A domestic violence victim who was fired from her teaching job at a Catholic elementary school over worries about her ex-husband’s “threatening and menacing” behavior says she is being punished twice for doing nothing wrong.  Carie Charlesworth was told by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego she won’t be returning to Holy Trinity School in the fall due to the potential threat posed by her ex to “the safety of the students, faculty and parents.”

Mrs. Charlesworth and her children had been on indefinite leave from Holy Trinity in El Cajon, Calif., since January, after her ex-husband showed up in the parking lot of the school in violation of a restraining order, triggering a school lockdown.

In a termination letter received in April, Tom Beecher, director of the Office for Schools for the diocese, explained the reason for Charlesworth’s dismissal, saying that court records show her ex-husband has a 20-year history of “threatening and menacing behavior.”  “Although we understand he is currently incarcerated, we have no way of knowing how long or short a time he will actually serve and we understand from court files that he may be released as early as next fall,” the letter said.  “In the safety of the students, faculty and parents at Holy Trinity School, we simply cannot allow you to return to work there or, unfortunately, at any other school in the Diocese. Therefore, you will not receive a teaching agreement for the 2013-2014 school year.  Please understand that this was a very difficult decision to make and we are deeply, deeply sorry about this situation. We will continue to pray for you and your family.”

Her ex-husband, Martin Charlesworth, is currently serving time in the San Diego Central Jail for domestic violence and stalking/violation of a restraining order, both felonies, according to sheriff’s records.  The domestic violence incident that led to the unraveling of her teaching career happened on a Sunday in January, when she said she wound up calling the sheriff’s department three times.  Mrs. Charlesworth will continue to receive her salary through Aug. 9.

What I find disturbing about this article is that while I understand the concern for the safety of the staff and the students, the diocese has thrown this mother and her 4 children out with the proverbial bath water.  Since private institutions are not under any anti-discrimination laws her fate has pretty much been sealed.  It is a tough call either way, but dismissing her through no fault of her action seems to go against what the diocese and the church teaches.  Her only fault was marrying her crappy husband.

The other disturbing thing in this article is the total ineffectiveness of so called “restraining orders.”  They only work if the husband or boyfriend follows the letter of the law.  The law-abiding individual will not break the restraining order, but who gets restraining orders filed against them?  It is the guys who constantly violate and break the rules.  How stupid is that, and then we wonder why these guys get out of jail or prison and immediately perpetrate violence on their ex-wife’s or girlfriends.  We will never stop the physical abuse and violence, in this country, until we lock these guys away.  Unfortunately, it is usually after they have killed their entire family that they are finally locked away from society; and that is only if they have not already killed themselves first.  I hate to say it and I hope not, but I would not be surprised if this was not the ultimate outcome in this case.  I hope she owns a gun because the police won’t help her until it is too late.

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