Transgendered teacher takes on Catholic school district

Further evidence that we live in unusual times: A Catholic school district in Canada is in trouble for firing a transgendered teacher who intends to ‘transition’ from female to male.

Jan Buterman (CBC Photo)

A transgendered teacher fired by a Catholic school district is rejecting a settlement offer because it would require him to keep quiet and drop a human rights complaint.

Jan Buterman says he will proceed with his complaint against Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools, which wrote him a letter in 2008 praising his abilities but dismissing him for not being aligned with the values of the Catholic Church.

Buterman, who was a substitute teacher in St. Albert, just north of Edmonton, says the publicly funded school district can’t buy his silence with an offer of $78,000 cash or a one-year teaching job.

“I don’t want to be muzzled,” says Buterman, who has worked as a teacher elsewhere since he was fired. “They don’t want me to talk about the fact that they, as an employer, claiming authority from the Catholic Church, have discriminated against me because of my medical status as a transsexual person.”

Buterman says he expects the Catholic school board will ask the Alberta Human Rights Commission to dismiss his complaint. The commission has the right by law not to send a case to a hearing if a “fair and reasonable settlement” is offered.

David Keohane, superintendent of the Catholic school district, says the board has been working with the human rights commission to try to ensure the offer is seen as fair and reasonable.

Full story here.

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About George P. Matysek Jr.

George P. Matysek Jr. is the assistant managing editor of The Catholic Review in Baltimore. View all posts by George P. Matysek Jr.

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