Catholic School Fires Teacher Less Than An Hour After Her Wedding

Here’s a wedding wish you don’t hear very often: You’re fired. That’s the message that Tippi McCullough got from the Catholic girl’s school where she taught 45 minutes after she married her partner of 14 years, Barb Mariani.

McCullough and Mariani flew to New Mexico to get married, since they live in Arkansas. Forty five minutes after the ceremony, McCullough got a phone call from a secretary at Mount St. Mary Academy, where she had taught for 15 years, saying if she went through with the wedding, she would lose her job. Of course, it was a bit late by then.

While on her honeymoon, McCullough returned phone calls left by principal Diane Wolfe, who informed McCullough that she had violated terms of her contract that require her to follow Catholic teaching. (Apparently, charity is no longer a Catholic teaching.)

Mariani has pointed out that the school’s contractual agreements are spottily enforced. “What’s upsetting to me is that the morality clause covers birth control, premarital sex and they are certainly not pro-choice,” she says. “It’s disturbing to me that no straight teacher is called in and asked if she’s using birth control or unmarried and having premarital sex with a boyfriend.”

For her part, Wolfe has reacted with a mixture of defensiveness and defiance. “I was hired to uphold my contractual obligations as a Catholic school administrator and to carry out those functions, as unpleasant as they may be,” she has said. “It seems many are quick to judge my actions as my decision and accuse me of cowardice in the performance of what I was hired to do. Do you not think it took moral courage to carry out and uphold the tenets of the church and the directives of those responsible for giving oversight to those tenets?”

In other words, she doesn’t disagree and she’s not about to lose her job in any case.

Photo credit: ThinkProgress