Education

January 12
Milford, NY
 - Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a friend-of-the-court brief to the Supreme Court over the right of public schools to deny access to religious groups to hold religious education classes on school property after school. The court case, Good News Club v. Milford Central School, arose after the school system denied use of the school premises to the Good News Club for after-school activities that involve hymns and religious education. The school district permits groups such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and 4-H Club to meet. Milford’s building use policy, however, forbids religious activities and claimed that the purpose of the Good News Club was conversion of elementary school students. The Good News Club argued that it has a right to the same access as others and was teaching the same sort of moral lessons, but from a religious point of view.

January 27
Long Island, NY
 - A Catholic student appeared at a New York public high school to take her SAT exam. A member of her school’s Catholic League chapter, she was wearing a Catholic League T-shirt. The teacher monitoring the SAT exam told her to put her jacket back on to cover the T-shirt, saying the shirt was “racist” and “discriminated against other students.”

February
San Diego, CA
 - A play written by a student at San Diego State University was performed in bilingual performances in San Diego and Tijuana. The play depicted the devil trying to overtake the forces of good by posing as priests and nuns.

February
Bethlehem, PA
 - An art exhibit at Lehigh University from November 2000 through February 25, 2001 was called “Four Outside Artists: The End is a New Beginning.” The artists included Norbert Kox, the creator of the “To Hell and Back” display at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI. That exhibit featured the Virgin Mary as the “Great Harlot” and labeled Christ as the “Son of Perdition.” At the Lehigh exhibit, Cox displayed a monster in the image of the Statue of Liberty wearing four bras. Under each are scapulars of Jesus and Mary. On the torch is a rosary with a snake and the book in the hand has a cross with a pig on it.

February 11
College Park, MD
 - The University of Maryland’s Department of Theater staged Christopher Durang’s “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You” February 11-18. Representatives of many faiths have condemned the play for its vicious attacks on Catholic beliefs. The University Theatre brochure highlighted the anti-Catholic nature of the play: “In Sister Mary Ignatius, Durang shines a spotlight on the Catholic Church, revealing its blind faith teachings as an extremely dangerous influence on people’s lives.”

February 26
Orono, ME 
- According to a report in the National Catholic Register, a third-grader who wore a sweatshirt and a T-shirt with the name “Jesus Christ” was told to turn them inside out because they might disrupt the class. The principal argued that other students might find the sweatshirt to be profane.

March
Atlanta, GA
 - State Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker ruled that Georgia public schools can show “respect for their creator” and may display the U.S. national motto, “In God We Trust” on posters in school classrooms. Georgia law requires the State Board of Education to develop a “comprehensive character education program” in schools that includes, among 27 character traits, “respect for the creator.” He gave the opinion that “respect for the creator” does not endorse any particular theory of creation, nor does it “disparage those who do not hold a belief in creation.”
Kay Young of the ACLU of Georgia indicated the group would sue. Liberty wearing four bras. Under each are scapulars of Jesus and Mary. On the torch is a rosary with a snake and the book in the hand has a cross with a pig on it.

February 11
College Park, MD
 - The University of Maryland’s Department of Theater staged Christopher Durang’s “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You” February 11-18. Representatives of many faiths have condemned the play for its vicious attacks on Catholic beliefs. The University Theatre brochure highlighted the anti-Catholic nature of the play: “In Sister Mary Ignatius, Durang shines a spotlight on the Catholic Church, revealing its blind faith teachings as an extremely dangerous influence on people’s lives.”

February 26
Orono, ME
 - According to a report in the National Catholic Register, a third-grader who wore a sweatshirt and a T-shirt with the name “Jesus Christ” was told to turn them inside out because they might disrupt the class. The principal argued that other students might find the sweatshirt to be profane.

March
Atlanta, GA
 - State Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker ruled that Georgia public schools can show “respect for their creator” and may display the U.S. national motto, “In God We Trust” on posters in school classrooms. Georgia law requires the State Board of Education to develop a “comprehensive character education program” in schools that includes, among 27 character traits, “respect for the creator.” He gave the opinion that “respect for the creator” does not endorse any particular theory of creation, nor does it “disparage those who do not hold a belief in creation.”
Kay Young of the ACLU of Georgia indicated the group would sue.

March
Queens, NY
 - According to a report in The Tablet newspaper of the diocese of Brooklyn, NY, a public high school in Queens displayed anti-Catholic art in a student exhibition. The art allegedly depicts a white rendition of the Blessed Mother surrounded by angels with the word “Evil” written above it. Next to it is a rendition of a black woman with the word “Good” above it. The Tablet was denied permission from the Superintendent of the District to view and photograph the exhibit at the school.

March 20
Greenwich, CT
 - Greenwich High School, during “Diversity Week,” sponsored a talk by Garrett Stack, principal of Franklin School in Stratford, CT. Stack listed the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts as “anti-gay” and attacked the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. A female student in attendance was so upset by the attack on the Church that she left the auditorium in tears.

March 28-31
Boca Raton, FL
 - “Corpus Christi,” the Terrence McNally play that depicts a Christ figure having sex with the Apostles, was performed at Florida Atlantic University. The Catholic League protested the state-sponsored event and the Commissioner of Education for the state of Florida issued a strong condemnation of the play.

April 18
Stamford, CT
 - At the University of Connecticut a one-woman play, “The Second Coming of Joan of Arc,” was presented by Carolyn Gage. In answer to the question, “Whose God is it anyway?” the playwright responds that the saint is “the cross-dressing butch with the smart mouth.”

April
Ft. Wayne, IN
 - The Terrence McNally play “Corpus Christi” in which Jesus has sex with the Apostles was scheduled to be performed in the summer at Indiana University-Purdue University (IPFW). Though students themselves raised money for the play voluntarily, six Indiana state senators questioned the use of state-funded university facilities for the production of an anti-Christian play. IPFW Chancellor Michael Wartell defended production of the play as an exercise in academic freedom. In a letter to Chancellor Wartell, Catholic League president William Donohue noted that IPFW in its mission statement pledges its commitment to tolerance and multiculturalism. Donohue proposed that Chancellor Wartell meet with the students involved in the play to explain “how hurtful this exercise in free expression is to Christians.”

September
Westchester County, NY
 - Three school districts in Westchester County published their yearly calendars in the local paper. The Bronxville calendar omitted mention of all religious holidays during the school year. The Eastchester calendar listed Rosh Hashanah (twice), Yom Kippur, Passover and Easter but Christmas was omitted. The Tuckahoe calendar listed Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur but omitted both Christmas and Easter. Tuckahoe Union Free School District Superintendent Michael Yarzula, in a response to a letter from the Catholic League asking about the omitted dates, was “extremely angry” about being questioned on the topic. He did say however, it was an oversight and the calendar would be revisited with an eye toward restoring the Christian holidays.

October
Columbia, SC
 - The University of South Carolina student newspaper, The Gamecock, included a story about an off-campus event held in Columbia called “The Fetish Ball.” The story described in detail the sexual performances by the participants including those dressed as Catholic schoolgirls, nuns and priests. In reporting the general motivation of the event’s organizers, the reporter wrote, “The performance was directed against conservatism and intolerance, represented by stereotypes of the Catholic Church.”
The story was placed on the front page of “The Mix” section with more column space than the preview of the upcoming USC football game. Accompanying the story were graphic pictures of the event.

October 20
Beaufort, SC
 - A haunted house sponsored by the University of South Carolina Beaufort and the Rape Crisis Center of the Lowcountry featured a priest and a nun as the frightening characters. Two University of South Carolina students portrayed an “evil Father Kelley” and a “twisted Sister Mary Moore.” The South Carolina Student Government Association later apologized for the potrayal.

November 7
New Orleans, LA
 - The student newspaper at Tulane University, the Tulane Hullabaloo, featured an article—complete with pictures of sexual positions and the top places to have sex on campus. One of the demonstrations of a sexual position was called the “double ‘O’” and showed two students imitating a sexual act on the letters that spell out Loyola University, a nearby Catholic institution.

November 28
Sharon, MA
 - Sharon High School held a Halloween party at which two male students came dressed as pregnant nuns and another as the priest impregnator. They were awarded first prize by a faculty panel; the offending students received the most comical costume award. School officials at the predominately Jewish school later admitted the costumes and the prize were inappropriate. Amazingly, they said they were particularly diligent in making sure no one came dressed in a costume that could be construed as offensive to Muslims. School officials said such an incident would never happen again and invited the Anti-Defamation League to come to the school and provide sensitivity training and to discuss the Holocaust. The Catholic League was not invited.
No disciplinary action was taken against either the students or teachers involved in the incident. This despite the fact Section 26.07, part 2, of the Massachusetts Department of Education regulations says “harassment or discrimination” based on religion must be prevented and that “all public schools shall respond promptly to such discrimination or harassment when they have knowledge of its occurrence.”
We sent the school 250 copies of last year’s annual report so that the students could learn more about anti-Catholicism.

November 30
Naples, FL
 - Naples High School performed the play “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” The play is widely known as being filled with derogatory stereotypes and trivializations of Catholic sacraments. The school had no plans to put on other plays that similarly depicted other faiths.

December
Frederick County, MD
 - An administrator in the Frederick County school system told employees they were prohibited from handing out Christmas cards in the schools because cards with a Christian message “may not be a legally protected right on a public school campus.”

December
Rochester, MN
 - Two 13-year-old middle school students were disciplined following a holiday skit. Their offense was wearing red and green scarves and ending the skit by saying, “We hope you all have a merry Christmas.”

December
Plymouth, MA
 - Two ninth-graders in the public school system were told they were not allowed to make Christmas cards if the cards said, “Merry Christmas” or if they depicted a nativity scene.

December
Plymouth, IL
 - A second-grade teacher was warned by the principal not to read a book about Christmas to her students. The book was available in the school library.

December
Silverton, OR
 - The Silverton superintendent of schools issued rules that said students had to remove all “religious” holiday decorations from their lockers. Secular decorations were allowed to stay.

December
Covington, GA
 - Following a threat of legal action from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Covington County school board deleted the word “Christmas” from its school calendar.

December
Sable Point, FL
 - A public elementary school principal threatened to fire a teacher for wearing a pin that had the inscription, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.”

December
Oyster Bay, NY
 - A holiday concert at an elementary school featured students performing a number of songs. They were allowed to sing Jewish religious songs but not Christian songs. When a parent complained about the inequity, he was told the Jewish songs were balanced with songs about Christmas trees and Santa Claus.

December
Peoria, IL
 - Controversy erupted at Bradley University when a Christmas tree was put up in the student center. A Jewish student complained, leading to a number of letters to the student newspaper. Student Center director Pegi Meyer said this is the first complaint about the tree which had been put up there since the 1950s. There were neither nativity scenes nor crosses. The complaining student, Jackie Farber, said, “A Christmas tree … is put up for the Christmas season, and Christmas is a holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. There are people in this country, and on this campus, who disagree with that.”

December
Cambridge, MA
 - Menorahs were placed in student housing units at Harvard University without a word of protest. But there were no nativity scenes. Indeed, the display of Christmas trees became a contentious issue on campus. Some Jewish students complained that the Christmas tree was divisive. One compared it to “a Trojan horse,” saying it opened the door to placing other offensive symbols on campus. He specifically mentioned the swastika.

December
Lebanon, PA
 - Rabbi Louis Zivic of Beth Israel Synagogue complained that the Holiday Concert at Cedar Crest High School was too Christian in emphasis. As a result, school officials decided to no longer ask visitors to stand while the chorus sings the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah.” An official from the local chapter of the ADL, Gerrie Greene, agreed saying that it appears previous holiday concerts were “pervasively religious.” Greene noted that the concert “was almost entirely Christmas carols, most of which were sacred in nature.”

December 12
Cedar Falls, IA
 - The University of Northern Iowa hosted the Terrence McNally play, “Corpus Christi.” The play depicts a Christ figure having sex with the 12 apostles. The script is also replete with sexual and scatological comments, as well as behavior that is offensive. At one point in the play, the Christ figure proclaims to all the apostles that they are divine and then exclaims, “F— your mother, F— your father, F— God.” The character Philip turns to the Christ-figure and asks him to perform fellatio.


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Written by Bill