Not surprisingly, when an individual experiences anti-Catholic bigotry, we get a call. If often happens, however, that he or she may not want the Catholic League to pursue the matter, for fear of reprisal. We respect that choice and never go forward. But we do record the incident in our annual report on anti-Catholicism, and occasionally list it in Catalyst as well. In all cases, we protect the identity of the person. We recently got a report on an incident that our members need to know about.
A female student from a New York Catholic high school showed up at a public school on January 27 to take her SAT exam. A member of her school’s Catholic League chapter, she happened to be wearing her Catholic League T-shirt that day. When the person who was proctoring the exam saw “Catholic League” inscribed on the shirt, he told the teenager to put her jacket back on. He explicitly said the shirt was “racist” and “discriminated against the other students.” She was told, in front of all the students, that if she did not do as he said, she would be removed from the class. She complied.
We believe this would make a great lawsuit. But as we said, we respect the wishes of the offended party and will therefore not press the issue. Her parents were worried that neighborhood youngsters might give their daughter a hard time; she lives across the street from the public school where the incident took place.
Nonetheless, we thought we’d share this with you. One final thought: how much do you want to bet that the bigot who bullied the girl believes in free speech for students who wear T-shirts with obscenities scrawled across them?