SAN DIEGO -- A Catholic school teacher who lost her job because school officials were worried her ex-husband was a danger to students and teachers filed suit against the Roman Catholic diocese of San Diego on Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed in San Diego County Superior Court by Carie Charlesworth, who taught in the diocese for 14 years. It seeks unspecified damages, the Los Angeles Times reported (http://lat.ms/17LQ3MK ).

In January, officials put Holy Trinity School in El Cajon on lockdown when Charlesworth's ex-husband, who had a temporary restraining order against him, came to see her. Days later, the second-grade teacher was put on paid leave, then informed she wouldn't be rehired for her $37,000-a-year job for the next school year.

The lawsuit says the diocese violated a principle taught in catechism that "the ends do not justify the means."

As a religious school, Holy Trinity is exempt from certain employment laws. But the lawsuit alleges that though Charlesworth was required by her contract to follow Catholic teachings, the diocese, in not renewing her contract, violated those same teachings.

When the case became public in June, Rodrigo Valdiva, chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, issued a statement saying that the diocese "has acted responsibly in addressing the Holy Trinity School personnel matter with concern for the safety and well-being of both Carie Charlesworth and the children at the school."


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Charlesworth's ex-husband was sentenced to a year in jail for domestic abuse and stalking in other unrelated incidents involving his ex-wife. He was released in June.

The lawsuit was filed by attorney Kenneth Hoyt on behalf of Charlesworth, 40, and her four children. The children were removed from the school by the diocese when their mother was put on leave.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com