Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) told CBS News in an interview published late Monday evening that she was, in fact, replaced in her teaching job in 1971 because she was “visibly pregnant,” despite newly emerged evidence otherwise.
Warren explained that the reason she told the story differently as a politician than as a law professor was because she had decided to “open up” about elements of her personal life that she had previously chosen not to highlight.
In a 2007 interview — first flagged by left-wing Jacobin magazine wrier Meagan Day, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America — Warren said that she chose to leave her teaching job as a speech pathologist for disabled children in a public school primarily because she lacked the necessary educational qualifications. “And 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.'” She added: “And I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby, and I stayed home for a couple of years.”
That account appears to be supported by county school board minutes published Monday by the Washington Free Beacon, which report that Warren’s part-time teaching job as a substitute teacher had been unanimously extended for a second year, and that her decision later to resign from the post had been accepted by the board “with regret.”
CBS news found further evidence that Warren had left her position voluntarily: “Local newspaper reports from 1971 also present reasons for her leaving the school alternative to what she describes on the trail. The Paterson News, a local paper, reported that summer that Warren was ‘leaving to raise a family.’ The next month, a story about the school board hiring a replacement said Warren had ‘resigned for personal reasons,’ even though the board had voted to ‘appoint’ Warren to the same speech pathology job that April, according to an earlier report.”
However, CBS News also found evidence that might lend weight to Warren’s claims.
Two retired teachers from the same school district who did not remember Warren said, according to CBS News, that they “don’t remember anyone being explicitly fired due to pregnancy during their time at the school.” However, they added that “a non-tenured, pregnant employee like Warren would have had little job security,” reporters Zak Hudak and Bo Erickson noted.
One teacher recalled: “The rule was at five months you had to leave when you were pregnant. Now, if you didn’t tell anybody you were pregnant, and they didn’t know, you could fudge it and try to stay on a little bit longer. … But they kind of wanted you out if you were pregnant.” Pregnant teachers did not enjoy protection from discrimination in New Jersey until the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978, and the school board was all-male, CBS adds.
Warren told CBS News: “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. The principal said they were going to hire someone else for my job.”
The “all I know” phrase is familiar from Warren’s apology for claiming, falsely, that she was Native American: “All I know is, during this time period this is consistent with what I did because it was based on my understanding from my family’s stories. But family stories are not the same as tribal citizenship and this why I have apologized,” she said in February 2019.
In both cases Warren suggested that any factual inconsistencies were inadvertent.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.