Christian child care teacher who refused to read LGBT books to children after being expelled sues: ‘blatantly illegal’

A California childcare teacher sued her former employer last week after she was fired and abused over her religious objection to reading books to children that appear to be same-sex couples.

Nelly Baryzhenkova, who is represented by attorneys at the Thomas More Association, worked for four years at Bright Horizons Children’s Center in Studio City and cared for children age five and younger, according to a complaint she filed Thursday in California Supreme Court.

The lawsuit alleges that Berezenkova was aware of such LGBT-themed material on the Studio City website of the largest childcare company in the United States, but was initially not required to read it. Founded in 1986, Bright Horizons has hundreds of locations worldwide and employs more than 26,000 people.

Barysenkova’s situation changed in April when Katie Callas, who serves as the site’s manager, learned Barysenkova’s religious objections to the materials, rejected her application for religious housing and eventually created a hostile work environment that led to her termination, according to the complaint. .

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The complaint explained how reading such books to children “would violate her religious beliefs and constitute the promotion of intimate relationships and choices contrary to the teachings of her religion” for Barysenkova, a “devout Christian.”

“Barisenkova formally requested a religious settlement from Bright Horizons in line with her previously unofficially granted request. Bright Horizons responded by categorically rejecting the request,” the lawsuit said. Accommodation can be accessed.

“Instead, Bright Horizons issued an advisory note with false statements, terminated life insurance benefits, demanded completion of retraining in diversity issues, and encouraged her to resign from her position,” the suit alleged. “Mrs. Baryzhenkova could not go back to work without housing; so Bright Horizons has finished.”

Stock image of a group of elementary school students standing around a gay pride flag.
(FatCamera via Getty Images)

The suit brought numerous charges against Bright Horizons and its employees, including unlawful retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, harassment on the basis of religion, wrongful termination, failure to adapt, unlawful construction layoffs, and discriminatory treatment.

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Bright Horizons has been vocal in its support for the LGBT community, documenting in October 2018 how their centers celebrated LGBT History Month by participating in pride parades and reading LGBT books to children. In 2019, the organization also endorsed the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal anti-discrimination policy.

Paul Juna, Thomas More’s special counsel and one of Barysenovka’s lawyers, called her case in a statement a “outrageous example of religious discrimination”.

A protester holds the shifting flag and stands in solidarity with other speakers, during a demonstration at the Ohio State House in Columbus, Ohio, on June 25, 2021.

A protester holds the shifting flag and stands in solidarity with other speakers, during a demonstration at the Ohio State House in Columbus, Ohio, on June 25, 2021.
(Steven Zener/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Juna said Barysinovka “has been operating under the radar with an informal accommodation request for several years without warning,” but “once top management found out about her religious beliefs and received the official residency request,” Bright Horizons brought against her “the full force of an anti-religious and paradoxical diversity policy” The overall company.

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Jonah added, “They tried to get her to quit through harassment and intimidation. And when she couldn’t go back to work because they refused her housing request, they fired her.” “You can’t get more discriminated against than that. It’s blatantly unethical and illegal.”

Juna also alleged that when his client was called to Callas’ office, the manager “interrogated her in an angry manner, told her that if she didn’t want to celebrate diversity, it wasn’t the place for her to work, and gave her administrative leave Mimo, took her outside with a security guard, and left her in the heat.” The extreme is 96 degrees without transportation.”

Stock Photo - kids walking in a gay pride parade.

Stock Photo – kids walking in a gay pride parade.
(Glowimages via Getty Images)

Barysinovka reportedly had to walk for 20 minutes in hot weather, waited 45 minutes for transportation and suffer from heat exhaustion for the next two days.


Bright Horizons has not responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment by press time.

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