William Rearick, Schools Superintendent of the Tiverton Public Schools in Rhode Island, has banned the Easter Bunny from appearing at a fundraising event tomorrow at the Tiverton Middle School. He has also banned the word “Easter” from all school events. He told the Providence Journal that during the last year and a half, he has become “more aware of folks who don’t have a Christian background.” Taking the place of the Easter Bunny will be Peter Rabbit; children will be able to get their picture taken with him.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented on this today:

“I am astonished that Schools Superintendent Rearick only recently discovered Jews and Muslims. But better late than never. However, it was not a Jew or a Muslim who complained about the Easter Bunny—it was an ex-Catholic, Michael Burk; he is vice chairman of the school committee. No matter, I have news for Superintendent Rearick: he has not resolved the problem.

“It is unconscionable that in this day and age Superintendent Rearick would choose to honor a thief. As every schoolchild knows, Peter Rabbit stole from Mr. McGregor’s garden. To now hold him up as a role model to impressionable youngsters sends the wrong signal. At the very least, grief counselors should be dispatched to tomorrow’s event.

“There is also a more serious matter going on. The event smacks of sexism: Peter Rabbit had three sisters—Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail—and there is no historical record of them ever having committed a crime. So why were they passed over? Looks like the glass ceiling is still in place.

“We urge everyone to register their outrage by contacting Superintendent Rearick at wrearick@tivertonschools.org. Tell him to bring the Easter Bunny back as only ex-Catholics are likely to be offended.”

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