Jury rules for Catholic diocese in lawsuit where teacher claimed she was fired for being pregnant

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City jury has ruled in favor of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joe in the case of a local school teacher that claimed she was fired for being pregnant and unmarried.

The jury deliberated for seven hours Wednesday before ultimately rejecting the claims of the teacher, Michelle Bolen.

Bolen worked at St. Therese Catholic School in the Northland from 2000 to 2015. Bolen’s lawsuit alleged she was terminated and subjected to harassment after carrying out her duties as a teacher, while pregnant and single.

Church officials vigorously disputed Bolen’s accusations in court and argued her contract was not renewed in 2015 for reasons unrelated to her pregnancy.

Lawyers for the diocese said that Bolen’s contract was not renewed due to issues with tardiness, code of ethics violations, and insubordination when asked to complete a ‘Performance Improvement Plan’.

Lawyers for Bolen pointed out that she was the only teacher at the school on a ‘performance improvement plan’ and argued that Bolen’s termination was the first time St. Therese did not renew a teacher’s contract in nearly a decade.

Lawyers for Bolen said they are considering an appeal.

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