Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Warren Sticks to Story of Losing Teaching Job Due to Pregnancy

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a presidential candidate attends the SEIU's “Unions for All” summit Friday in Los Angeles Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a presidential candidate attends the SEIU's “Unions for All” summit Friday in Los Angeles
Sandra Phillips | 09 October, 2019, 18:30

In an interview Monday with CBS, Warren called being fired for being visibly pregnant "an accurate description" of what occurred.

She told CBS News in an interview Monday that she stands by her account, although she removed from her remarks the insinuation that she was sacked for being pregnant. In a 2007 interview at the University of California at Berkeley, she did not specifically say the New Jersey school where she worked hired a different teacher because of her pregnancy. The presidential candidate spoke exclusively with CBS News' Zak Hudak about that story and why it has evolved.

"I still remember that first year as a special needs teacher", she said on the presidential debate stage in September.

In a statement to CBS, the senator also explained the differences between how she described her departure from teaching in 2007 and the story she told when she became a more public figure.

On Monday, the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative site, published minutes from Riverdale Board of Education meetings from 1970 and 1971 that showed Warren was initially hired to teach part time in August 1970 and then rehired for a second year in April 1971, when she was about five months pregnant. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is using her claims of "victimhood" to get ahead in the polls, Townhall.com Editor and Fox News Contributor Katie Pavlich claimed on Tuesday. "And then a couple of months later when I was six months pregnant and it was pretty obvious, the principal called me in, wished me luck, and said he was going to hire someone else for the job".

That June, the board's minutes show that Warren's resignation was "accepted with regret". She said, "All I know is I was 22 years old, I was 6 months pregnant, and the job that I had been promised for the next year was going to someone else".

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Recent reports have cast doubts on the story, which the senator from MA has highlighted on the campaign trail as a key part of her background. "I went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, 'I don't think this is going to work out for me.' I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby and stayed home for a couple of years".

Despite the school board record and local newspaper reports at the time, Warren does have some support from retired teachers who worked in the district at the same time she did. Now, if you didn't tell anybody you were pregnant, and they didn't know, you could fudge it and try to stay on a little bit longer.

The long and short of the story is that it might not mean all that much on the campaign trail for Warren. "The principal said they were going to hire someone else for my job", she said.

Warren said she was hiding her pregnancy when the school initially asked her in the spring of 1971 to return for the next school year, according to the CBS News report.

On the other hand, a school board vote does not mean that Warren didn't feel personally discriminated against, perhaps in some capacity, from one or more school officials who did practice some discrimination against untenured female teachers who became pregnant.

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