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East Bay Diocese Defends Morality Clause In Teacher Contracts

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The Diocese is defending a so called morality clause driving some teachers away from East Bay Catholic schools.

At least five teachers have already quit over the controversy, and an online petition has more than three thousand signatures in support of removing the clause.

More than a thousand teachers for the 54 East Bay Catholic Schools were asked to sign a morality pledge covering their lives beyond school walls.

“There’s always been the requirement for teachers to both in the classroom, and out of the classroom, model behavior that will enrich their students’ lives,” Diocese of Oakland spokesman Mike Brown said.

The clause was put in place under the new bishop for the diocese, Michael Barber.

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“He felt that there was a need to reinvigorate the language in the contract,” Brown said.

The clause doesn’t specify exactly what won’t be tolerated, but Brown says that being gay, and living a gay lifestyle could be allowed, with one litmus test.

“Does your lifestyle come back into the classroom, and affect your standing as a role model for these young people,” Brown said.

“It’s an individual school by school administration by teacher discussion that could be had, or might not be had.”

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