WILMETTE, Ill. — A former Catholic school teacher in Wilmette said her career was ended because she spoke up about safety concerns and a lack of COVID-19 precautions.
Elaine Sage taught at St. Francis Xavier in Wilmette for the last 14 years. Sage said she voiced concerns about teaching in person rather than remotely.
Sage received a letter on Wednesday from the school that said that there wasn’t a remote position for her and she was being released from her contract.
Sage said the letter follows several emails she sent citing concerns about her age and her husband’s health — he’s a cancer survivor.
She said she was more than happy to teach remotely and made that very clear but she was still dismissed.
“It’s something I was born to do they’re taking it away from me,” she said. “It’s really sad because its supposedly Christian and this is how they treat their employees. It’s reckless and I’m afraid for the other teachers.”
WGN received a statement from Justin Lombardo, head of the COVID-19 task force and head of HR for the Archdiocese, in regards to what happened with Sage. The statement said the following:
“Only 17 of the approximately 600 students at St Francis Xavier requested remote learning so we had only one remote teaching position available. We released Ms. Sage from her contract so she would be free to apply for the open remote teaching positions available throughout the archdiocese. She was told that if the situation at St Francis Xavier changes or the pandemic is no longer an issue, we would welcome her back.”