Kentucky Catholic School Teacher Resigns in Protest Citing Overblown Ebola Fears


Susan Sherman, a teacher who had recently returned from a mission trip to Kenya, has resigned amid swirling frustration and fears about Ebola.

After returning from a religious mission trip to the Kenyan village of Migori, teacher and registered nurse Susan Sherman was asked to take leave from St. Margaret Mary Catholic School, where she was employed as a teacher, in order to ensure she had not contracted Ebola. The school had also requested that Sherman provide a doctor’s note to prove that her health had not been compromised while she was in Kenya. Sherman felt this request was ridiculous and refused, instead deciding to quit her job at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School in protest

The school had taken the action of requesting Sherman’s leave in order to soothe parental concerns about Ebola being brought back from Africa with Sherman.  However, Sherman was in Kenya, which is in the eastern part of Africa, while the Ebola outbreak was going on thousands of miles away, on the western coast of the continent.  The controversy comes on the heels of Sherman’s fourth African trip with Kenya Relief, a faith-based group dedicated to providing relief and assistance for Kenyans who are suffering from AIDS, starvation and other forms of deprivation.

In an effort to educate parents and school officials, Sherman and her husband, retired orthopedic surgeon Paul Sherman, offered to host an information meeting covering Ebola and their trip, but they were rejected and told they would need to wait until after the “quarantine” period.  Paul Sherman cited frustration and concern that the uneducated fears of the parents were being held up and winning out over facts concerning the Ebola virus in a letter to Archbishop Joseph Kurtz regarding the matter.  He also admitted frustration with the situation, maintaining that others returning from the same trip were able to return to their jobs without any undue problems.

Kenya Relief “partners with others to make a difference in the world by sharing the love of Jesus Christ through physical, mental, and emotional aid.” The founder of Kenya Relief, Steve James, hopes this does not deter others from volunteering for the organization, especially since there haven’t been any cases of Ebola in Kenya.

Susan and Paul Sherman have already scheduled another Kenya trip for next year.


Follow the Conversation on Twitter

Leave a comment