Teacher Was Fired From Private School After Questioning Her Salary — Her Boss Said That God Told Him She Was Not Passionate About Her Job

She had already renewed her contract when she was called back in and fired.

terminated woman, praying man @CassidyEliseco / TikTok, Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

Rarely will you find instances where the workplace meets religion. Typically, employers frown upon introducing individual religious beliefs and practices into the business environment to avoid claims of discrimination or mistreatment. One exception is in religion-based organizations like churches or private bible schools.

A woman on TikTok named Cassidy Elise took to the platform in early 2023 to share the story of being fired from her first teaching job for an unbelievable reason.

In the video captioned “Welcome to ‘how I got fired as an elementary school teacher,’” she started by giving viewers a little bit of history. In 2019, Elise finished school and went “straight into teaching.” At just 22 years old, she had the daunting task of entering her first year as an educator during the Covid-19 pandemic.




Believing that it carried more prestige than teaching at a public school, Elise joined the staff at a private school, despite making $7,000 less than she would have made elsewhere. She stayed in the role for two years because she stood behind the school’s mission.


“The first year, teaching was obviously rough because of Covid, but I felt so accomplished,” said Elise. By year two, according to her, she was “very confident” in her teaching and knew she was performing well based on the feedback she got from parents, students, and colleagues. Still, she knew she had a lot to learn and would need to continue to grow in her career.

In Elise’s second year of teaching, her student achieved the highest score improvements in reading, and she was over the moon and filled with pride. “I loved my job. I was invited to birthday parties. I was the cool, fun, young teacher,” Elise explained of her relationship with her students.

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There were some things about the job that she did not love, but she was dedicated to the school’s mission.

After completing her second year, Elise attended an end-of-the-year meeting with her boss. The intention was to discuss how the year went, obtain her contract for the following year, and leave for summer break.


During her sit-down with the manager, she decided to voice her concerns over what she was being paid, but didn’t make too big a deal of it.

Elise had already asked her mom whether or not she should stick around because she was not getting a pay increase. After pondering it, she had decided to stay at the school for the time being and signed her new contract for the next school year when she met with her boss, before wishing him a good summer and leaving for a trip she had planned.

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The next morning, the vacationing teacher got a text from her boss, asking her to come back into the office.

“Something about our conversation concerned me,” the man said as he urged her to return to work. Because she had already traveled to another state, Elise declined an in-person meeting, but agreed to speak with her manager via Zoom, despite his preference that the conversation take place in person.


Curious about what was going on, she got on the Zoom and listened intently to what her boss had to say. He told her, “After our conversation yesterday, I don’t think your passion is for teaching, and God told me that is not your passion.”

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In response she said, 'That’s so cool and interesting because God never told me that. But that’s really cool that he’s only speaking through you because you’re a man.'

Nevertheless, the manager decided that because he had received a message about her passion directly from God himself, her contract to teach would be rescinded and not renewed for the following school year.

Elise told viewers that her mind was blown because of how well she had done in her job and how passionate she had been when it came to the students she was teaching. But apparently, the young woman took the rejection from the private school as a redirection opportunity.


She stopped teaching after that and began a career as a photographer, as shown in her TikTok video below.



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Can your job really fire you because they don’t think you’re passionate enough?

Most states in the U.S. are "at-will," meaning that an employer or an employee can end the relationship at any time and for any reason, so long as it’s not illegal or discriminatory in nature. But labor laws in the United States heavily favor employees.


There are a few exceptions to at-will terminations including Public Policy Exemption, where there is a policy in place preventing termination, a Covenant of Good Faith, barring employers from providing false termination reasons that hide their true intentions, and an Implied Contract Exemption, when an employer handbook or prior behavior indicates that an employee can only be fired for a "just cause."

In this case, the Covenant of Good Faith appears to have been violated since the termination of Elise was more likely a result of her questioning her low salary than an Act of God. In addition, she had a signed contract in hand, and given her presumed history as an exemplary employee, the school didn’t have "just cause" to terminate her.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer and author from Seattle, Washington. She covers issues navigating the workplace using the experience garnered over two decades of working in Human Resources and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.