Unwed Butte Central teacher fired for pregnancy
BUTTE, Mont. - Montana Catholic School leaders fired an unmarried teacher for getting pregnant. Butte Central Student Savannah Healy told us Shalea Evenson was her favorite teacher. "She was always the teacher you could go to talk to," said Healy. Evenson taught literature and P.E to sixth, seventh and eighth graders for more than 8 years. Healy told us P.E. isn't the same without Evenson's workouts. "At the time we really didn't like like them, but now that she's gone, we miss them," she said. Toynet Wassberg's grandchild is a student at Butte Central. Wassberg told us she doesn't agree with the reason why the diocese fired Evenson. "I don't think its right," said Wassberg. "I know they say she was a bad influence, but I think something could have been worked out." Wassberg said she's concerned for Evenson's future. "I hope she gets enough family to help her, because without a job the road's going to be hard," she said. The Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Helena, Patrick Haggarty, told NBC Montana Evenson violated her contract. "We, as Catholic school, employees have the obligation to teach moral and religious teachings of the Catholic Church," said Haggarty. Haggarty told us their primary mission is to make children understand the Catholic faith. That includes teaching of the gospel, including all the moral lessons. "We want all our children to get to heaven, and they'll be doggone smart when they get there," he said. "And we believe getting to heaven is by following moral teaching standards of the Catholic faith." We spoke to teachers who declined to go on camera. They told us they support Evenson and don't agree with the diocese's decision. Reports indicate that Evenson plans to sue the diocese.