Catholic Bashing at a Massachusetts High School

To three students, two of whom were dressed as pregnant nuns and one who was dressed as a lecherous priest, a panel of teachers awarded the prize for best comical costume as part of the high school's annual Halloween festivities.

For three teachers’ involvement in the incident of bigotry, the Catholic Action League of

Massachusetts called for disciplinary measures to be taken in a letter to the Sharon School Committee.

 In December, the story first was reported by The Boston Herald.  The following day Sharon Committee Chairman Mitchell Blaustein said that first he did not see the problem in a report in a Boston Globe story in its south section.  He said, “Everyone I spoke to thought it was funny.  No one I personally spoke to thought it was insulting, so it took me a while to realize the seriousness of it.”

To talk about the incident, the Executive Director of the Catholic Action League, C.J. Doyle, was a guest on 96.9 FM on December 11, 2001.

The incident was characterized as “an astonishingly crude insult to the Catholic religion which betrays a callous contempt for the belief and sensibilities of Roman Catholics,” by Doyle.

He stated further, “Assertions that teachers and school officials did not understand its seriousness lack credibility.  The more likely explanation is that the incident conformed to their own prejudices, or at least to the fashionable double standard which prohibits attacks on some groups, but tacitly accepts them against Catholics.  Belated expressions of regret seem to have more to do with public exposure than actual remorse.

“This episode is one more example of the hypocrisy of the tolerance brigades.  It is quite unimaginable that Sharon High School, which has a Gay/Straight Alliance, would even permit, much less reward, conduct ridiculing homosexuality.  Apparently, respect for diversity does not extend to the sincerely-held religious convictions of Roman Catholics.”

(“Sharon Schools Ignore Bashing of Catholics,” The Massachusetts News, December 12, 2001)

Back to Religious Liberty...An American Tradition

Back to American Voice Institute of Public Policy Home Page