A Catholic school in Ontario suspended several students who wore strips of tape bearing the word "choice", in protest of a Day of Silent Solidarity that the school was holding to raise money for anti-abortion groups. You're probably thinking it's well within the jurisdiction of a Catholic school to impose their moral values on the student body. But this particular school is being partially funded by taxpayer dollars (yeah, they do things a little weirdly up in Canada). If the public is going to fund an educational institution, shouldn't there be equal opportunity for the expression of all opinions?

St. Patrick High School, however, is claiming that the students were suspended for the way they went about expressing their views, not their actual views. According to a statement from the school board:

It wasn't anything about what the students were trying to say; it was the inappropriate way they went about it. They didn't get approval from the school. They didn't do anything of the sort.

The school also claims the protesters were punished for cursing and lashing out at teachers when told to remove their stickers. Hmm, I'm not sure I buy it. It still seems dubious that the suspensions weren't at least slightly influenced by politics.

Tags abortion

Commentarium (28 Comments)

Mar 18 11 - 8:43am
Doofus

What, exactly, is wrong with a Catholic school imposing Catholic values? I would get it if a public school did this, but these kids and their parents chose a Catholic school. Were they surprised to find a crucifix in every room?

Mar 18 11 - 8:51am
Dan

Sometimes kids don't get to choose the school they go to. Sometimes Catholic school is the only option.

Mar 18 11 - 10:29am
FT

I went to a Catholic middle and high school. I'm not Catholic. They don't force religion on you - you get study hall instead of religion classes.

If they were allowing anti-choice stickers, they should have allowed the pro-choice. This is totally political.

Mar 18 11 - 11:20am
Doofus

Why does a Catholic school have to allow non-catholic messages in school?

May 22 11 - 3:47am
Foobar

...because it's a PUBLICALLY FUNDED Catholic school system.

Mar 18 11 - 9:00am
Jessica Gentile

It's partially publicly funded. That's the problem.

Mar 18 11 - 9:12am
Publius

No problem at all, Jessica. It's perfectly legal in Canada. Get out much?

Mar 18 11 - 11:19am
Doofus

Do the partially-publicly funded yeshivas punish kids for bringing treyf into school? Oh, the humanity!

Mar 18 11 - 9:06am
LadyB

I went to Catholic school against my wishes and was made to go to an anti-abortion rally by the principal. Dropping those religious views was the first thing I did once I graduated, and I never looked back.

Mar 18 11 - 10:30am
FT

I went to Catholic schools and was never forced to do anything of the sort. Was it your parents 'forcing' you?

Mar 18 11 - 10:44am
Kel

Many of the most fervent atheists I know attended Catholic school.

Mar 18 11 - 12:40pm
thinkywritey

Yes, Catholic schools are excellent for our side.

Mar 18 11 - 9:08am
Moops

This happened in Canada, where religious schools receive support from public funding. It is not uncommon for non-Catholics to be forced to attend Catholic schools.

Mar 18 11 - 10:30am
FT

Really? By who?

Mar 18 11 - 10:42am
Moops

By the fact that the school might be the only school in your town.

May 22 11 - 3:48am
@Moops

In fact, to the best of my knowledge, that's an exceedingly rare circumstance.

Mar 18 11 - 9:12am
Publius

Doofus - Exactly. Ms Gentile appears to think that the Church is allowed to have values as long as they don't, well, really *mean* them.

And don't get too concerned about the "taxpayer" funded aspect. This school is in Canada which doesn't have the First Amendment and its inane court interpretations. Are you aware, for instance, that Canada has - gasp! - as its Head of State the (Anglican) Defender of the Faith?

Expand your horizons - not everyone does things the way we do here in the U.S.

Mar 18 11 - 9:52am
Moops

So what if it happened in Canada? Freedom of Religion is a concept that transcends the Constitution of the United States. It should be a universal human right. Heck, it's part of the United Nations declaration of human rights, for what it's worth.

Mar 18 11 - 11:02am
Brynjulf

Moops, why don't you head on over to the Middle East...

Mar 18 11 - 11:08am
Moops

What? Oh, I get it, because somewhere out there, there is a greater wrong, so we have to allow "smaller" wrongs to exist here. Gotcha.

Mar 18 11 - 2:52pm
Publius

Freedom of religion can be practiced in many ways. In your view, then, the best way is to prevent a Catholic institution from being free to express its point of view. Only in America, Moops. And your view is, in fact, a greater wrong.

Mar 18 11 - 11:29am
Molly Savard

"You're* probably thinking..."

Mar 18 11 - 11:35am
anon

Boooooooooooo

Mar 19 11 - 12:04am
NonCanuck

Er, why is a school raising money for anti-abortion groups in the first place? Or is that kind of thing routine in Canadia, eh?

Mar 27 11 - 11:35am
Publius

I'm not sure but it's routine for Catholic organizations. By definition, only lapsed, pretend or otherwise errant Catholics are pro-abortion. By way of example, I give you Pelosi and Biden.

Apr 13 11 - 2:48pm
Jayne

Sounds great to me BWDTHIK

May 22 11 - 3:50am
Guvernor

Catholicism is a cult. Pure and simple.