Orchestrating Conflict in Catholic Schools 2022

The following resources are supplemental to my 2022 (virtual) presentation for NCEA. Here is the link to watch the presentation. This is by no means a comprehensive look at controversies in Catholic schools during the 2021-22 school year. It’s not even a comprehensive look at any one controversy. It’s a sampling to illustrate the broad spectrum of challenges facing Catholic school leaders.

When presenting these, I don’t intend to embarrass any Catholic schools or leaders. I know there is more to the story than appears here. I encourage readers to read through all of these and then select one controversy from the first group of ten and read all the links provided (and even more if you want to do your own research). Feel free to use other links and controversies for your own professional development later.

In no particular order, here are the stories with the most related content:

  1. Gender Ideology:
    1. A Catholic school in San Antonio released new language in its handbook related to gender identity.  New Ways Ministry analyzed the situation. The Chronicle of Higher Education posted a story, too.
    1. Its principal resigned (link is behind a paywall). Hundreds of alumni protested.
    1. Here’s another link to the story. Spectrum News posted a short summary, too.
    1. Parents gathered to complain about the principal’s departure.
  2. Pro-Choice Essay:
    1. 2 Catholic school teachers fired over student journalist’s pro-choice essay.
    1. Here is a link to a story that includes the original student piece.
    1. Catholic News Agency story about the firings
    1. Denver Post article about the controversy. Story about a student walkout during a Mass to protest the firings.
    1. Archdiocese of Denver announces they will begin Catholic Identity reviews of private Catholic high schools.
  3. Pro-Life Walkout
    1. Students at SF Catholic HS walk out during a pro-life assembly. More coverage here; more coverage here; here is an article with a glimpse of the TikToks; and more coverage
    1. School defends the assembly here;
    1. Archbishop Cordileone penned an open letter; more coverage here
    1. Here’s an analysis (right or wrong) about the events
  4. CRT protests
    1. Student walkout over video surfaces of hate speech (next article here, next one here) The school’s response here.
    1. The school’s response to the events of 2020
    1. Criticism of the DEI efforts at the high school.
  5. Removing Mask Mandates
    1. Against the wishes of the Archdiocese, principal makes masks optional (other article here) and then is suspended. Parents protested. (2nd article here). Then he is fired 2nd article, 3rd article, 4th article, 5th article, 6th article
  6. Hazing Scandal
    1. New York Times story about the scope of the football program at this high school.
    1. Family details hazing allegations (other article here and another here and another here). 
    1. School confronts the allegations.
    1. HS president resigns amid hazing scandal People magazine’s coverage of the resignation. A TV story here and another here
    1. Letter to the editor calling for change.
    1. School hires a new president.
  7. Woke Controversy
    1. Florida high school asked to return donation because they were too woke; when they refuse they are sued. Another article, another article, another article.
    1. alumni push back over “woke” controversy
    1. School fights back
    1. The lawsuit fails (other article here)
  8. Gay music teacher is fired (New York Times article)
    1. NBC coverage here; NY Daily News coverage here; NCR story here
    1. He tells his side of the story here
    1. He has filed a lawsuit; more here
  9. Indian Boarding Schools
    1. America article about Canadian discoveries; NPR article
    1. Dioceses in US investigate their role in American Indian boarding schools; NCR article about the role of boarding schools
    1. Red Cloud Indian School is undergoing restorative justice & reconciliation
    1. Sojourners article “The Responsibility we Inherit”
    1. Article detailing the First Nations response to Pope Francis’s apology
  10. Lacrosse coach controversy
    1. School rescinds job offer after learning a coach is gay, then is criticized and students protest
    1. School hires gay lacrosse coach after initially deferring job offer ; parents and alumni had protested; another article; criticism of this decision
    1. Chancellor is deeply troubled by the school’s decisions; Benedictines decide to disassociate with the school; another article   

In no particular order, here are a list of other stories which don’t have same amount of related content:

  1. Racist incident at basketball game
  2. Snapchat slurs
  3. Principal resigns after failing to report harassment and assault
  4. Archbishop removes Catholic name from school  (another article, another article)
  5. Louisville school accused of firing unmarried, pregnant teacher
  6. Catholic school cheerleaders hold up offensive sign
  7. Boston College institutes vaccine requirement
  8. Parents withdraw over uniform rules & explanation
  9. Students assault a boy in locker room and caught on camera
  10. HS football team sanctioned over racist posts
  11. High school is sued over CRTanother article here; school responds here
  12. Sheriff investigating racist incident at school; another story here
  13. Teacher arrested for sexual contact
  14. Teacher investigated for providing alcohol to minors
  15. Ex-principal accused of stealing from Catholic school
  16. Archbishop resigns for a scholarship board and sues the board
  17. Bishop orders BLM and pride flags removed from front display at independent Catholic school. Here’s another article detailing the school’s defiance (at least initially); the Diocese criticizes the school’s response; after faculty protest at Catholic university, bishop declines invitation to attend graduation;
  18. Diocese appeals ruling saying they illegally fired a gay substitute teacher