Catholic school expels pro-life student
By Matt Abbott
How’s this for an outrage?
In Sacramento, Calif., a pro-life high school student, Katelyn Sills, has been expelled from an allegedly Catholic high school. The reason? It appears to be retaliation: Sills’ mother, a pro-life activist, recently exposed a teacher at the school who acted as a Planned Parenthood “escort.” That teacher was subsequently fired by Bishop William Wiegand.
According to an Oct. 22, 2005 story in the Sacramento Bee, by Todd Milbourn:
“The mother of a Loretto High School student obtained photographs that exposed a drama teacher as a former Planned Parenthood volunteer, a revelation that led to the teacher's firing last week. It wasn't the first time Wynette Sills raised her anti-abortion views on the all-female, private Catholic campus.
“Sills, who leads anti-abortion rallies outside Sacramento-area Planned Parenthood offices three times a week, complained to school administrators last year about a classroom presentation on domestic violence, said Gail Erlandson, a theology teacher for 11 years at Loretto.
“Sills objected to brochures listing agencies that offer help for women because they included Planned Parenthood, which supports abortion rights. The brochure was later revised.
“Bishop William K. Weigand's call to fire drama teacher Marie Bain in response to Sills' latest protest has raised concerns in some circles that anti-abortion activists at Loretto have too much pull with the Sacramento Diocese's top cleric….
“Sills provided photos of Bain escorting women into the clinic in a Sept. 19 e-mail with a letter stating: ‘If the identification is verified, clearly this individual cannot be a part of the Loretto staff.’
“Bain ‘will have extensive unsupervised access to our young women at Loretto, and I must speak up or they are put at risk due to her abortion-promoting presence,’ Sills wrote. ‘My conscience will not let me ignore this information.’
“Loretto sophomore Katelyn Sills, Wynette Sills' daughter, started a political blog in March and has written in support of the bishop's decision to fire Bain.
“A person ‘who volunteers at abortion clinics on days when the killing occurs is probably not the best candidate for a position at an all-girls Catholic high school,’ wrote Katelyn Sills….”
On her weblog, Katelyn Sills has written:
“As of Saturday, October 29th, I was given official notice by express mail that I am expelled from Loretto High School. This was given completely without forewarning, without a meeting, and without a chance to say goodbye. My family is now seeking legal advice, and more details will follow.”
Those who wish to send a (polite) message of complaint to the school’s president, Sister Helen Timothy, can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic journalist and commentator. He is a columnist for and/or contributor to Catholic Online, TheConservativeVoice.com, RenewAmerica.us, MichNews.com, Opeds.com and Speroforum.com. He is also an occasional contributor to "The Wanderer" Catholic newspaper. He can be reached at email@example.com.)
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