barred from teaching at any other school in the diocese. Nice, huh? [Read the whole story: Domestic Violence Survivor And 14-Year Teacher Fired By Catholic School For Ex-Husband’s Actions (VIDEO)]

After the story ran, I was bombarded by emails, tweets, comments, etc., not only expressing anger, but asking what might be done to help. I sent people her lawyer’s contact info, suggested petition sites, even heard from a Catholic senator in Tennessee who wanted to take a stand against such nonsense coming from the Catholic church. Well, I have a bit of good news – and some annoying news – to report. Let me start with the annoying news and get that out of the way:

In the original story, I reported that some parents had spoken up under condition of anonymity (of course), stating that they agreed with the school and would have pulled their own kids out had Charlesworth been allowed to stay. There was no discussion about helping her find another job, working out some kind of vigilance/intervention program should further issues arise; organizing a rally to help raise money for her and her family, or, better yet, raise awareness of the issue as a “teachable moment.” Perhaps they could have spoken out in solidarity with domestic violence groups, to protest further victimization of a domestic abuse victim… all while setting a good example for their children by standing behind a good teacher who put 14 years into the school and was a valued member of their community. Instead, the school and diocese kicked her out like a criminal and guess what those parents did? They had a rally in support of the school! 

Yes, look at them here:

A gaggle of Holy Trinity parents… always so nice to have the support of your community in times of need. Image @NBC San Diego

A gaggle of Holy Trinity parents… always so nice to have the support of your community in times of need. Image @NBC San Diego

As the caption remarks, it’s always so nice to have the support of your community in times of need. Now, I’m a parent; I get the whole “the children are our priority,” but come on! There are balances to be found in situations like this; compromises that honor all needs on the table. But these parents? Naw:

Nearly 30 people voiced strong support for the school and its controversial decision Thursday afternoon on campus. Parents felt compelled to come forward after the public had a strong reaction from the NBC 7 exclusive story.

“Yes, there was a teacher that was victimized by domestic violence and that’s very sad and we all support her as her being a victim, we’re very sorry,” said parent Jennifer Grubbs.

But these parents also feel the number one priority needs to be the safety of their children.

“Decisions had to be made that would protect all of our kids, her kids included. So those were hard decisions and our principal and the Diocese had to do the best they could. And they did,” said Grubbs.

Yes, Ms. Grubbs, “her kids included.” I’m sure they feel very “protected” by being kicked out of school while watching their mom humiliated and discarded in front of the entire community. Lots of good old Christian charity going on there.

But from here we’ll segue into the good news. The first point to note is that not all people in the Holy Trinity community have taken out the pitchforks; at least one parent with a student at the school came forward to denounce the decision.

“Her getting fired was shameful. She did everything right. She came to the principal, told her the situation. And I think in that regard, protected the children. I think she got fired for it. It’s very sad,” said parent Theresa Ososkie.

Apparently Theresa Ososkie has some of the empathy and compassion missing in the rest of that community.

But here’s the REALLY good news: Carie Charlesworth has been offered another job! In an interview with KNSD-TV on Monday, Charlesworth was emotionally moved by an offer from a so-far anonymous school official at a private institution in the Los Angeles area:

“It’s good to know that people generally care about other people,” Charlesworth told KNSD on Monday.

…the official in Los Angeles told KNSD she felt angry that, though Charlesworth had done nothing wrong, the school was penalizing her.

“If nothing else, I’m more than happy to simply say to her, ‘There’s somebody out there that cares,’” the official told the station. [Source]

Let’s hope things develop beyond “anonymous” with the LA school and they’re serious about offering Charlesworth a viable option. Moving a family of five from San Diego area to the Los Angeles area will not be an easy task but, hopefully, if the job is a good one, Charlesworth will find more of those caring people to give her a hand.

The bottom line is this: people come with complexities in every walk of life; the honorable actions to have taken in this circumstance were many, none of which were implemented. Until now. Let’s hope Los Angeles pans out for the Charlesworth family in time to get them all back to school by fall.

Here’s the video: