“Do we really want judges, juries, or bureaucrats deciding who ought to teach Catholicism at a parish school, or Judaism at a Jewish day school?” said Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, the religious liberty law firm representing the schools. “Religion teachers play a vital role in the ecosystem of faith. We are confident that the Supreme Court will recognize that under our Constitution, government officials cannot control who teaches kids what to believe.”
Among its last actions for the year, the Supreme Court, agreed last week to hear twin cases on whether church schools or the government decide who teaches religion classes.
Both cases began when teachers sued California Catholic schools that let them go. In 2015, fifth grade teacher Kristen Biel filed suit against St. James Catholic School in Torrance, where she led a religion class as well as prayed with students and taught them Catholic doctrine. Biel claimed the school discriminated against her because of a medical condition she had, but the school said it fired her for cause. Similarly, eighth grade teacher Agnes Morrissey-Berru sued Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Hermosa Beach for age discrimination. The school claims it declined to renew her contract because of poor job performance.