Catholic teachers should be allowed to babysit students.

Catholic teachers should be allowed to babysit students.

October 11, 2022
Petition to
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston - Office of Child and Youth Protection Kristin Eyre
Signatures: 27Next Goal: 50
Support now

Why this petition matters

Started by Jen Mosser

ISSUE: A recent change in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston’s policy prohibits teachers, staff, and aides from babysitting any student attending schools in the Diocese, regardless of parental knowledge and consent, unless they are related. The policy revision also now prohibits housesitting.

Requested Resolutions:

  • Allow for an exemption with permission of the parent or guardian, mirroring the tutoring policy.
  • Removal of the language from the Ministerial Standards Code of Conduct policy.

The Policy:

Not Allowed: “Don’t accept a baby-sitting or house-sitting assignment for any Minor or Vulnerable Adult served by your ministry unless you are a relative with permission of a parent or guardian.” (pg. 7)

Allowed with Permission: “Church Personnel should not tutor, counsel or meet in their personal residences with Minors or Vulnerable Adults unless they are a relative, or a friend of the family with permission of the parent or guardian. Sleep-overs with the child of Church Personnel by friends of a child are not prohibited.” (pg. 4)


  • The policy negatively impacts teachers, staff, and aides, who rely on parents in their parish community as a necessary supplemental source of income, in order to make teaching in diocesan schools a financially viable proposition for their families.  
  • The policy is counterproductive to efforts to build a parish community.
  • The policy will have a damaging impact on Catholic School’s rates of attrition and retention of teachers.   
  • The policy wrongly concluded that a child is safer in the care of a neighborhood teenager or a stranger sourced from the internet than they are with the teachers with whom parents have already entrusted their children.
  • The policy is discriminatory based on religion, permitting teachers and staff to babysit for those of other faiths, but prohibits them from providing such services to active Catholics who participate in their parish or in Catholic Schools.
  • The policy permits tutoring but not child care, despite both services being offered by diocesan schools.
  • There is no process for obtaining a waiver from such policy, via the informed consent of the parent, which takes away a parent’s right to engage the best person to provide childcare.
  • In addition, the policy will likely have a paralyzing effect on ministries directed to shut-ins, who are almost certainly “Vulnerable Adults”.
  • The policy is out of line with neighboring diocese.  

Response to Diocese Counterpoints:

  • Diocese: The policy is intended to prevent teachers from engaging in dual relationships that create professional role confusion and can lead to boundary violations and the perception of favoritism.
    • Response: As it relates to the dual relationship, the policy allows for tutoring and school managed aftercare. Therefore, the relationship of teacher-student and care giver – child already exists. As it relates to favoritism, teachers can have their child and relative in their class as a pupil (which to be clear we don't think is a bad thing). However, if this doesn't create the perception of favoritism, then child care should also not create a perception of favoritism.
    • The policy assumes that educators cannot act in a professional manner and be trusted to establish appropriate boundaries.
  • Diocese: Tutoring is a service provided by teachers in their professional capacity, but child care is not a service provided by teachers in their professional capacity.
    • Response: Teachers also provide afterschool care (aka Extended Day Program), which is a child care role that specifically excludes tutoring and help with homework. Extended Day Programs are SC Department of Social Services (DSS) licensed afterschool programs.
    • Catholic Schools in the Diocese provide K3 and K4 classes, which fall under the SC DSS regulations. According to the SC DSS website, “The Department also establishes standards for and licenses child care providers and residential group homes for children.”
Support now
Signatures: 27Next Goal: 50
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Kristin EyreThe Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston - Office of Child and Youth Protection