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Court Will Not Resolve School Employment Dispute

Former principal had challenged her dismissal from Catholic school.

Key point: A church-operated school's employment decisions with regard to faculty and administrators who teach religion, whether directly or indirectly, are protected from civil court review by the first amendment.

• A New Jersey court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to resolve a lawsuit brought by a former lay principal at a Catholic school challenging her dismissal. A number of Catholic schools reorganized into a unified school. A lay principal at one of the schools applied for the position of principal of the unified school. Her application was not accepted. Instead, a nun with extensive educational experience was selected. The former principal sued the school and archdiocese, claiming among other things that her contract of employment had been breached. A state appeals court disagreed. It began its decision by noting that "employment decisions by religious bodies regarding ...

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Posted:
  • November 1, 1995

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