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Consider both sides

April 3, 2015
Victoria Tedder
San Francisco

I read a lot of one-sided statements in Catholic San Francisco about the controversy over our archbishop’s recent speech to Catholic high school teachers. Both sides need to be considered.

On the one hand, an archbishop has the right to insist that Catholic schools in an archdiocese teach Catholic doctrine. (Those currently preoccupied with homosexuality might ponder my friend’s consternation when, in the 1970s, her child brought home a Catholic school assignment: “Write an essay about your sign of the Zodiac.” She complained to her pastor.)

On the other hand, schoolteachers are union employees with employee rights under California law. The labor law governing how an employer may regulate an employee’s off-duty conduct is complex and shifting, especially now with semi-public arenas such as Facebook posts.

Both these rights need to be considered in each instance of controversy. Our faith demands no less.

The writer is a member of St. John of God Parish, San Francisco.


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