Friday, September 13, 2013

Quote of the Day

The recent forced resignations of the president and a teacher at Totino-Grace High School for being in same-sex relationships calls for the archdiocesan Roman Catholic educational institution to update the misleading statements on its website.

Its mission statement says that “we seek to provide a safe environment that places priority on mutual respect, self-discipline, and acknowledgment of our responsibility in the world community.”

Its diversity statement says: that the “Diversity and Inclusion Program is designed to both support students from culturally diverse groups as well as work with the entire community of students and staff to become more welcoming of diversity and more inclusive of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, academic ability, sexual orientation, or economics.”

Even its statement about being a Catholic high school in the Lasallian tradition says: “We are committed to create and sustain respectful human relationships in community.”

These statements are patently false and may lead parents of prospective students to expect Totino-Grace to be an open and safe place to send their children for a quality education when, in fact, the school is dedicated to teaching – by example – the worst prejudices and biases promoted by the archdiocese.

– Steven Pederson
Star Tribune
September 13, 2013

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Thoughts on the Firing of Kristen Ostendorf
Truth Telling: The Greatest of Sins in a Dysfunction Church
Church Fires "Openly" Gay Music Director

Related Off-site Links:
Fired Minnesota Teacher Speaks Out on the Danger of Silence – Francis DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, September 13, 2013).
Fired After She Came Out to Colleagues, Totino-Grace Teacher Leaves Dissonance and Silence Behind – Jim Walsh (MinnPost, September 11, 2013).
Second Gay Teacher Leaves Totino-Grace – Jana Shortal (KARE 11 News, September 12, 2013).


Clarence said...

Not long ago, the school advertised for a director of diversity and inclusion. There were several things that were striking about this. First, creating diversity in this larger community and even more so in a single, sectarian school is a big job, but they would only offer the job part-time. Second, they are a private, exclusive, exclusionary, sectarian, ideological institution: this is the basis on which they build their community. Third, they had just pushed out a stellar administrator for being one of the things/people they want to exclude. I, for one, am tired of PRIVATE, exclusively privileged talk about diversity. They can tack it on the door of an office that is rarely staffed and put it on every page of their web site, but it is worse than meaningless: it is a lie.

It is even more tragic that kids are being "educated" in an environment that is devoid of the breadth of people and realities that will help them develop into valuable community members.

Terri said...

The school can't have it both ways. They can't market to prospective students saying they are welcoming to all students, when in fact they fire their good teachers & staff over sexual orientation. I pray for the GLBTQ kids that go to Totino-Grace in the aftermath of this mess.

Jackie said...

This is a well-written letter. Totino-Grace is not welcoming to all students and I think it's a parent's job to explore all options for kids concerning acceptance and being welcome in a school community. No, they cannot have it both ways and I think that what has transpired sends a message to kids who are struggling with finding their place in life to remain quiet and to end up in fear of retribution and unkindness in a setting like this. It is exclusion, and it's a shame that there's acceptable to create the environment that fosters such exclusion and the unhappiness it causes.