Unmarried, pregnant and sacked
PARENTS are rallying to support a pregnant kindergarten teacher who was sacked from a Christian school, allegedly because she was not married.
Mum Melinda Saunders has formed a Facebook page to support "Miss Jess" - Jess Davidson - who was sacked by Caloundra Christian College on April 17.
Ms Saunders said Ms Davidson "was informed she would be sacked because she is pregnant and unmarried to the father".
She was so "shocked and stunned", she arranged an appointment with the school principal Mark Hodges.
"He gave me a copy of the school's Lifestyle Agreement as an explanation," Ms Saunders said.
The Lifestyle Agreement is a document under which all staff are employed.
Ms Saunders said the agreement specified all staff were "required to be seen to conduct themselves in the course of, or in connection with their work, in a manner consistent with these principles and beliefs and in accordance with the Christian ethics of the School..."
"Nothing in their deliberate conduct should be incompatible with the intrinsic character of their position, especially, but not only, in relation to the expression of human sexuality through heterosexual, monogamous relationships, expressed intimately through marriage."
In a statement, Mr Hodges said yesterday he was unable to "discuss issues relating to particular staff members within the College".
However, he was able to make general comments.
"As a Christian college we require all staff have and demonstrate a faith and lifestyle consistent with the Christian beliefs taught here," he said.
"These beliefs are set out in college policies and documents, including the agreement under which all staff are employed."
He said these employment processes "are in line with Section 25 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991".
Independent Education Union Queensland branch secretary Terry Burke confirmed Ms Davidson was being provided legal advice.
Already 273 people have "liked" the "I support Miss Jess" Facebook page with many concerned about her treatment.
Ms Saunders said Ms Davidson's personal life "should not be an issue as long as she is performing her duties and being a good employee".
She said Ms Davidson had taught her daughter for more than a year. Ms Davidson also has two daughters at the school
"It's shocking and devastating, it's her job, her whole future and she doesn't need this stress when she is pregnant," Ms Saunders said.
"She has been given till the end of the term before she must leave."
The school has already begun advertising for a new kindergarten teacher on its website.
Ms Davidson declined to comment.