Female Sunday school teacher fired for being a woman

A Sunday school in Watertown, NY is now showing up under the microscope. The minister fired a female Sunday school teacher for – get this – being a woman. Maybe I’m overlooking something, but let’s step back for just a moment.

When this woman was hired, it’s fairly safe to say that she was probably a woman. Fully aware that she was a woman, the Sunday school hired her. Now, 54 years later, she’s fired for being a woman. Apparently the minister of the church is re-writing the rule book, and taking a verse in the Bible too literally.

“I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”

Rev. Timothy LaBouf is apparently confused, and doesn’t realize that this is the year 2006. The rest of the world has long since realized that women and men are equals, and should be treated as such. The days of excluding women from jobs that they are fully capable of performing as well as, or better than, men is ridiculous. There are, of course, some jobs which men are better suited for. I’m fully ready to be called out on this , but I can take it.

For example, a man would likely make a better firefighter than would a woman. Given a situation where I was in a burning house, trapped under something extremely heavy, I would feel infinitely more comfortable if a 6’4″ 240lb male firefighter came to the rescue, as opposed to a 5’1 130lb woman. No offense intended, just reality. For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t feel particularly relieved if a 5’1 130lb man was there either.

In the case of the Sunday school teacher, I hope that the church calls the minister out on his sexist choice. This woman has been working there for 54 years – that’s twice as long as I’ve been alive. She deserves respect for the job she’s done for so long – not to be fired for no reason. Sunday school is an essential part of the world today – children need as much guidance as possible, and I feel the church is a very good place for that. Rev. LaBouf – it’s time to apologize to your teacher – publicly, and request that she come back to work immediately. You’re setting a poor precedent, and setting an extremely poor example for the members of your church – specifically your students.


  1. Dea said

    August 26 2006 @ 9:15 pm

    I have trouble with the term “Cristian courtesy” being used in the service of innuendo. If this pastor really wanted to use Christian Courtesy, this woman would not have been fired using Scripture as a false pretense. The woman was over 80! They could have thrown a Golden Jubilee in honor of her over 50 years of service and retired her.

    But no, this “Man of God” chose to use a Bible passage (delivered by his wife). And then when his actions are not received well, he is snide and infers there were other problems.

    All that said, the separation of Church and State allows him to run his church as he wants without government interference or lawsuits. I, however, want to make sure that not a penny of my tax dollars are supporting this man. How can I find out if his church gets any funds from the Faith-Based Initiative?

  2. leroybrown said

    August 27 2006 @ 6:16 pm

    You’re right – if this woman truly was past the point of being able to perform her job adequately, a Golden Jubilee would have been a great choice for sending her on her way – a tribute rather than a slap in the face.
    You’re also right about the separation of Church and State – I suppose it isn’t at all illegal for him to be sexist. It’s a shame, however, and I hope the members of his church feel the same way and choose to act.

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