American politician Elizabeth Warren recently opened up about being fired from her first teaching job when she became pregnant.
During her presidential campaign, Warren alluded to her troubling experience with workplace discrimination. Recently, several media outlets have questioned the validity of her claims, leading the politician to provide more details about the incident. During an interview with CBS News earlier this week, Warren opened up about the firing that happened in 1971.
Warren was hired by the Riverdale Board of Education, which is located in New Jersey, as a speech pathologist. She had just graduated from the University of Houston. She worked there during the 1970 to 1971 school year. While the school promised she would have a job the following year, they withdrew their offer upon learning she was pregnant.
"All I know is I was 22 years old; I was 6 months pregnant, and the job that I had been promised for the next year was going to someone else,” she explained. “The principal said they were going to hire someone else for my job.” Warren continued, "By the end of the first year I was visibly pregnant, and the principal did what principals did in those days: wished me luck, showed me the door, and hired someone else for the job.”
While the experience ended Warren’s desire to be a teacher, it did propel her to pursue a career in the public service. This eventually led her to Harvard, the Senate, and of course, the path to the presidency.
However, various media outlets have pointed out that Warren’s most recent version of the story seems to contradict how she told it during a 2007 interview, in which she made it seem she left the job of her own volition to focus on motherhood.
"I worked in a public-school system with the children with disabilities. I did that for a year, and then that summer I didn't have the education courses, so I was on an 'emergency certificate,' it was called," Warren explained at the time. "I went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, 'I don't think this is going to work out for me.' I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby and stayed home for a couple of years."
During her CBS interview this week, Warren took a moment to clarify why she presented the story differently in 2007 compared to now. Since joining the Senate in 2012, the mother-of-two felt motivated to share her experiences. "After becoming a public figure I opened up more about different pieces in my life and this was one of them,” she said. “I wrote about it in my book when I became a U.S. Senator.”
Warren’s most recent version of the incident is consistent with how she described it in her 2014 memoir, though in the book she admitted to hiding her pregnancy from the school until she was six months along.
"In April of that year, my contract was renewed to teach again for the next year," she wrote. "I was pregnant, but nobody knew it. And then a couple of months later when I was six months pregnant and it was pretty obvious, the principal called me in, wished me luck, and said he was going to hire someone else for the job.”