A Catholic Schools exhibit in the Massachusetts Statehouse in conjunction with the celebration of Catholic Schools Week sparked anti-Catholic reaction from the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

Doric Hall, site of the exhibit, is used throughout the year for a broad variety of displays and is open to virtually any group.

The Massachusetts Chapter of the Catholic League vehemently protested the unwarranted criticism by Steve Wollmer, a spokesman for the teachers union. A letter by Executive Director Joe Doyle appeared in the Boston Herald and an editorial blasted the union, saying that MTA desperately needed “lessons in tolerance, fairness, and tact.”

“The fact that this is Catholic Schools W eek and that Catholic schools do educate thousands of Massachusetts students (saving the commonwealth millions of dollars) seems to be lost on this small-minded group of educrats,” the Herald noted pointedly.

State Rep. David Cohen, an outspoken critic of aid to private and parochial schools, echoed the MTA’s¬†sentiments. Cohen led the effort to derail Senate President William Bulger’s drive to remove the “Know Nothing” amendment from the Massachusetts constitution.

A letter from Chapter president Dan Flatley went to every member of the legislature denouncing Rep. Cohen’s remarks. In his letter Flatley noted that “even second class citizens have some rights.”

Thomas W. Pearlman, writing on behalf of the Rhode Island Federation of Orthodox Jewish Organizations, voiced support of the League’s parental choice/voucher position. Pearlman was responding to a front page story in the Jewish Advocate touting Rep. Cohen’s opposition to any form of state aid to non-public schools.

In his letter, Pearlman described “our religious day schools” as “the only institutions that are teaching our youth values in effective ways.” He went on to endorse the voucher system as “one of the best steps in this direction.”

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