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Catholic school principal may lose job over 40 Days for Life

Catholic World News - October 14, 2011

The board of directors of Christ the King School, a K-8 Catholic school in Winnipeg, may fire the school’s principal after he offered community-service credit to seventh and eighth graders who attended a 40 Days for Life rally. Principal David Hood was asked not to report to work on October 13.

“Certain pro-life activities are in keeping with Catholic teachings, but I think the issue here was the extension of the credit and that it wouldn’t be something that this, as a school, Catholic school, that we would sanction,” said Robert Praznik, director of education at the Archdiocese of Winnipeg Catholic Schools.

An official in Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger’s administration told the Winnipeg Free Press that schools such as Christ the King School that receive government funding are not permitted to organize such activities.

“This is not a school sanctioned activity,” the school’s board of directors said in a statement. “Students are expected to be in class during regular school hours. Students do not receive community service or academic credit for participation in a prayer vigil.”

“Christ the King is a Catholic school that follows the Manitoba curriculum and the teachings of the Catholic Church which includes respect for the sanctity of human life,” the directors added. “We acknowledge that parents are the primary educators of their children and the participation in a pro-life vigil would be the decision of an individual family.”

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  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 16, 2011 3:20 PM ET USA

    wvcatholic, The difference is vouchers go to the parents to "spend" as they wish, as opposed to financial aid that goes to the schools (with strings attached). Public school boosters have been telling Catholics that vouchers are "bad" for Catholic schools. (I hope you are not one of them.) The experience in DC shows that vouchers are clarly good for both poor students and for Catholic schools. That is why the Obama administration killed them with Dick Durbin's (a Catholic) help.

  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 16, 2011 3:13 PM ET USA

    A vivid reminder of what happens when Catholic schools accept financial "help" from the government.

  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 15, 2011 3:47 PM ET USA

    "Currently it is our understanding that this is a voluntary activity by students with parental consent, outside school hours." This quote from the Education Ministry seems to indicate that this should be a non-issue and should be lauded by the archdiocese, school and all Catholics.

  • Posted by: Canonigo Regular - Oct. 15, 2011 2:23 AM ET USA

    Since this particular pro-life activity occurred during a school day I can see why the principal should not have allowed the students to receive "credit". I was dean of students at a Catholic school where I instituted an absence fee precicely to keep students in class, not to reward them for leaving class. But firing the principal?! Weird! Just put a letter in his file expecting him not to reward truants in the future.

  • Posted by: ILM - Oct. 14, 2011 5:02 PM ET USA

    Sometimes it is very comforting to remember that God prevails in the end.

  • Posted by: wvcatholic - Oct. 14, 2011 12:07 PM ET USA

    This is why I am absolutely opposed to school vouchers. Once you accept government money, you are bound by government policy and regulations. It is simply not worth it.

  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 14, 2011 9:04 AM ET USA

    This is sad for so many reasons. It seems this wasn't mandatory for junior high students, but available to them to live their faith. The archdiocese and school board isn't backing the principal because this particular social justice issue is "political?"

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