16 November 2005

And There Was Much Head-Shaking

I normally refrain from posting anything of a political nature, because I do not understand politics, nor do I particularly care to. (Yes, I vote, but it mostly consists of frantically calling my dad the day before asking him to explain everything to me.) I have put off posting a link to this story, but I feel like I really ought to, because this particular story really galls me; in part because it hits rather close to home (specifically, an hour and half drive from my parents house), in part because it involves a school which calls itself Catholic (a creature I am very familiar with), and in part because I think the student and her family have been wronged by said institution.
Yes, I'm talking about Katelyn Sills and her family's dealings with Loretto High School in Sacramento. I find the behavior of the school to be appalling.

I wish I'd had the guts that she and her mother have during my one year as a student at Justin-Siena High School in Napa. My religion teacher that year was pretty clearly a heretic. The class was "Christian Scripture," and we watched "Godspell", "Jesus Christ Superstar" and a documentary about the 1960's in class, which rather puzzled me, as I still don't know what the cultural revolution of the 60's has to do with Christian scripture, other than being largely contrary to it. I don't recall learning anything much about Christian scripture in that class, though it was an educational experience in some sense: I learned that most of my classmates, despite 9 years of Catholic education, did not know what "transubstantiation" meant; I learned one way of being a totally ineffective teacher; I learned that there are some people I just should not attempt to engage in conversation, because it will be fruitless; I learned that Justin-Siena was not the right school for me.

I wish I'd been able to stand up and say, "This is not right. She knows nothing about Catholicism and should not be teaching religion here. And please tell the English prof who wears tiny shorts to put on some trousers." But I was too shy and just wanted to go back to Trinity Prep where I wouldn't have to put up with all of that. I am proud to say that I managed to get one word in. When I announced that I was leaving, the principle (who knew me, because I had dance classes with his daughter) asked me what the school could have done to keep me there, and to attract more students like me (probably meaning smart kids--I led almost all my classes there--or maybe kids who actually went to Mass on Sunday), and I said, "The changes you would have to make to attract students like me would drive away most of the six hundred students you have now. You might have a school with a hundred intelligent, devout Catholics, but you wouldn't have much of a business."

Catholic schools should not hire teachers who take any action that supports the Culture of Death, the culture of contraception, abortion, and euthanasia. This is a horrible example to present to impressionable children and young adults. Until the mentality that supports the Culture of Death can be eradicated from our Church, the other problems we all complain about--including my pet peeve, liturgical tomfoolery--will not go away. It is all related, and if you think it isn't, you're fooling yourself.

Katelyn, you've got more guts than I have, and I hope things turn out well for you and your family. If you're in the market for a new school and don't mind the idea of a long commute, I'm sure Trinity Grammar and Prep in Napa would lay out the welcome mat for an articulate and fearlessly Catholic young lady like yourself.

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