Casting the first stone: Christian college fires pregnant woman for premarital sex

Font Size:

A California woman has a filed a lawsuit alleging that an evangelical Christian college in suburban San Diego wrongfully terminated her because she became pregnant after engaging in premarital sex.

The plaintiff, 29-year-old Teri James, had been a financial aid specialist for two years at San Diego Christian College in El Cajon before she was sacked. She is now six-and-a-half months pregnant. It’s a boy.

According to NBC, the termination letter James received read: “Teri engaged in activity outside the scope of the Handbook and Community Covenant that does not build up the college’s mission.”

Gloria Allred, the controversial, publicity-seeking attorney, is representing James. The suit alleges gender discrimination and discrimination due to pregnancy and marital status.

“The HR director indicated that she was not being fired because she was pregnant. Instead, she was being terminated because she had premarital sex,” Allred told KGTV, the ABC affiliate in San Diego.

Allred did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.

In a potentially interesting twist, James alleges that school officials offered her boyfriend (now her husband) a job despite knowing that the man was the baby’s father who, presumably, played his procreative role.

For its part, San Diego Christian College has been tight-lipped so far in its response to the lawsuit.

School officials have responded to press inquiries by pointing to a two-page community covenant contract which all employees must sign and promise to abide by when they are hired.

“Sexually immoral behavior, including premarital sex, adultery, pornography and homosexuality” are forbidden under the contract, notes KGTV.

“Jealousy, lust” and “evil desires” as well as “prejudice based on race, sex or socioeconomic status” are also verboten, observes NBC.

It is unclear on what basis violations of the community covenant contract result in job loss, or who is authorized to make such a decision.

“I needed a job in this economy and so I never thought that anything would happen,” James told NBC.

“I feel like what San Diego Christian College did to me was hurtful and un-Christ like,” the plaintiff also said, according to KGTV. “I was unmarried, pregnant and they took away my livelihood,” James told the station.

Students must also sign community covenant contracts, and a perusal of the latest online version of the San Diego Christian College student handbook demonstrates that rules for students are quite strict.

Enforced standards of dress are exceedingly modest. Posters in dorm rooms must be “pure in nature.” Alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs are prohibited. And don’t even think about social dancing on campus or at any school-sponsored event.

Chapel attendance is required thrice weekly as well, and the school expects students to actively participate in a local church.

Follow Eric on Twitter

Eric Owens