Teacher who claims she was fired for being domestic violence victim suing Diocese of San Diego
Carie Charlesworth fired from Holy Trinity School
Last Updated: 92 days ago
SAN DIEGO - A San Diego teacher who claims she was fired for being the victim of domestic violence announced Tuesday that she is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.
Carie Charlesworth and her attorney Kenneth Hoyt say the diocese has refused to communicate with them.
The veteran teacher of 14 years made national headlines in June when she went public with her release from her position as a teacher at Holy Trinity School in El Cajon, a parochial school run by the Diocese of San Diego.
The diocese cited her status as a victim of domestic violence as the primary reason for her release and the expulsion of her four children who also attended the school.
The termination came shortly after her abusive ex-husband Martin came to the campus and prompted a lockdown. No one was injured. He is currently in jail.
"The whole reason we filed this suit is to promote accountability and change and so that no other victim of domestic violence will have to suffer the heartache that my children did," said Charlesworth. "It's devastating as a mom to see that kind of pain in your kids' eyes."
Hoyt says he will argue that school officials breached the implied terms of the contract. It asks for an unspecified amount of money and for the diocese to practice what it preaches.
"Today is a sad day," said Hoyt. "We had no choice but to file. Our attempts to contact the school leaders to discuss this were rebuffed. The suit is demanding that the church stay true to its principles and do what it teaches."
In June, Charlesworth took her fight to the California Assembly Judiciary Committee, pushing for a new law that would require employers to make reasonable efforts to protect domestic violence abuse victims in the workplace.
Her compelling testimony resonated with committee members to move the bill forward. In the days or week ahead, SB-400 will now move to the Assembly floor for a full vote. The mother of four is hoping the law and the lawsuit against the diocese will give others the protection that she did not have.
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