Christian School Attempts To Oust Teachers For Religion

Teachers at a Christian School in Thousand Oaks are suing their former employer for wrongful termination. The educators claim that they were wrongfully fired after they refused to sign a contract that required them to prove their religious faith. The school, which is owned and operated by Calvary Chapel Thousand Oaks, is under fire for reportedly violating the rights of two teachers.

A countersuit from the church and school has been dismissed. That federal suit claimed that the organizations were prevented from freely exercising their religious practices because of the teachers’ decisions. The school maintains that the teachers simply chose not to return; they were not forced out of their positions for religious reasons.

A judge in the first case argued that the case against the teachers is not appropriate in federal court because the formal wrongful-termination suit had not been filed by the instructors at that time. Officials at the school say they believe they have the First Amendment right to hire only Christian teachers at their Christian school, but case law and the California legal system may not agree.

The school reportedly intends to appeal the dismissal, seeking to counter the newly filed wrongful termination suit. The school also attempted to amend the complaint after it was filed, but a judge rejected that petition, saying that the action would be futile. Attorneys for the teachers say the ruling eliminated the perspective of the school and church as victims.

The school has been ordered to pay legal fees for the teachers in connection with the frivolous legal action. This payment is separate from any other potential legal judgment related to the teachers’ employment complaints.

If you have been discriminated against because of your religious affiliation in the workplace, consider seeking the counsel of a qualified employment attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about your rights, and assist you in getting the money you need and deserve in connection with your workplace woes.

Source:, “Teachers sue school in state court” Anna Bitong, Jun. 20, 2013