Cathy Samford, 29, coached volleyball at Heritage Christian Academy for three years and was also named Coach of the Year, but that didn't deter the private Baptist school in Texas from firing her for getting pregnant out of wedlock.
It's really heartbreaking to know that I am not there, Samford said.
Cathy Samford, a 29-year-old coach and teacher at Heritage Christian Academy in Texas, was fired for getting pregnant out of wedlock. Photo credit: Screenshot/WFAA report
The school reportedly told the media that Samford, who is 39-weeks pregnant, knew the rules of her contract and ended up breaking them.
I looked it up and I was like, 'They can't do this,' Samford told WFAA. We all have different views and interpretations and it is not necessarily, I don't think, the Christian thing to do to just to throw somebody aside.
Heritage Christian Academy, according to its website, is an independent, multi-denominational, biblically based Christian school. It is based in Rockwell, Texas.
But Samford, who was also teaching science, told ABC News that she isn't some teacher who went out to a bar and got pregnant.
I was in a committed relationship the whole time and probably would have been married if things had gone differently and this would be a non-situation, Samford said.
Samford was planning on marrying her fiancé at the end of the summer. However, reports are that the wedding got delayed.
The expectant mom never thought she would have been fired for getting pregnant.
I was in shock and devastated and that's when I said, 'If this is the problem, I'm willing, and so is my fiancé, to go ahead and get married. That wasn't the issue. We were going to get married regardless, she told ABC of her conversation with the school's administration.
But for Dr. Ron Taylor, headmaster of Heritage Christian Academy, a private religious school does have that right to fire a teacher for getting pregnant out of wedlock.
The Supreme Court, as a matter of fact, within the last month has ruled nine to zero that a Christian school does have that right because this is a ministry, he told WFAA. And so we have the right to have standards of conduct.
How's it going to look to a little fourth grade girl that sees that she is pregnant and she is not married? Taylor asked.
Taylor went to Heritage Christian Academy in 2007 as a headmaster. The school's website noted that during his 37-year career in education, he had served in the capacity of a teacher, a principal and an administrator.
Taylor was a principal and superintendent at First Baptist Academy in Dallas and he spent some 16 years as Director of Elementary Schools for the Garland Independent School District where he oversaw the district's 47 elementary schools, the website noted.
Taylor told ABC News that the school didn't fire Samford because she was pregnant, but that she is an unmarried mother.
Everything that we stand for says that we want our teachers, who we consider to be in the ministry, to model what a Christian man or woman should be, Taylor said, noting that were Heritage Christian Academy a public school, things would have been different.
Samford and her attorney Colin Walsh have since filed a charge of gender and pregnancy discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They are also looking to bring a suit against the school, according to reports.
Watch WFAA's report below: