Unmarried Pregnant Teacher Fired from Catholic School

COAL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School near Shamokin was fired last week after she told the principal she is pregnant and not married.

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 the couple is not married.

Reich and Graboski are expecting their first child next summer.

"I'm extremely excited," Graboski said. "It's one of the most rewarding things you can possibly go through."

Recently, that excitement has been overshadowed. For the past two years, Reich was a high school teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School, a Catholic school near Shamokin.

Last week, she told the principal she was pregnant.

"It was very apparent that she was not happy with the circumstances. Of course, her problem was Catholic morals," said Reich.

She said the principal's concern was that the couple are not married. The Diocese of Harrisburg had questions.

"If there's no eventual plan in the near future to get married, it was either that or I had to be let go," Reich said.

Reich didn't want to be fired and understands the Catholic morality code. The couple also wants to get married on their own terms. Reich lost her job last Friday.

A spokesperson for the diocese said, "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."

Despite all of that, Reich and Graboski have no ill will towards Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School or the Diocese of Harrisburg.

"This is their beliefs and their moral code and what they live by and I understand that. Though I don't agree with it, I understand," Reich said.

Most parents Newswatch 16 spoke with agree with Reich.

"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.

Reich says, above all else, she misses her students. She tells Newswatch 16 she does not know if she will fight the diocese's decision.

Talkback 16 Online Discussion:

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60 comments

  • Sue Phillips

    when you sign a contract, as in a teaching position, you AGREE to the terms of the contract. If you don’t agree with them why teach there??? Don’t cry now because YOU broke the contract not them.

  • whopperplopper

    Case closed
    A spokesperson for the diocese said, “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.”

  • jafo577810438

    “Despite all of that, Reich and Graboski have no ill will towards Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School or the Diocese of Harrisburg.”

    BUT…

    “She tells Newswatch 16 she does not know if she will fight the diocese’s decision.”

    Which is it?

    • Teri Simpkins

      I had surgery and the surgeon made a mistake. He nicked my kidney, forcing me to go on dialysis immediately. I hold him no ill will but I thought of suing him. His mistake cost me dearly. Why can’t she do both? It IS possible.

  • Robert van Winkle

    you worked at a school of god. Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School the name Lourde is in the of the school. they went to fried Unmarried and Pregnant and having child out of marriged is not the godly thing to do and to Teach child that is ok to have a bastard kids is not ok you worked at a god school where in that book that you all purse on to people does it say thats ok to have a unwed child or that its ok to teach this generation to ave bastard kids that why thor parents put then in a christian school for that reason no i dont thhink so

  • Bob Stevens

    Religious Nuts: Gays being married ruined the sacredness of marriage!
    Also Them: How dare you have a kid before marriage, marriage is sacred!

    1) They are in a committed relationship,
    2) none of the churches damn business, its 2018.
    3) how Christian of you to terminate the income of someone expecting a child.

    You want to prevent abortions, well this isn’t the way. Want people to stop thinking religion is an outdated delusion, this isn’t the way. Best part… teacher isn’t even Catholic, so way to push you “moral high ground” down someone else’s throat. Step closer to islam there.

    This is why I hate religion, ignore the pedos in the church, but punish a woman in a dedicated relationship because she isn’t married. Marriage is meaningless this day in age other than for a tax bracket. Not like she was whoring around with some random dude… smh

    • jafo577810438

      She signed a contract with her employer and broke the contract. She knew the expectations of the employer and didn’t uphold her end. All of the points you bring up are irrelevant as they pertain to the situation. If she didn’t agree with any part of the contract she should have sought employment elsewhere.

      • Vincent Liguori

        Signing an employment contract that says “its okay for the employer to break federal law”, doesn’t mean the employer can now break the law.

      • JAFO

        No law was broken. Recognized religious organizations have broad latitude in matters such as these. You don’t have to agree with it, but it’s the law. Many secular companies include a morals clause in employment contracts that are fairly broad and subjective and within the law.

        As I wrote, she didn’t have to sign the work contract. As far as we know, she wasn’t coerced into working there. She could have sought employment elsewhere if she didn’t like or agree with the contract.

      • Vincent Liguori

        Religious schools are allowed to fire a teacher if they are teaching something like religious studies. If her job as a teacher was secular then they broke federal law by firing her.

      • JAFO

        Every parochial or other Christian school I have visited emphasizes and incorporates the teaching of their church dogma into every academic subject. No class is entirely secular. Neither you nor I have read this particular school’s curriculum, but I have some experience that tells me Lourdes is no different.

        Ms. Reich admits she understands the reasoning and states she holds no ill will. In other words, she broke the agreement. The agreement she willingly accepted when hired.

        If she’s to be taken at her word about understanding and not harboring ill will then why was this reported other than to create controversy where none exists?

      • Vincent Liguori

        It appears she didn’t teach anything religious, which means they broke federal law. “Reich had taught high school English and creative writing at the school, and also served as yearbook adviser, Penn Live reports.”

      • JAFO

        “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.”

        While I wasn’t present when she interviewed for and subsequently took the job, somewhere along the line she had to have had signed an acknowledgment she was made aware of the school’s code of conduct, received a copy of the school handbook, and similar documents. It’s doubtful the Diocese hires personnel without covering the bases, just as any other employer does. Signing any of those documents is the same as a formal contract.

      • goodbadand

        It is an illegal contract as it is un-ethical, and it is founded on a fraud ie the existence of a god, and a contract made under duress.

  • Amir Softic

    yet priest pedophiles are left to practice after sexually molesting boys. And on other note, Mary was virgin when she had baby Jesus, note that, also she had “possibly” brothers and sisters of Jesus….. Whole religion is based on fictions.

  • SCRANTONVILLE

    This is as crazy as it gets…. This woman needs support at this time if for nothing else, the sake of her child. How about “he who is without sin, may he cast the first stone”

    • beekeeper

      What rules? Granted, at some point she had sex while not being married. So we know she once committed a sin. Are they firing every teacher who once committed a sin? There’s nothing in the Bible or in the Catholic Catechism that says if you’re pregnant, you have to get married, is there?

    • Vincent Liguori

      Freedom of religion doesn’t give you the freedom to deny other peoples right. Signing an employment contract that says “its okay for the employer to break federal law”, doesn’t mean the employer can now break the law.

  • beekeeper

    So she had sex outside of marriage. That’s her only so-called “sin” (pregnancy is not a sin). Not even one of the 10 commandments. We’re supposed to believe all the other unmarried teachers, men or women, are virgins? And what about forgiveness? Meanwhile if she had had an abortion, she’d still have her job.

  • speditus7344

    They must have unmarried male employees right? Do they make male employees leave or get terminated if their girlfriend gets pregnant? This is outright discrimination. No employer should make a demand to get married or get fired Catholic Church or not! This is yet another example of woman being treated as second class citizens. Nothing is equal in PA if you are a woman. There’s laws against this in other states.

    • Nancy Haefner

      Whoever voices judgement over a priest has voiced judgement over Me ( Jesus’s words ), ” Even it were true, Every Priest is My Vicar and My heart will be sickened and insulted because of it”, If you hear a judgement against a priest pray for them a , Hail Mary.do penance and Holy communion for them so Jesus may grant him grace once again Jesus said” A Priest fully represents Me even when he doesn’t live up to my example 9 page 29 ,Mutter Vogel’s worldwide Love , St Grignion Publishing House Altoting, South Germany ,June 29, 1929)