Unmarried pregnant teacher fired from Pennsylvania Catholic school

COAL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Naiad Reich and boyfriend Matt Graboski are expecting their first child next summer.

It's supposed to be a happy time for the couple, who live near Shamokin, Pennsylvania. Instead, Reich was fired from her teaching job at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School because the couple are not married.

"I'm extremely excited," Graboski told WNEP. "It's one of the most rewarding things you can possibly go through."

Recently, that excitement has been overshadowed. For the past two years, Reich was a high school teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes.

Last week, she told the principal that she was pregnant.

"It was very apparent that she was not happy with the circumstances. Of course, her problem was Catholic morals," Reich said.

She said the principal's concern was that the couple are not married. The Diocese of Harrisburg had questions.

"If there's no eventual plan in the near future to get married, it was either that or I had to be let go," Reich said.

Reich didn't want to be fired and understands the Catholic morality code. The couple also want to get married on their own terms. Reich lost her job on Friday.

"The Diocese of Harrisburg is unable to comment on personnel matters," a diocese spokesman said. "However, as outlined in our policies, every professional employee agrees to follow the teachings, doctrine and laws of the Catholic Church as part of the hiring process."

Despite all of that, Reich and Graboski have no ill will toward Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School or the Diocese of Harrisburg.

"This is their beliefs and their moral code and what they live by and I understand that. Though I don't agree with it, I understand," Reich said.

Most parents agree with Reich.

"I get their reasoning behind it and why they have to, but I don't agree with it. I don't think it was very nice to do," Ashley Stroh said.

"This teacher is not even Catholic. I don't care if she would have been, but it's still wrong for her to lose her job," Geri Albertini said.

Reich said, above all else, she misses her students. She said she does not know if she will fight the diocese's decision.

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