EDMONTON, Alberta, April 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An Edmonton-area teacher who was fired by a Catholic school board after seeking a ‘sex change’ has rejected a substantial settlement, saying it would ‘muzzle’ her activism.
Janet Buterman, who now goes by Jan, launched a human rights complaint against the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board in 2009. In September she was offered a settlement of $78,000 or a one-year teaching job. But she rejected the offer this weekend because it included a confidentiality clause that would prevent her from discussing the incident.
“I don’t want to be muzzled,” Buterman told the Toronto Star. “They don’t want me to talk about the fact that they, as an employer, claiming authority from the Catholic Church, have discriminated against me because of my medical status as a transsexual person.”
Buterman has been using the incident in her work as a political activist for the Trans Equality Society of Alberta.
The school board is expected to ask the Alberta Human Rights Commission to drop the complaint on the grounds that they offered a “fair and reasonable” settlement. The Alberta Teacher’s Association says they will no longer pay Buterman’s legal fees.
As a result, it looks as though the case will end, because Buterman says she can’t afford to keep it going. “This will be the end of it,” she told Postmedia News. “But it’s the end of it and I can still talk about it, I can still be true to what happened.”
Buterman, who has since found teaching positions elsewhere, worked at the board as a substitute teacher for eight months in 2008.
After telling the board about her intended ‘sex change’ in June 2008, they informed her she would be dropped from the list of substitutes because ‘sex change’ is “not aligned with the teachings of the Church.”
The board’s letter said keeping her on “would create confusion and complexity with students and parents as a model and witness to Catholic faith values.”