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2011-03-10 at 6:00 PM

Students sent home

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
St. Joseph FoundationGrand A Day Draw tickets are now on sale. $1,000 daily draws in November. Grand Prize draw is for $10,000. License #M738339Click Here
Alexandria Szeglet added a strip of green tape to her St. Patrick High School uniform Thursday with the word “choice” written on it and was sent home for the day after refusing to take it off.

The Grade 10 student wore the green tape in response to a pro-life event at the school, where some students wore a red piece of tape with “life” written on it and didn’t talk for the day to display their belief in the injustice of abortion.

“I respect the Catholic beliefs and I respect everything the school is going for,” said the 15-year-old Alexandria. “I wanted to show my opinion whether it was a Catholic belief or not.”

After handing out at least 25 pieces of the green tape to fellow students, Alexandria was told to take off the tape or speak to someone in the school’s office.

“I talked to the office and they told me it wasn’t a schedule event so I had to take it off or go home and then I went home,” she said. “I did it because it was what I thought was right.
 
“I think everyone should have a right to show their opinion and do what they need and what they want instead of being told that no you have to keep the baby instead of doing what you feel is right for yourself.”


While the school sent Alexandria home, her message continued to spread.

Phone calls into the newsroom claimed that as many as 35 students were issued two-day suspensions, while another 100 were sent home for the day for wearing the green “choice” tape on their uniforms.

John de Faveri, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board director of education, disputes those numbers. He said about 12 to 15 students were sent home from the school for the day while another two or three were issued two-day suspensions.
 
The students who were sent home for the day were not removed from school for wearing the sticker, but for not taking it off, he said. Meanwhile, students who were issued two-day suspensions received that discipline after they refused to remove the stickers and began using abusive language toward school staff.

“On the issue, pro-life is part of the Catholic stand,” said de Faveri during a phone interview with Dougall Media Thursday afternoon. “The pro-choice students were not appropriate in the context of a Catholic school.”



 
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Comments

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advocate says:
Maybe it is time for parents to think twice before sending their students to these institutions. How one side can be allowed and the other is censored, is not teaching them the lessons they need in life.

Furthermore, I am really bothered that this is happening in an institution funded by my tax dollars. Remove all dollars from the Catholic schools, like the other religious based schools, and make them private.
3/10/2011 6:26:15 PM
hockeyskates says:
Advocate: I agree with the first part. When attending a Catholic School you have to expect that there will be some views that will differ from the public school system. If you can't handle that, then attend the Public School system.

3/11/2011 10:10:52 AM
DM says:
I feel your pain. I feel really bothered that the lives of unborn babies are taken, and the lives of young women many times destroyed in an institution funded by my tax dollars.
3/11/2011 1:29:27 PM
advocate says:
Those institutions also provide services to help people who decide to keep the children, including obstetricians, counseling, adoption assistance and welfare. So it provides funding for both sides.

This is not what the school is doing. It is allowing students to voice their opinion for one cause and not the other.

I would feel the same way if it was the reverse. Actually, I felt the same way when the Lakehead University Student Union classified itself as a “Pro-Choice Union.” Please note that LUSU no longer does that.
3/11/2011 3:56:40 PM
DM says:
As does St.Pats. The pro-life group at St.Pats advocates also for the post-abortive women who very often are in distress because of their "choices" (which were more often than not, last resorts in the midst of a perceived lack of choices).

The hospitals which perform these abortions also refuse to acknowledge the existence of post-abortion trauma, which leaves post-abortive women who are suffering in a gap and without the proper treatment. Indeed, they fail to adequately inform women of the risks associated with abortion.
Also, as far as I know, abortions performed at abortion clinics are also funded by the tax payer...although their practice is strictly limited to abortions.
3/11/2011 5:21:39 PM
homelessteen says:
The pro life students were not voicing an opinion they used a sticker and were observing an act of silence. Maybe if the ladies who are pro choice would have done the same with a choice sticker and no words the end result would have been different. Voicing your opinion to someone who has made it clear they are not speaking as a showing of respect; seems to be a deliberate attempt to cause trouble. Having a debate with ladies who are remaining silent hardly seems fair.
American children are sent home from school for wearing the American flag on their own soil during cinco de mayo day in the states because it is seen as disrespectful to Mexican Americans. Respect is a two way street. Your pro choice young ladies were wrong for their behaviour not for being pro choice.
3/11/2011 8:58:06 PM
Colleen Martin says:
My name is Colleen Martin.

I am speaking out on this issue as it is one near and dear to my own heart. We should all be proud that we have the freedom to do so in this great land we call Canada.

Catholic schools are a privelage afforded Catholics, and many non-Catholics who chose to go there, in Ontario at this time. The particular event happening at a Catholic school was, as I understand it not a debate but a silent day of solidarity approved through the proper channels. We will never know how the school board would have handled a request for a similar day for those supporting choice as these students chose to organize a defiant protest without follwoing the required process.

The elephant in the room however is the issue of abortion.

First and foremost, there should be no doubt that I am compassionate toward women who feel they must make the choice to abort a human life due to their personal circumstance. I do not judge them as I do not know their situation. I pray for all of these woman each and every day.

Human rights and freedom are the two principles most often used to defend a woman's choice to do what she choses with her body. I am fully in agreement with both of these principles.

A woman has the right and freedom to make the choice of what to do with her body. However, that choice should be made on whether or not to be sexually intimate with a man recognizing the action may result in creation of another human life. Once that choice is made and a child is conceived, the human rights of that unborn child must be protected.

Should any of us ever be unable to speak for ourselves, I pray the person making the choice of whether we should live or die is compassionate and not solely centered on how our life will impact theirs.

Please maintain peaceful, democratic discussion of this event and the related issue of abortion. Do not become hateful, many of those who speak out against abortion may speak from personal experience.

Thank you, Colleen

3/12/2011 11:10:02 AM
New Democrat says:
Alexandria has my support 100%. The school cannot allow one side of the debate to voice their opinions, but refuse her and her fellow students to do the same.

This is a Charter violation of her freedom of expression. If the school allowed other students to alter their uniform with red tape that says "Life", there is no logical reason to deny other students the right to express their opposing view in a non-offensive, equally effective way.

The world needs more people like Alexandria and it's people like her that make me proud to be from Thunder Bay.
3/10/2011 6:26:55 PM
DM says:
I agree completely! The school should not allow one side of the debate to voice their opinions, but refuse her and her fellow students the same right. Which is why I disagree with the Lakehead University Student Union continually giving Lakehead Life Support (a pro-life club)problems with club status.

I trust then that you also stand in support of Lakehead Life Support?
3/11/2011 1:40:19 PM
New Democrat says:
No, DM. I don't support Life Support. I'm pro-choice. In fact, I once counter-protested one of their protests on Memorial. But I do support their democratic right to voice their views.

The bigger problem is the school allowing a political issue into their hallways. School should be about learning. If they want to learn about the pro-life vs pro-choice debate, fine. But either let everyone express themselves politically (and this is a political issue) or don't let anyone express themselves politically.

This school either needs to let the pro-choice side speak or not allow the pro-life side to speak. Either allow expression of any political views or don't allow it at all.
3/11/2011 5:35:40 PM
DM says:
Well, I'm very encouraged to hear that you do support their democratic right to voice their views.
I am curious, however - how do you feel about the Pride central center and the Gender Issue Center? I'm just curious where exactly you're coming from.

I guess I see the slaying of unborn babies more as a human rights issue than a political issue. Not to mention, there are many young women in the LU who are suffering with Post Abortion Syndrome who really need someone to give voice to the reality of their pain. Life Support is also committed to making the LU a better place for the disabled.

But, all that said, what is a university if not to be exposed to a variety of beliefs and worldviews?

Ah, since there has only been a couple of protestors on Memorial (I would have been on the other side), I think I can put a face to your comments. :)


3/11/2011 7:08:51 PM
New Democrat says:
It's both. It's a very politicized human rights issue.

As for Pride Central and the Gender Issues Centre, the purpose of these groups is to provide support to students of the LGBT community. There's nothing wrong with that. Now you may or may not support the LGBT community for your own religious reasons, but Pride Central and the Gender Issues Centre existing to help those who are LGBT and shouldn't effect your studies at LU in the slightest (I'm assuming you're a student if you brought this up).

I don't disagree with the aims of Life Support. If they want to attempt to make it easier, for example, for teen mothers to carry the baby and raise it in order to avoid abortion, I'm all for that. What I'm against is their notion that the -only- option is to carry the baby to often horrible consequences. Hell, I'll donate to your Project Mommy or whatever. I'll support the message that abortion is not to be taken lightly and it shouldn't be abused or done for the wrong reasons. I'll support educating women on the consequences of abortion. But I'll never support telling women that carrying the baby is the only option and try to make them feel worse for their extremely tough decision.

I don't think anyone is "pro-abortion". Abortion is a reluctant choice a lot of women have to unfortunately make. It's not something done light-heartedly. But it is a viable option. Where I draw the line is the point where the fetus can think and feel pain. After that point, it is a sentient being and I think abortion should be off the table.
3/12/2011 10:02:52 PM
DM says:
No - I am not an LU student. I was only trying to understand your point of view.
I think I see where you're coming from. As long as LS exists to giving support and assistance to LU students, you would be fine with them. So it would not bother you if they drew the student's attention to the existence of Post Abortion Syndrome and offered support to post-abortive women. Warning students of the risks involved wouldn't be an issue with you either. But speaking for the unborn you feel is not acceptable because the unborn are not students?

As I am not an LU student, I don't know - are there no groups or clubs that draw attention to any of the human rights atrocities that are currently taking place?

You said: "But I'll never support telling women that carrying the baby is the only option and try to make them feel worse for their extremely tough decision."

This, I think is actually the problem. Whereas some might think that giving plain facts about the procedure of abortion is making women "feel worse for their extremely tough decision," some others feel that glossing over the hard reality of what this decision entails is actually dishonest to women and sets them up for severe psychological problems later when they are confronted with reality and feel the gravity of their choice.
For one to make a choice information must be given honestly without euphemisms or it is no longer choice, but manipulation. In light of this, LS is providing support to the students of LU.

You said: "It's not something done light-heartedly. But it is a viable option. Where I draw the line is the point where the fetus can think and feel pain. After that point, it is a sentient being and I think abortion should be off the table."

Well, I am afraid that abortion in this country is 100% legal up until the moment the child is fully delivered from the womb, whether that is at 5 months or at 9.

The other problem is that the capacity to "feel" pain is a gradual process and there is no way to pinpoint exactly when the unborn baby is able to be conscious of the body's reaction to trauma. It is important to remember, first, that the unborn do show signs of reacting to stimuli very eary on - within the time that abortions most often take place. There are measurable hormonal responses as well as physical movements in response to stimuli. There is no doubt about that. However, some, our of a prior commitment to keep abortion legal, maintain that this alone is not enough to indicate that the baby is actually experiencing that pain. They claim that while the body is reacting, the child is not conscious of the traum by virtue of the immature cerebral cortex. This itself, however, presents its own set of problems. We can't even know for certain that the cerebral cortex is the only avenue through which the unborn can feel pain. The reason for this is that the brains of infants are very adaptable -when one part of the brain is not adequately working, another takes over its function. We know very little about the brains of infants, much less the developing brains of the unborn.

Even so, we can't really claim that the value of a human life is measured by self-awareness and the ability to feel pain. Many people are not self-aware or cannot feel pain (those under anesthesia for instance) and their condition does not in any way add to or take from their human dignity.

If we held human life in high regard, we would err on the side of caution and altogether stop killing these unborn human beings. Especially now that we have a window to the womb and can see that the unborn baby is fully formed by 8 wks and has a heartbeat jsut 2-3 wks after conception.

I do appreciate your view that abortion should be off the table after the unborn baby is a sentient being. That would be progress at least. As it stands now, we can take the life of an unborn baby at any gestational age for reasons such as we don't particularly favour the sex of the baby (there is an increasing problem with sex-selective abortions in Canada - girls being targetted - as a result of immigration),to the baby has Down Syndrome. We actually pre-screen our in-utero babies just so that we can terminate their lives if a 'disability' presents itself. What message, I wonder, do the disabled and the rest of society come away with because of this?





3/14/2011 1:52:25 PM
wrong says:
Good for you Alex! The Catholic School board needs a reminder that kids can think for themselves. The board can't force their ideas down the students throats without at least letting them debate it.
3/10/2011 6:40:47 PM
panzerIV says:
Good on them for standing up for what they believe.
3/10/2011 6:42:37 PM
Gord says:
Clearly they were sent home for exhibiting independent thought. How dare these kids stand up for their independent thoughts - what sort of lesson is that teaching our children to think independently and not blindly believe what the marginally intelligent teachers are telling them. This is a proud day for the religious right for crushing this type of rogue behaviour - sarah palin would be proud. (just so its clear for those of you that cant get it, this is dripping with sarcasm)
3/10/2011 6:43:24 PM
psmith says:
Its this type of favoritism on politics in the classroom that is just more evidence why there should be one school system for Ontario.

Other provinces have done it, so why should Ontario taxpayers continue to pay for school boards with a religious or political axe to grind (in either direction).

Google it: One School System for Ontario.
3/10/2011 6:50:13 PM
DM says:
so... in this one school system will we refrain from including abortion as a viable solution for an unplanned pregnancy in the sex-ed curriculum? Will we also refrain from teaching particles-to-man evolution? And what about homosexual sexual activity - will we also refrain from referring to that as a natural and healthy sexual alternative, seeing as how there is much debate surrounding that issue?

I wouldn't mind a one school system...so long as dialogue was encouraged on both sides of the debate on each issue. But even in our public school boards (which claim to be non-partial) this is not what we see. What is said in the classroom is most always only one-sided. In fact, a child in the public board can get suspended for speaking against the school's agenda in some of these areas. There are also teachers who are punished for deviating in the least from the school's adopted ideology.

I am afraid all that would happen with a one school system is things will go from an acceptance of a diversity of beliefs among the various schools, to an adoption of only ONE system of beliefs to the exclusion and intolerance of all others.
3/11/2011 4:30:32 PM
Kerri says:
Alexandria is my niece and we are very proud of her ability to speak her own mind. This demonstration was done peacefully and without malice unlike some of the pro life demonstrations that have happened in the past. I am born and raised a Catholic woman, am well educated. Having attended a Catholic school myself, I am appaled at the ridiculousness of this situation and the stand that the school and school board have taken on this subject when Alex simply held true to her beliefs. Isn't that what we teach our children? To have independence, a mind of their own and to be secure in all the decisions they make?
Ask yourself this question: Would you want to be the person to explain who your childs dad was if you were a victim of rape or incest? OR What if your life was in mortal danger? PRO CHOICE means just that...a woman's choice. It's not a form of birth control nor is it a decision any woman would want to make. I know in my heart and in my wonderful niece's heart that she is intelligent enough to know what is right or wrong for her own self. We are proud of her if every sense and we will continue to support her throughout her life. It's a shame that the world is still stuck in the dark ages and that a woman still does not have the right to choose...This is a touchy subject that someone thought was ok for high schoolers to demonstrate...with the advent of Facebook and social media, what did they think would happen when people caught wind of today's events?
3/10/2011 6:51:45 PM
Desley says:
Now let's be fair; there have been many times pro-choice demonstrations have failed to take place "peacefully" and "without malice."
I know of very few pro-life organizations which don't very clearly and strictly condemn violence and disrespect of any sort, and disassociate themselves with such groups that do condone these things.
Many times pro-choice protesters have also been found to assault people or destroy property.

I do however, agree that your niece should have been entitled to her point of view. I think these kinds of visual demonstrations (tape over the mouth, etc), while they do have the benefit of drawing attention, are otherwise useless. There is a need for respectful communication with faith in the basic good-will of the opposing party.
3/11/2011 4:55:19 PM
keiths31 says:
advocate,

Unless you have your property taxes being directed to the separate school board, your tax dollars aren't going to fund the school board.



3/10/2011 6:56:34 PM
jamesfrankow says:
Keith21, don't be fooled by direction of taxes. It all goes to the same pot of money.. I know I work for the ministry of Education.

As for the funding of either system. It is time during next election to eliminate the Catholic System and create one system.

In Thunder Bay alone, a half a million dollars or more could be saved each year. with duplicate cost of 2 board offices, Bussing is still not combined, Duplicate staff, just search out sunshine list Ontario and click on education: 2 directors (salaries) several superintendents, maintenance staff.
Let's not even talk about the professional development training staff, sharing of resources and textbooks, oh wait Catholic books don't publish the truth about science.

Thanks for listening to my rant

Next election vote for one system
3/10/2011 7:43:35 PM
yer joking says:
If the catholic schools survived only on municipal tax dollars I would agree with you .........but they also get Provincial monies which I contribute too and until the government refunds me the specific amount they are MY tax dollars as well. So eat your words with relish
3/10/2011 7:54:08 PM
tbayer says:
As an FYI, your selection of "seperate school board" for your taxes no longer is the driver of the funding for school boards - it is based on enrollment, therefore if nobody selects "seperate school board", they will still get their funding. The school board selection allows you to vote for that school board's trustees.
3/10/2011 10:56:41 PM
Grey Owl says:
It used to be that you ticked off on a city electoreal form which school board you want your taxes to go to and this is the way that schools were funded. So CAtholics paid for Catholic school and non-Catholics paid for Public schools. What happened over time with declining numbers of declared Catholics is that funding for these schools was being eroded. So a few years ago it was decided that the funding of schools would change as there was a crisis in how some Catholic schoos would c0ntinue to exist. So the governkment insituted new legislatiton that would have all schoold-Catholic and non-Catholic funded form the general tax pool. so in effect public school supporters fund Catholic schools and vice versa. In other words the funding for all schools comes from a general pool. Some Catholics vigouroulsy opposed this as it could set them up to not thave the argument that "we fund our own schools so we can do as we please with what is consistent with our faith. That is a more difficult argument when your funding comes from the general tax base. The other concern is that if Catholic supporters do not keep up ticking off who they are as supporters on the voting registry then it will look like their numbers are down and therefore they feel they will lose some clout if they don't appear to have a lot of registered voters. But having said that tit really has no bearing on funding because as said above the funding for all schools comes from the general tax pool. Hope that helps clarify some issues for you.
3/13/2011 11:58:19 AM
baor says:
Municipal tax dollars no longer fund ANY school system in Ontario. Mike Harris took over the funding of all taxpayer funded schools when he was in power in exchange for "downloading" other provincially funded services to municipalities, like Land Ambulance. Indicating which board you would "prefer" to fund is totally meaningless and is used for stat purposes. Each school board gets a set amount of money based on enrolment which is one of the reasons why they advertise and have "open houses" to showcase their schools.
These facts alone are reason enough to create only ONE publicly funded school system in Ontario as it gets rid of duplication AND it makes schools secular as they should be in a multicultural multifaith country.
Teach religion at home and in your church, temple, mosque, etc. Soon other faiths will be insisting on tax money to open schools for Muslims, Jews, Scientologists etc. They have already half-a**ed tried. Soon, a simple court challenge based on discrimination could make it happen so long as there is at least one precident setting faith......which there is....Catholicism.
3/14/2011 7:54:42 PM
stressedoutstudent says:
I did not attened Catholic School but I did attened a private religious based school, and while the school liked us to remeber that all children are special and that abortion is wrong, they also let us express our own ideas and ask questions. They also started that there are some extream cases like if the mother and baby will die in child birth or the baby wont live past a few hours it is consivable to make the choice to abort the baby.

I strong believe in what alex is trying to say and for the Catholic school board to send her home for her indepented though is absoluting crazy.

I belive in you and what you are trying to do alex
3/10/2011 6:58:36 PM
trips says:
the stories about the nuns controling the students with a wooden stick usually a yard long is no worse than today when a young women is hated upon because of a silly tee shirt with something non obscene on it
3/10/2011 7:01:18 PM
educator says:
Thankfully I'm not employed by board.
3/10/2011 7:02:04 PM
nicole says:
I'm a student from St. Patricks high school and i always got suspended because i choosed to wear choice on a piece of masking tape on my uniform. I dont think this is right because everyone has there own opion, and if they are allowing to have "life" on people uniform they should also be allowing to have "choice" too, and not be getting introuble for it. In an hour there were over 50 kids in the office calling home and getting sent home, because they wouldnt take off "choice" from there uniform and i think that is wrong, cause they are sending alot of people home for having "choice" on them, when they could be at school getting a education, and i believe that what they are doing is very wrong, in all different levels!
3/10/2011 7:03:05 PM
nwo says:
Good for you Alexandria, keep shouting your ideas; stand by your beliefs; we need more people like you in this country!
3/10/2011 7:04:43 PM
pecchia007 says:
What the school did is wrong... Everyone is entitled to there opinion. No reason why our freedom should be limited
3/10/2011 7:20:52 PM
jess5 says:
i am also a student at st pats. alex i give you so much credit for what you did today at school! like really who cares! what if something horrible happened to you and you got pregnant do you wanna keep that baby that you had no intension of having. and having that constanst reminder of what someone did to you in order to get that baby. honestly its an abortion i personalty would have one if my life is unstable, and the baby wouldnt have what it needed to grow up in a healthy enviroment! so alex you are amazing stay strong and you have my support 100% you go girl!
3/10/2011 7:26:00 PM
Ann says:
Alexandria is my daughter. Her father and I are raising and guiding her and her sister into formulating independent thought and opinion. Alex went to school today wearing a green piece of tape in response to a pro-life scheduled event that she knew was already happening. It was JUST a piece of tape. Very quickly, she was informed that she wasn't allowed to imply her opinion ~ but others wearing "red" were. "Pro-choicers", like Alex, believe in simply that. If a woman chooses abortion, then Alex would support that. If a woman chooses to have the child, Alex would support that too. I know for a fact that she did this not expecting the out pouring of support she has been receiving, but to just put her opinion out there like all the rest. This IS a very touchy subject with a lot of people, and knowing that the School Board allows this in their halls ... I'm speechless. We're very proud of you, Alex.
3/10/2011 7:29:57 PM
ciniful says:
As you should be! You've raised a thoughtful and responsible young lady, not afraid to voice her own opinions, even in the face of opposing authority. You're to be commended, and Alex deserves all the support she's receiving. I would have expected my teens to react the same way given that situation ... to stay true to their own opinions, regardless of the after effects.

My teens attend Churchill, but heard about this event long before it hit the news (high school grapevine). Facebook status messages alone indicate that the strong majority of St. Pat's students are disgusted with the hypocrisy, and are firm in their support of Alex and others like her.
3/11/2011 10:04:46 AM
pearlman says:
GOOD ON all you girls who stood up for YOUR rights!

It's easy to choose when it's not THEIR bodies!

/applaud
3/10/2011 7:34:40 PM
anonymous student says:
I go to St. Patrick's high school, and I'm not gonna post my point of view on here, because I personally believe that ALL opinions should be respected, however, I can say that many people who were wearing green choice tape were wearing it for the wrong reasons, and the same can be said for many of those who wore red life tape. The school board itself is partially to blame. They assign a random day to stand up for the injustice of abortion, however, they failed to educate the students of the stand that was being taken and the reason behind it. An assembly should have been put in place to educate the students before this day arrived so that each individual understood the kind of statement they were making when deciding to parade the tape around school. Many people who were pro-choice poked fun at pro-life (those who could not respond to the bullying), just as well, many "pro-life" only sported the tape for the sake of not talking. MORE EDUCATION ON THE MATTER IS NECESSARY.
3/10/2011 7:35:23 PM
ComradeLeninHiawathaZwig says:
Why am I not surprised to hear about the Catholic school board surpressing freedoms? It's a patriarchal institution with a history of control and human rights abuses. Tear public funding from that board. It should have been done years ago.
3/10/2011 7:57:45 PM
Kirstenmomof3 says:
I agree whole heartedly that the students who were standing up for pro choice should not have been suspended. They were standing up for their beliefs and for the school to allow students to alter their uniforms for pro life and not for pro choice is very hypocritical.

On the other hand thanks to the new social network Facebook, I can see how some students would have been expelled for their actions. Pictures uploaded from a students cell phone show a student with their middle fingers in the air, with the word with "choice" written on them.

Clearly we do not have all the information!
3/10/2011 7:58:15 PM
devon says:
i'm a student at st.pats and i too got suspended for two day for having choice written on my arms and i heard that only three student went home went there was at least at least ten students in one office and about 4 in the other. they all got suspended for refusing to take of the choice sign. i was told we got suspended for not having an organized group.
3/10/2011 8:05:43 PM
Spam says:
Good job!! SPAM the school with CHOICE!!
3/10/2011 8:06:22 PM
jenniferl says:
This is really quite embarrassing on account that March 8th was Women's Day.. I'm really proud of Alexandria for being such a young confident woman who understands exactly what free speech entitles her to. It's absolutely true that abortion should never be used as a method of birth control, but as Alexandria's Aunt has expressed, there are circumstances where this decision needs to be in the hands of the individual. The whole intent of the feminist movement was to give women equal rights, and since females are the only ones to deal with the issues and risks of child birth, it should not be up to a government filled with men like Harper to make that decision for us. It's scary enough to be a young woman as is, so let's not make it worse by oppressing strong women like Alexandria in the Catholic system.
3/10/2011 8:43:21 PM
speaker says:
Way to go! I think it is extremely wrong to support one persons belief. Pro-choice and pro-life are for a certain persons beliefs. There is no reason that these people should be shoving them down OUR throat. If you alow one person to express THEIR belief then the other should be able to express THEIRS!
3/10/2011 8:47:40 PM
mrpopular says:
Pro choice is part of public education, along with evolution. What is next pro devil shirts to religion class?
The school has a code of conduct to enforce if you don't like their code of conduct enroll them in public schools.
3/10/2011 8:48:52 PM
RV says:
As far as the taxing comments go - if you are not catholic, your tax dollars do not go towards the catholic school system. Only those in a catholic parish get their taxes automatically routed to the catholic schools. Those who do not, their taxes go to the public schools.

I am a non-catholic, who in earlier years attended a catholic school, and my family had to pay extra money to attend the catholic school precisely because my family's tax money was going to the public schools.

As for the comment 'she wasn't told to go home because she wore the sticker, she was told to go home because she wouldn't take it off' - it is the same thing. If she were have to have taken off the sticker, she wouldn't be wearing the sticker, so it was because she was wearing the sticker that she went home. Such a distinction is a moot point.

I'm glad to see that thunder bay catholic high school students are willing to stand up for their own personal beliefs. It made me smile.
3/10/2011 9:00:54 PM
jif says:
Wow, that's absolutely brutal. Violating freedom of expression much? What's even worse is this happened in a school, a place where debate and critical thinking should be encouraged.
3/10/2011 9:14:31 PM
pie200 says:
Maybe some of you should look into what comes along with attending a CATHOLIC SCHOOL. it means being catholic, or at least pretending to be. There is usually a general understanding amongst grown ups that you should not get into things before you are properly informed, and clearly many commenters here haven't. Opposition to abortion is a massive effort being put forth by almost all Christian sects, it is seen by them to be as severe as murder, of course there would be serious responses to her actions... Its plain ignorance to think otherwise. what would you expect to happen a liberal started ranting at a conservative party convention? the response would be no different. Catholics/Christians founded Canada whether some of you choose to remember our shared history or not.. and in doing so established that they would always have a place to be educated, its in the constitution.
There is nothing wrong with being pro-choice, but there is something wrong with going to a school for Catholics and making a scene after you get sent home for insiting an anti-catholic demonstration. If she feels so passionately about the issue she should switch to public school, thats why they are there. Public schools are the schools that have no biases, and equally support everyones freedom to choose. Of course you should expect a Catholic bias.... THATS THE POINT.
Although I'm sure much can be chopped up to teenage agnst, the students should have talked to someone a little more informed before staging such an event. They were sent home for refusing to listen to teachers and for dissrupting school, and being out of uniform... not for independant thought, common (lets try not to make it into something it isn't)


3/10/2011 9:14:48 PM
panzerIV says:
Just because your catholic doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to think or have a right to your own beliefs.

Religion for a lot of people is less important then it is in the past because they see all the 'stupidity' on leaders of these religions. This lady didn't choose to go to a catholic school when she was young it was her parents choice and even then her parent stated that "they wanted her to grow up free and able to think what she wanted".

It is very much that they were sent home for open thought. Because if you think something other then what the school/teachers say then your going against the church as well. The church is changing its accepting even more then it did in the past. A little bit of conversation shouldn't get you sent home.
3/11/2011 10:48:55 AM
Geek says:
Good call, Pie.

We all need to remember that in Christianity, life is sacred. Even that of an unborn child. And also that while the red tape was an organized event, the green tape was a blatant disregard of school uniform. I have seen numerous vindictive comments here about not teaching proper science, about pulling funding from the Catholic school board, and about hypocrisy. I find myself shaking my head. These students were intentionally placed in an institution which teaches a Christian curriculum by their parents, and now that same institution is being ridiculed for enforcing what they have promised to teach? For Alexandria and others to wear the green tape is tantamount to them declaring that murder is ok under certain conditions, and equivalent to someone standing up in Mass and saying that Jesus was a liar. Both situations are diametrically opposed to catholic teaching. As such, I feel I must applaud the school for maintaining their faith in spite of overwhelming opposition, because they are doing what is correct by their belief system.

If Alexandria's parents are opposed to the action taken, then their only recourse would be to remove their daughter from the Catholic system and place her in the public education system.

Again, comment Pie.
3/11/2011 11:26:43 AM
Sharkey says:
"The students who were sent home for the day were not removed from school for wearing the sticker, but for not taking it off."

That is just adorably pedantic.
3/10/2011 9:20:13 PM
Sanchez says:
I wouldn't consider myself an abortion supporter, however I defiantly support free speech and equality. I can't believe you are being treated like this in a publicly funded school. Don't give up, and don't forget about this when when you reach voting age!
3/10/2011 9:27:04 PM
SPHSalum says:
As a former student and someone who once called the Bishop out in response to his offensive letter to the editor on how only 2 parent house holds are proper and right. I am overjoyed and proud of this girl and her classmates - they give me hope for the future that we can kick out the crutch of religion from under the arms of oppressors world wide.
There are no words just pride!
3/10/2011 9:35:11 PM
jest4fun says:
"The students who were sent home for the day were not removed from school for wearing the sticker, but for not taking it off, he said."

So... they weren't sent home for wearing the sticker, but instead they were sent home for not being good little sheep and doing what they are told to do.

The hypocrisy of the Catholic church continues.
3/10/2011 9:44:19 PM
eddylives says:
I have to laugh at how one episode of the family guy hit the nail on the head with the statement "do as I say or I will hurt you".
In reference to a religion.
They are just showing these students how the real world works sometimes with the unfair rules , regulations , laws and general attitude of some.
3/10/2011 9:45:31 PM
LynZee says:
Congrats to Alexandria for standing up for her beliefs and to all of the other model students who did the same regarding pro-choice. I'm a graduate of St. Pats (2005) and I am so disappointed to say I went to school in a catholic system. We never received real sexual education; we were taught the rhythm method in grade 12.

I can respect that people have strong beliefs, but at the same time, the city, province and country as a whole has to understand that a good portion of students do not hold the same belief system as the catholic school teaches.

Parents choose catholic schools thinking that they are better for their children, but when you look at stories such as this, you really have to wonder what makes these schools so much better? Your children are being scolded and sent home for wearing a piece of tape on their clothes that states their beliefs. What are they going to send the kids home for next?
3/10/2011 9:46:58 PM
Teacher88 says:
I really do think that freedom of speech is important, but we have to remember that the part of the principal's job is to make sure that the standards of the Catholic school system are upheld. If he has let this go on, he could have been fired. I think that if this student feels that strongly about the issue she should voice her opinion in the community in general and attend a public school. Saying that abortion is ok is basically saying that she doesn't believe in a huge part of Catholicism and if that is the case, why would she want to attend a Catholic school in the first place? I'm also not sure if at that age she really understands what abortion entails. There are huge emotional consequences for young girls who go through with this that last a lifetime. It is much more healthy for everyone in every way for the girl to give the child up for adoption. I know that there are certain circumstances where there is no other choice but usually it is just a quick fix. My main point is that I hope that this student has all the facts and is able to answer the tough questions before she decides to become a public figure for the pro-choice community. I also think that if you don't agree with the Catholic beliefs then you should not attend a Catholic school.
3/10/2011 10:06:39 PM
tannharr says:
Over the past few years, the Catholic School Board, in Thunder Bay anyways, has seen a huge increase in enrolment. Yet, the Catholic church has seen a significant DECREASE in avid followers. This makes me believe that non-catholics, or children baptised catholic, but have evolved to make their own decisions about their faith, are still attending Catholic schools.

While Alexandria may be attending a Catholic school, she obviously doesn't agree with EVERYTHING they are about. Just as I may be a Liberal supporter, yet may not agree with every single issue they support or don't support.

I feel freedom of expression and woman's rights come way above religion. In face, any right, especially human rights, are above religion.
3/11/2011 4:39:46 PM
ciniful says:
"The students who were sent home for the day were not removed from school for wearing the sticker, but for not taking it off, he said."

Did you likewise expect the "life" stickers to be removed? No, of course not.

This is absolutely disgusting. The entire purpose of high school is to educate these kids to be able to think for themselves. When they try to do it, they are punished.

And, I don't much care what the administrator says. The students are saying it was many more kids than is being advertised.
3/10/2011 10:14:38 PM
hockeyskates says:
For the record: I am Pro Choice, BUT

Having said that, just remember that one reason why a lot of non Catholics send their kids to Catholic Schools is for the discipline and moral standards that are largely absent in the public school system.

You can't have it both ways folks. The RC Church and its followers have opposed abortion from the get go. That is their right, and it is not illegal for them to oppose the practice. If you are going to enrol in the Catholic system, you have to expect a point of view that may differ from a secular education.

If you can't accept that perhaps the best thing to do is to transfer to a Public High school.





3/10/2011 10:15:52 PM
baor says:
Then the catholics should fully fund their own schools without the rest of the taxpaying citizens chipping in for something they may or may not believe in. As an athiest why should one cent of my tax money go to fund a Roman Catholic school system? Each board is funded on enrollment equally. To say that the Catholic Board has higher "discipline and moral standards that are largely absent in the public school system" is a big giant pile of horse crap and an insult to the MAJORITY of students, teachers, parents and administators in this province. Catholics are not the only people who can teach their children right from wrong. There are very few catholics in Japan. It has a crime rate half of ours.
3/14/2011 8:12:41 PM
local girl says:
As they say, "well behaved women seldom make history". Alex has shown that you can shout it loud and proud OR make a giant impact silently. I think we have a future leader here!
3/10/2011 10:17:58 PM
tannharr says:
I completely understand that the Catholic School Board upholds a strict dress code for it's students. This would be the main reason why the students were suspended and/or sent home.

If this was a school organized event, then a similar event should take place either on the same day, or different days, to allow the students to freely express their opinions. If the pro-life group were given permission, so should the pro-choice group. Did Alexandria ask permission from the principal? If so, was she turned down, and why?

Congrats to the students who stood up for their rights to freedom of speech and expression. This shows to me that the Catholics are still not open to opinions that are not their own.
3/10/2011 10:23:13 PM
DerbyGirl says:
I was raised Catholic and currently have two young children attending a public elementary school. Up until this article I was considering enrolling them in the Catholic system. Now I plan to keep them right where they are - a school that allows them, even at their young ages, to express their individual ideas and beliefs! Thank you for reminding me why I no longer practice Catholicism.
3/10/2011 10:40:27 PM
Ranma says:
I just hope that the people in power realize that this story has made it to the front page of reddit. The WHOLE WORLD knows about what has happened and on how backwards this was handled. Congratulations. You thought you were only sending some kids home to save face, instead you have shown the world just how ignorant and backwards you are.
3/10/2011 10:51:42 PM
compassn says:
I think that if Alexandria is opposed to the school she attends and the faith she is being raised in, that she should re-evaluate her place in it and possibly leave.
I am not religious,but it does seem wrong to take advantage of the superiour education provided by the Catholic School system,partake in it's philosophy and therefore calling oneself a "Catholic" and yet oppose one of it's most fervant beliefs?
Sounds a little hypocritical to me.
3/10/2011 11:06:30 PM
trueself says:
Peaceful protestors in other parts of the world are currently being killed for standing up for their rights. Shame on you St Pats for trying to quash the independant thoughts of expression of the youth in your care.
3/10/2011 11:18:45 PM
housvale says:
I'm behind ya, Alexandria!
3/10/2011 11:22:22 PM
Nitesky says:
It is not popular to do the right thing.
Right is right and wrong is wrong.
The world only wants to lord over the Catholic Church and this is one way they are attempting to do just that. These people were aware of the consequences of their actions and so were there parents when they enrolled their children in the Catholic school system. You want to think like the rest of the world then go to a public school and be "enlightened"
"Ask yourself this question: Would you want to be the person to explain who your child's dad was if you were a victim of rape or incest?" or would you commit murder to avoid answering a simple question?
3/10/2011 11:28:37 PM
george2000 says:
choice is a Canadian right to have, not a political statement to make within a CATHOLIC SCHOOL. If this young lady wishes to express her beliefs, then do so in a differnt public school not one dedicated to the catholic religion. This is not about religious versus public schools, this is about an institution placing rules and regulations forward that were intentionally targeted. Did her parents know this was a catholic school. Could this child not have gone to Westgate or Churchill. But her statement would not have generated any publicity there would it.

Is this another example of "yes I will accept your rules when I enter and then tell you that I will not obey them once I am in"

Everyone feels they are "entitled" to say and do what they want and in my view it is this that is minimizing the country. You can practice whatever belief you wish but within those walls of the school you conform to the rules or you are free to leave. No one is forcing you to attend there. Should the school be the one to change. Should this young lady be allowed to wear this sign in a Church while accepting communion. Is that what you people are fighting for. Should hundreds of millions of catholics change their views because you people want to support this.

I am not taking the side of pro life or choice. But I did notice the justification for choice was the rape and incest victim comment and while it does happen it is not that common. So is it not possible that abortion is being used for birth control.

I have a problem that allows any woman the complete and total right to decide on abortion or keeping the baby while denying any rights for the man except having to pay. But that can be for another day. I figure I am already going to hear it from everyone on the first part of the posting.
Next you people will start asking Priests to visit woman in hosptial who were there having an abortion or teaching other items that go against their religious beliefs. The scary part is that you folks don't see how messed up that idea is.

The Public system is available. If you do not like what the catholic school is teaching, then leave. That is the freedom you have, not to say and do whatever you want whenever you want. That type of system which has never existed, would allow 10 year olds to drive and five year olds to drink or anyone to walk down the street carrying a gun. Rules are in place for a reason. You don't like them, go where you can fit with the rules that do exist.

3/10/2011 11:47:19 PM
pieislandrefugee says:
I agree George. but its perfectly legal to carry a gun while walking down the street.
3/11/2011 10:59:07 AM
lexicon_devil says:
@ advocate.

I want to point to the word censorship. Lakehead University and many other campuses across the country have banned anti-choice groups. This strikes me as a move on their side as a calculated move to censor the pro-choice movement, not just some random event.

I'm a strong believer that freedom of speech means the freedom of those you disagree with to speak. Anyone who thinks otherwise does not believe in freedom of speech.

I feel the catholic school board has the right to allow a pro-life group to exist in their school, I do however think that they have no right to censor the other side, let alone send kids home for believing women have a right to choose what they do with their bodies.

If students on both sides had THE FREEDOM TO MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES. I bet there would have been no issue. Hostilities between ideological, moral and religious beliefs are only aggravated by attempting to shut one side up.

I bet we wouldn't be talking about abortion if those students could wear their pieces of tape.
3/11/2011 12:40:39 AM
advocate says:
I agree with you. It was wrong when LUSU censored Pro-Life and declared itself a "Pro-Choice Union" and it is wrong when this instituion suspends teenagers for promoting Pro-Choice when it allows others to promote Pro-Life.

A wrong is a wrong, no matter if you agree with the view or not.
3/11/2011 4:07:08 PM
dzels says:
all this being said, this is a Catholic school. You may say all these things about expressing your own opinion and whatnot, but the reason Catholic schools exist is so families can send their children to schools where they will be raised in an environment that promotes the beliefs of the Catholic Church. If a student is disrupting these beliefs or acting in a way that is contrary, the school board is more than within their right to discipline them. After all, they are more than welcome to attend to the local public board schools. Either acceptt the Catholic beliefs, or go to a public board.....it's a pretty easy choice.
3/11/2011 2:21:48 AM
icelady says:
In all honesty, what is the fuss about? If you send a child to a Catholic school, then wouldn't they adhere to Catholic principals and practices? You can hardly expect the school to operate against the Catholic church.

Would you send your child to a school directed by the Muslim faith and then be angry that the women covered their heads?

Absurd if any of you here expect the Catholic School Board to rebel against their own church and beliefs.

If you want a more liberal approach to teaching then keep your children in the public school system.

As much as you don't want to hear it, the Catholic School system has a right to practice their ways in accordance to the church.

Seriously people, you don't sign up for a hockey team and expect to play baseball!

The students violated the rights of the school and have offended people and should be sent home. GO TO PUBLIC SCHOOL! If this happened there, I would raise cain myself....

*sighs
3/11/2011 3:54:41 AM
baor says:
I agree totally. However, why do the rest of the taxpayers, the majority I might add, have to fund the Catholic board? The municipal tax based funding systems are lonnng gone. *sighs
3/14/2011 8:19:51 PM
tsb says:
Political opinions should not be forced on students attending a publicly-funded institution. I don't care if it is pro-choice or pro-life, Catholic or Public, this kind of treatment of our children is simply wrong and should not be tolerated.

It is time for Ontario to do what Manitoba did in the 1890s: Abolish the separate Catholic school boards. If Catholic parents want their kids to be involved with religion, they can send them to Church on Sunday.

Religion DOES NOT belong in the classroom, and forcing an opinion on students or punishing them for expressing an opinion is clearly a violation of Charter Rights.
3/11/2011 5:06:46 AM
oookkk says:
I find it interesting that the women who attend this school who have had a baby are segregated from the rest of the student body and are required to take classes in a basement classroom. Granted they are able to have the babies with them, they do not have the option to attend school functions and assemblies. Sad that they have to loose that CHOICE too. Why not just offer an onsite daycare to encourage these students to finish their education, instead sweeping them into the basement and completely segregating them from what they rightfully deserve, especially after following the Catholic stance on prolife? Not overly encouraging if you ask me...
3/11/2011 6:49:11 AM
DougMyers says:
As someone who had a family member use this program I find your comment disgusting and without fact. That program is in place so that these young women can continue their education. They are not forced into this program. Should they choose to continue regular clasroom study they can. Should they choose to stay with their babies they can enter this program and continue towards their OSSD. Get your facts straight before you begin to comment.
If you would like to pay for onsite daycare I am sure those young ladies would very much appreciate your efforts but would likely choose to stay with their babies in this great program.
3/11/2011 1:36:47 PM
JM says:
I was a student at St. Pat's High School 15 years ago. Back then, we didn't have to wear school uniforms. I remember one year we had a Valentines Day Semi-Formal Evening Dinner/Dance at separate location in Thunder Bay. The teachers that were there sent a group of kids home for wearing Semi-formal clothing that according to the teachers wasn't "formal" enough. I don't recall the exact outfits, but these kids had a style that I guess you could call "goth". One of the boys was wearing a plaid style suit, the girls were indeed wearing dresses. I couldn't and still can't understand how a school that is supposed to promote loving thy neighbor and respecting differences can make a judgment about the differences between a solid colored suit and a plaid one. Obviously the school has not changed much in the 15 years since I have left. What a disappointment that in this day and age we still have establishments that promote such archaic ways of thinking.
3/11/2011 7:53:22 AM
double-dion says:
These are students of a Catholic school. Why are these beliefs being "forced" on them? Because the school is what its name would indicate....Catholic. The beliefs are ment to be shared by the school as a whole, that is why students should be attending these schools. To get a faith based education along with like-minded classmates. If what this student did goes against what the school stands for then the school needs to stay true to their beliefs.
3/11/2011 7:58:26 AM
Zeppelin says:
I attended St Pats only a few years ago, and I seem to remember it a very different place as far as tolerance of beliefs goes. Sure I would get sent home occasionally for wearing sweat pants, but nothing like this!
In religion class we actually had a debate on this exact issue. The class was split in half based on their stance, and it was an intense, real debate. We were not held back, we were encouraged to take a stance regardless of what side we were on. This was all part of that class while I was at the school, learning about different catholic beliefs along with other religions AND form our OWN opinions about them. How else can you learn to understand and repsect others beliefs if you have no knowledge of them or reasons why? No one should be forced to conform to one strict set of ideals regardless of what is falsey considered "appropriate" at the school. What is going on here is scarey, if students are basically forced to be pro-life, or shut up, whats next? How far can you push these kids before its too far?
This is wrong. This is the exact opposite of what your students should be learning at this point in there lives.
Go Alexandra, and all of the other students who stood up! I would have been right there with you!
3/11/2011 8:25:30 AM
redgreen19 says:
A lot of parents I know (some non-Catholic)send there kids to the Catholic school because they believe with the Catholic perspective to education the school is safer and the kids will have a better morale compass coming out of this system. Regardless of the funding formula, it's there school, there rules. I would think they knew that going in. And before you think about removing the funding, ask the parents of the offended students if they would go along with that idea. Just some ideas to dwell on. Just so you know, my kids go to public school and I'm OK with that.
3/11/2011 8:35:24 AM
Centrist says:
Does anybody else see the problems with the following statement?

The students who were sent home for the day were not removed from school for wearing the sticker, but for not taking it off, he said.

It's not that you were wearing the sticker that is the issue... but instead, that you wouldn't take it off. Then why does he go on to say "in the context of a Catholic school it's not appropriate"... so it WAS because they were wearing the sticker in the first place.

The catholic school board should release a statement where they stand on the issue or freedom of speech because that is the issue here. If they advocate for free speech then this never would have happened.
3/11/2011 9:07:08 AM
blue says:
This is just another example of the modern Catholic Schools being no further advanced than the residental schools of the past. It's time to seperate religion from education.Good work Alexandria
3/11/2011 9:12:29 AM
GirlGone says:
Alexandria has the right to her own freedom of thought and opinion but also the absolute right to dominion over her own body... as does every woman. Anything else would amount to slavery.

Religion is about brainwashing, NOT education.
3/11/2011 9:23:33 AM
sadiegirl says:
Alexandria, you are an amazing girl, and I hope you always stick to your own opinions. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

That being said, I did attend St. Patricks a few years back, and I can tell you without a doubt that the only reason they were sent home was because they are breaking the uniform code. The staff of St. Patricks are very understanding people, and realize that everyone has a different situation. They were always willing to help out, and let you know the choices you do have. If you were dead-set on getting an abortion, they would help you deal with the emotional and mental aspects of it. If you didn't, they would still support you.
3/11/2011 9:28:19 AM
Pandora says:
I believe you still have the option, you have a choice, of what school board your tax dollar goes to.
Born and raised a Roman Catholic I felt the Catholic Church needed to own up, stand up and do right, when I realized they had no intention of change, I switched from Separate to Public support with my tax dollar.
They would get the message pretty quick if people decided it was time for change.
3/11/2011 9:52:21 AM
louise geddes says:
Alexandria has always shown maturity and common sense in her beliefs. These students are being unfairly treated. The school officials need to apologize and realize more of our young people will challenge the Catholic Church's archaic beliefs. Good for you Alex!
3/11/2011 9:54:21 AM
wendy says:
Dear Jodi,

Thanks for your courage and inspiration. It is wonderful to see a thoughtful young woman exercise her rights. Your story is now posted on Action Canada for Population and Developments facebook page.

I urge you to continue to your work on behalf of the women who need such suppport.

Want to do more? try a fundraiser bowlathon....



I wish you were in Ottawa...I would ask you to be on my team!!

Stand tall!
3/11/2011 9:55:17 AM
AlexandraCalnan says:
Well this is a lovely little piece, unfortunately all of the pro life students had taken a vow of silence and couldn't comment, but they weren't asked regardless.

This wasn't a matter of free speech or the right to choose. The silent day of solidarity is a student run event that has been going on for the last four years, admin approved it months ago. All students must have the approval of admin before altering their uniforms. As lovely as this article makes the green tape fiasco seem, these students were sent home for being aggressive and failing to comply with the school's rules. As the founder of the silent day of solidarity in saint patrick's, I rushed to the school to find out what was going on. Four different pro life students told me that they felt unsafe and threatened by the students, the chaplain told me that two or three green-tape-wearing students entered her office and mocked her. This isn't free speech or clean debate, it's immature backlash politics and has no place in an institution of learning. Many students did debate in a clean and honest fashion, but these were not the students who were sent home.

This article also fails to mention that the silent day of solidarity is a fundraising event. Students obtain pledges and stay silent for the day. This is one of the pro-life club's most significant fundraisers that goes towards events such as the march for life excursion and supplies for project mommy, a drive for baby supplies that are then assembled into care packages and given to the young parents in the school's maternity program. Because of this fiasco I highly doubt that admin will permit silent day next year. So Alexandria, congrats, your voice has been heard, but at the expense of a lot of people who are in need.
3/11/2011 9:55:49 AM
wrong says:
What a hypocrite! You did the EXACT same thing with life support (fought to present a counter argument that you thought was being supressed). How can you honestly say that this was any different? Because it's choice? Pro-life groups are NOT always the victim!
3/11/2011 6:21:11 PM
jonp says:
Thank you Alex for your comment, amongst the anger driven comments your's seems to be one of the only rational ones. I completely agree with you isn't it funny how they don't talk about the fact that it was a silent demonstration therefore the pro-life group could not comment.

Now while I respect Alexandria for expressing her opinion that was neither the place nor the time, Like Alex said the group with life on their uniforms received the admins. permission first now had these students who were sent home gotten permission we probably wouldn't be reading this article.
3/11/2011 11:50:24 PM
eddylives says:
Ok......where is the comment I placed last night?
Either there is a problem with posting or the censorship is flaring up here again.....
Everything posted here so far touches on what I posted except for the fact that these students are learning one of many hard lessons in life right now.
3/11/2011 10:10:08 AM
eddylives says:
It is a really strange thing going on here....
"do as I say or else" should have gone away a long time ago.....
3/11/2011 10:13:01 AM
wcruz00 says:
If you claim to be a Catholic and attend a Catholic school you are telling the world that you are in communion with all the teachings of the faith. If you are not happy in the faith and have a hard time believing in the teaching of the church, maybe its time you realize that you are not a Catholic. It is time, especially now that lent is upon us, to once again learn our faith. Remember that Jesus was not very popular with his teachings. Its time that we Catholics have the moral courage to stand up and defend our faith.
What the school did was right, as it was not it teachings of the faith. If she has a problem with the faith, maybe she should be attending another school. After reading all the responses I was surprised to see no one defended the school. Well I as a Catholic, who firmly believe in the teachings of the church, do defend their decision. I would rather put my belief in church that in the wisdom of man. Come on Catholics stand up and be counted, and remember to pray for our mislead and misguided members.
3/11/2011 10:28:39 AM
ComradeLeninHiawathaZwig says:
"Come on Catholics stand up and be counted, and remember to pray for our mislead and misguided members."

In Catholic babble, this means "No, you're wrong! If you disagree with us, you are mislead and misguided despite the fact we have no evidence on our side!"

"Its time that we Catholics have the moral courage to stand up and defend our faith."

Will that be with torches or pitchforks? Sorry, just that throughout history, Christians tend to use either of these methods to 'defend the faith'.
3/11/2011 4:32:01 PM
blind willie says:
Although I respect the children for standing up for there beliefs and not cowering under pressure,they should realize that they are disrespecting the core beliefs of their school and church. If this is important to them they should consider switching schools as changing Catholic doctrine may be more difficult. This might have an effect on there policies.Look what happened to the catholic church and the birth control pill in the 60's. I also agree there should be one school board free of religion as there would be more money spent per child thus giving them a higher quality education.
3/11/2011 10:40:09 AM
Ann says:
I must concede that some of the previous posts from Catholic Teachers does momentarily carry some merit. If you want to attend a Catholic School - then just "go with the flow" darn it! And just believe what we tell you to believe! (insert sarcasm here)
The Catholic Religion and Pro-Choice are NOT mutually exclusive. If people would start understanding this, this would be a non-issue.
3/11/2011 11:40:05 AM
SNHW says:
Congratulations to the young people at St. Patrick’s who opposed the campaign against women’s reproductive choice. They are not alone. Catholics for Choice Canada, part of the world-wide organization Catholics for Choice is a founding member of Abortion Rights Coalition Canada. CFCC is comprised of people who believe that the law of the Catholic church has given its members the right and the responsibility to follow their conscience on moral matters, even when it conflicts with church teaching. The use of artificial birth control and the decision to obtain an abortion can both be moral choices. Women can be trusted to make decisions that support the well-being of their children, families and society and that enhance their own integrity and health. And a Catholic who believes that abortion is immoral in all or most circumstances can still support its legality. According to CFFC-Canada, "We live in a pluralistic society, and as Catholics we do not want to attempt to impose our beliefs on other right-thinking people."

Really, public funds shouldn’t be contributed to school boards that actively support the denial of the basic right of a woman to control of her body.
3/11/2011 11:48:30 AM
SPHSalum says:
I agree with a few of you- I assure you it was NOT a better education- There is a reason why there are not demands for Catholic Post Secondary Education because once we are old enough to think for our selves - we wouldn't choose it. These kids only go there because their parents make them or they are following their life long friends - all of you who think they are following their faith need to give your heads a shake. I would hope they move schools to bankrupt your board that will stop the madness wouldn't it.
3/11/2011 11:54:37 AM
RandyKingston says:
Who are the adults and who are the children...? This was handled so poorly when it could have been a teachable moment. Instead of explaining why Catholics are so opposed to abortion and listening respectfully to all opinions. Schools should be “safe zones” for respectful dialogue, speech, sharing, learning and challenging wide-held beliefs… and if wearing green tape was so wrong on the uniform... then, too, was wearing red tape.

And while these students are sent home for voicing opinions in a free country 30,000 Canadian children are in foster care waiting for loving homes…

I am a Catholic…and I’m wondering when my Church and faith became so fragile that instead of teaching children… they are admonished and sent home…
3/11/2011 11:55:30 AM
SPHSalum says:
I agree with a few of you- I assure you it was NOT a better education- There is a reason why there are not demands for Catholic Post Secondary Education because once we are old enough to think for our selves - we wouldn't choose it. These kids only go there because their parents make them or they are following their life long friends - all of you who think they are following their faith need to give your heads a shake. I would hope they move schools to bankrupt your board that will stop the madness wouldn't it.
3/11/2011 11:56:54 AM
standswithpitchfork says:
You have a catholic school that is suposed to be teaching tolerance, and in a way it does. It has a class devoted to teaching the basis of other religions so the kids will be tolerant of them. But in this case the school administration decided to be intolerant of the kids opinions surrounding abortion. They should have never asked the kids to remove their stickers who in the beginning were quitly showing along with the pro life kids their support. I certainly hope the parents of the children sent home rally around their kids and demand an appology for the intolerance for their childrens and likely familys position on the matter.
3/11/2011 12:01:28 PM
jafo says:
Question for those who think St. Pat's had the right to silence the Pro-Choice students:

Should the school be allowed to hunt out and expel it's gay/lesbian students next?
3/11/2011 12:33:50 PM
tbayheart says:
If one of my best friends had an abortion, I would be there for her. I would hold her hand, support her choice, no questions asked. I would NEVER make a friend go through that alone, so if that makes me a bad person, so be it. I am PRO-CHOICE because I believe that every woman has a choice & a voice to stand up for themselves & what they feel is right. I would never judge anyone who has resorted to abortion because at our age, having a baby is scary. We will make mistakes, hundreds of them, it's life, we are only human. I support Alex & what she did that day.
3/11/2011 12:41:06 PM
danternb says:
It is good to be alive. I thank God every day for my life and I am glad someone didn't make a decision to kill me. God help us to respect the sanctity of human life.
3/11/2011 12:44:25 PM
ciniful says:
And if that decision had been made, you would never have reached sentience, and wouldn't know or be aware of your lack of a life. In short, it wouldn't matter.

I thank the common sense of the majority every day that women have the right to make decisions regarding their own bodies, to make decisions that affect their entire lives, health and futures, without the interference of people with no stake in the matter.

Human life means so much more when life is actively chosen, instead of being forced upon us.
3/11/2011 1:08:51 PM
mj says:
This is just so sad. Miscommunication is at the heart of this. We all have free will. The silent protetstors were only trying to draw attention to the life in the womb that has no voice. We choose to believe or not. We choose to ignore it or not. But before we choose...don't you think we ought to be sure about what we are choosing?

It's not about freedom of speech this time...it's about listening to the message and making truthful choices. What are we doing? Think, people. Think.

It may well be your body but the DNA of that baby is different from yours...it is part of you..NOT YOU. Let us be truthful and think. It's not just about 'choice', it's about making good choices. I hope that this 'chaos' does not silence the voices of truth. Don't give up sharing the message.
3/11/2011 12:47:23 PM
wasaya says:
Teacher 88....Saying that abortion is ok is basically saying that she doesn't believe in a huge part of Catholicism and if that is the case, why would she want to attend a Catholic school in the first place?

I don't think anywhere did she say abortion was OK. I don't know anybody that is Pro Abortion, just PRO CHOICE...
3/11/2011 12:55:43 PM
wasaya says:
Teacher 88....Saying that abortion is ok is basically saying that she doesn't believe in a huge part of Catholicism and if that is the case, why would she want to attend a Catholic school in the first place?

I don't think anywhere did she say abortion was OK. I don't know anybody that is Pro Abortion, just PRO CHOICE...
3/11/2011 1:00:16 PM
wasaya says:
mj....think about this....

There is nothing worse than bringing an unwanted child into the world....just ask those that have been abandoned or are awaiting adoption...food for thought
3/11/2011 1:06:41 PM
pie200 says:
THE CATHOLIC BOARD IS NOT PUBLICLY FUNDED.


YOU have to declare on YOUR taxes if YOU wish for them to go to the seperate board. If not they fund public schools.

Most hatred spawns out of ignorance. Educate yourselves and look from both viewpoints before you actack the Catholic board for defending their constitunional right to teach their beliefs.
3/11/2011 1:35:41 PM
baor says:
YES IT IS PIE200!
That declaration is simply to allow you to vote for a catholic trustee and for stat purposes. Where the heck have you been?
Mike Harris got rid of separate funding for catholic and public schools about 16 yrs ago as part of his "downloading" restructuring to the municipalities.
Time to "educate YOURSELF".
Dues vult.
3/14/2011 8:33:02 PM
simplyamazing says:
OMG I am not surprised at this incident that occured at St. Patrick's High School. I am certainly beginning to believe what I hear about this Catholic School to be true. Teaching young adults to become independent and to have the ability to voice their opinions obviously in not part of the Catholic curriculum but to make them feel like they have to stand back and be oblivious to what happens around them is. It is hard enough for these young adults to open up and speak their minds because when they do they get sent home or suspended ! Get with the program and make some wise choices to encourage the young generation to be able to speak freely and voice their opinions without being punished. Correct me if I am wrong "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom of Choice" ! That is what I was taught and strongly believe in it and have used it many times and no one will tell me different!

"Alexandria - you made the right choice and continue to make the choices you believe in"
3/11/2011 2:38:36 PM
oliverhouse says:
Telling a Catholic school that they should allow students to wear pro-choice clothing during a pro-life event is like telling a public school that they should allow them to wear pro-slavery clothing during Black History Month. To a Catholic -- and to many non-Catholics -- it's no less offensive to enslave someone because he's black than it is to kill him because he's still in utero.
3/11/2011 2:48:02 PM
sitwg98 says:
I applaud Alex (and her peers who followed suit) for standing their ground and not becoming sheep to a system of oppressing individualism, liberal opinions, etc.

I read Alex's mother's comments on here and I love how she worded that Alex would support a friend if she had an abortion, and also support a friend who decided to keep her baby. Shouldn't this be the bottom line of what religion is teaching us? To support people no matter what? To not turn your back on anyone regardless of choice, lifestyles, sexual orientation, etc.

Alex (and peers!), I hope that you always exercise your right to opinion. Debate. Be curious. Question. Investigate. It is far better to learn something and develop your opinion on your own (after considering all sides) then to be fed some bullshit and blindly abide by it, no questions asked.

Congratulations for being independent minds!


There's a comment somewhere in the replies to this article about being a Catholic and going to Catholic school, or at least pretending you are a Catholic...

I found this rather funny when I think of the Catholic school back in my home town.
There were two secondary schools, a public one and a Catholic one. If you "screwed up" at the public one, they sent you to the Catholic one. But if you "screwed" up at the Catholic one, they would send you to the public one.

3/11/2011 4:01:34 PM
jafo says:
oliverhouse:
So would it be any less offensive to tell a woman that she doesn't have a choice about what goes on with her body because certain people have a belief system that is contrary to hers?
Or is it any less offensive to tell a young person that they should not have a voice when they stand up against an opinion they do not agree with?
If it were not for the willingness of dissenters to voice their opinions, slavery would still exist, women would not have the right to vote, and we'd still be under the thumb of a patriarchal church.
We live in a democratic society where all opinions, all voices should be heard, regardless of what roof we congregate under. And you know what? Even though I would love to confront any douchebag who is 'pro-slavery', I still concede that they are entitled to their own opinions, as long as they're not punishing anyone who might disagree with them.
3/11/2011 4:17:45 PM
anonnymouse says:
whether or not people agree with her opinion, we should be proud of this young lady for expressing herself maturely and in a responsible manner. Shame on the school board for sending her home.
3/11/2011 4:26:16 PM
kate says:
The students were suspended for causing a riot, harrassing the pro life students, using offensive language towards teachers and not getting their event approved by the principal. That simple. Not because their thoughts or freedom of speech was being taken away, or that the school board is shoving it down their throats. Infact, it's not even in the religious education to teach pro-life morals. Maybe if the people wearing green tape were more sincere on how they approached the topic they wouldn't have gotten themselves into trouble. Pro-life students were being silent, and only doing what they had premission to do.

This debate isn't black and white, but in the end it's always a life or death decision. Pro-life means that you are in the best interest of keeping life alive. Less than 1% of abortions done are concidered to be "hard cases". That can barley justify all of the other children being killed. I personally think that a society that is okay with killing their children is discusting and disturbed.

In reality, what does a "choice" even entail? If the choice is to make the mother's life easier, or less of a challenge-- well, the hard times in life are what makes us who we are. A better word to write on their shirts would have been "death" because when someone wants to have their "choices", all they want is the option to kill their baby. Thank God my mother didn't decide she wantd to have her "choices" otherwise I might not be here. When I opose abortion, I'm not denying a right that I have, I'm just denying a wrong.

If it's not a baby, you're not pregant. Since it's a baby, a living human being, doesn't that make killing it nothing less than murder? Think about it.
3/11/2011 4:28:17 PM
ComradeLeninHiawathaZwig says:
"The students were suspended for causing a riot, harrassing the pro life students, using offensive language towards teachers and not getting their event approved by the principal."

Prove it.

"Infact, it's not even in the religious education to teach pro-life morals."

Oh, really? You sure about that? See, when I was in a Catholic high school, we were taught all about how abortion is the devil and we were forced to watch one in class. That's right. The Catholic school board condones showing abortion procedures to students, to scare them into a pro-life stance. All the while the teacher gestures madly at the bundle of cells on the ultrasound "Look at the cute little baby!" and ignores the plain fact that it is a bunch of cells that have not yet developed into a child.

"Maybe if the people wearing green tape were more sincere on how they approached the topic they wouldn't have gotten themselves into trouble."

I'd like to know what grounds you have to question someone's sincerity. Is it really so hard to believe that someone disagrees with you? I can say from experience that if you want to disagree in a Catholic school, yuo HAVE to be loud because that's the only way you'll ever be heard.

"This debate isn't black and white, but in the end it's always a life or death decision."

So you contradict yourself in the same sentence. Good job. Catholic logic right there.

"Less than 1% of abortions done are concidered to be "hard cases"."

Prove it.

"I personally think that a society that is okay with killing their children is discusting and disturbed."

Society is not okay with killing their children. Terminating undeveloped cell clusters is not killing children.

"When I opose abortion, I'm not denying a right that I have, I'm just denying a wrong."

What you're saying this to the women who do use their right to choose, you are saying "I know what is best for you better than you do. I get to decide whether your actions are right or not." And by what authority do you say this? Some celibate old man's? Don't make me laugh.
3/12/2011 4:08:07 PM
CW says:
Congratulations to the Catholic School Board for teaching the message of CHOICE. Taught, is the "choice" to refrain from sexual intimacy until such time that a loving, committed relationship is established through marriage. Taught is the "choice" to give children the right to live, with either the support of birth parents and their families, or adoptive parents.Taught is the "choice" of placing the needs of others before those of self, and learning the example and teachings of Jesus Christ. If these choices are not acceptable, then another school is the option. It's your "choice".
3/11/2011 4:51:37 PM
muleman says:
I find this discussion about 'women's rights' and 'freedom of speech' a feeble diversion from the subject.

The underlying issue is ABORTION. I don't agree with defacing the uniforms on either side, but I'm glad the school is bringing it up. It should definitely be part of the curriculum. There is much mis-information and much to be taught regarding abortion. Yes, we all have rights and freedoms and we should all be thankful for those. But all this talk about 'independent' thought and 'choice' is ridiculous. What are those thoughts?! What are the choices? What are these individual ideas and beliefs? Please, stop crying foul, stop crying about rights, and voice your pro-abortion arguments. I have yet to hear a rational one.

A few examples:

"It's my body, it's my choice!" Really?! So you're saying that you, as a pregnant woman, are growing a second head? Two more arms? Or [in the case of a boy], a penis?! That's absurd! Clearly it is a separate human being, who has rights and freedoms of its own! What makes your rights more important than a little person's?

"What about rape or incest?" That is horrible, but why punish an innocent human baby for the crimes of the father? How is that fair?! Punish the father!

"Don't impose your religious beliefs on me." This is merely an underhanded method to silence the pro-life argument. Science says that life begins at conception. The law says not to murder. Morality says it's wrong to hurt the defenceless. Common sense says keep your pants on. How are these religious beliefs?
3/11/2011 5:07:21 PM
Nitesky says:
I am Catholic and I support the school. Catholicism is not a "cafeteria religion". Those that disagree with the teachings of Catholicism are free to go their own way and start their own religion. After all they will be in good company with all the rest of the DIY religions that are out there.
You don't like part of the Catholic religion then you can't call yourself Catholic. It is that simple. You have "excommunicated" yourself. May God have mercy on your soul.
3/11/2011 5:29:33 PM
ciniful says:
The Catholic religion calls for the stoning of rape victims who are attacked within city limits, the stoning of disobedient children, and other reprehensible acts. (read your own bible) If you don't agree with these practices, you are not a Catholic, by your own logic.

Or, you recognize that some of the practices of the religion have gone the way of the dinosaur, over time, and have to be updated and changed to move with the the times. We no longer sell our children into slavery, for instance. Likewise, women now have the right to control their own bodies.

And teenage students have a right to express their opinions. At least, until some "real" Catholic show up to stone them to death.
3/12/2011 3:31:05 PM
Albert Wrigglesworth says:
The catholic church is of those who believe in Jesus Christ as savior. The Roman Catholic Church is a part of this catholic church.
It was those who practiced religion who attempted to stop Jesus from speaking, not those who walked in their faith in God.
It is sad that Christian Institutions would not allow freedom of speech. As Paul says in scripture: I am free to do as I choose, but of what benefit is it? The benefit he talks about is towards the Glory of God.
Has this young girl shown a compassion in faith towards others who are hurting because of religiosity? This is for God to answer, not religious institutions.
3/11/2011 6:20:34 PM
ANVIL OF CROM says:
Judging from the comments here, and from looking at the "thumbs and and down" count, the Proselytizing radical dogon element are embattled behind walls of dogma.
( but not all, I am glad to see)
And neither can they and punch their collective way out of a wet paper bag of logic and reason.
Fundamentalist... AHHH ERRR ( now that was not P.C.) I mean... tradionalist Catholic Mad Mel ( Gibson) and his papa would be proud!
3/11/2011 6:37:00 PM
animiki says:
Here's a thought--perhaps the school could have actually used this as an opportunity to have a thoughtful, reasoned debate on the issue. The school could have arranged a meeting (at an opportune time, perhaps even on another day) between the two camps and, without compromising its own chosen values, given the two groups an opportunity to air their positions. This could have been used to promote critical thinking within the student body, recognizing that, even if the school opposes the pro-choice stance, it does exist in the surrounding society and is a significant and passionate point of debate among many Canadians.

Instead, the school chose the "blunt instrument" approach of claiming an issue of process (they hadn't arranged for this pro-choice "demonstration" in advance) and then arbitrarily shut down any debate. This makes the school appear close-minded and inflexible...an image that the Catholic church itself is trying to shed. It's very disappointing that teachers simply blew off such a fantastic opportunity to...well, teach, and for their students to learn.
3/11/2011 7:56:09 PM
SG says:
Ah kate, I think you're one of the kids at St. Pat's aren't you? I respect your opinion but please, be careful how you label things 'disgusting, disturbed, murder'. You're young and life can change a person's opinions over time. I believe in your right to hold beliefs but be careful when denigrating others please. After all, we've rarely walked a mile in their shoes. If we have, there is always some level of compassion.

Nitesky: could you define 'cafeteria religion' and 'DIY religion' please?
3/11/2011 7:58:36 PM
angele_solomon says:
i am a student at saint patrick high school, i took part in the pro-choice debate and am very disgusted with our principal for sending students home without hearing what we had to say. I had no intention of starting a riot with inside the school but I am a fighter and will fight for what i believe in, i am deeply offended that pro-life was able to stay in school and wear the tape on their uniform shirts with not even a slap on the wrist. There are other things i would like to take up with the principals that i feel is very unfair. Everyone has a voice, it isn't there for nothing. I believe that abortion is a personal choice, other people don't have to like the idea of it but that's you. Just because the school is agaisnt it, doesnt mean we can't talk about it because that's reality.
3/11/2011 8:57:21 PM
pieislandrefugee says:
take your fight into the public school system sister.

now, hit the bricks,, along with the rest of your herd.
3/12/2011 2:48:19 PM
lori says:
angele_solomon

The law allows abortion and until that changes if ever, then a woman can have access to one.

But don't confuse that legal right, with a right to say or do whatever you wish. Try that at work. Say whatever you want to your boss or to a co-worker. Say whatever you want to a teacher. There are rules. Obey them and you are fine. Break them and there should be consquences.

If you don't like the rules at the school go to another one. See how great our system works. You are free to choose. You are not free to say what you like when you want. If you cannot accept that, then you have a long life ahead of you filled with much disappointment.
3/12/2011 1:11:56 PM
Joe 31 says:
Every generation looks back and judges with self-righteous indignation the horrors of past civilizations, but is absolutely blind with respect to its own appalling actions; one day, a future generation will look back with disbelief at one of the most self-indulgent horde of brutes to appear on the planet in the history of mankind, the so-called “me” generation that did not allow its own progeny to see the light of day, the perpetrators of the wholesale slaughter of millions of infants. Their blood cries out to God from the ground, and the Catholic Church is one of the only earthly institutions dedicated to respond to that cry and intercede on their behalf. Thus, you cannot both be Roman Catholic and participate in the culture of death via the “pro-choice” agenda. Saint Patrick’s is a Catholic school, and the only reason for an individual there to openly defy the teachings of a Catholic institution is to perpetrate an act of premeditated open rebelliousness towards their Christian fellow students, the faculty, and the Catholic Church’s beliefs and teachings in general, an act typical of the aggressively vicious mindset of modern secularism who will not bend in its relentless pursuit for self-gratification. To laud the actions of a group of clueless and uninformed adolescents, who have been fed on whatever is polluting the air waves these days, is clear evidence of mob psychology. Pure democracy is mob-rule and an unworkable principle, and the freedoms that we enjoy under that ideology can only survive in the long run by means of the checks and balances of a strong Church where the people are informed by moral absolutes; otherwise, democracy will self-destruct as it succumbs to its own depravity. We are already gagging on its bitter fruits; systematic genocide through abortions and euthanasia, and the destruction of the family along with its counterpoint of “gay marriage,” a legitimization that violates natural law. The list goes on.

A woman’s right to “her own body” does not extend to “another” body. Apart from the case of rape, if a woman does not want an “alien growth” inside her, then chastity is by nature an excellent preventative measure, responsibly exercisable by both men and women (although they might insist that it violates their “right(?!?)” to self-gratifying fornication). There is no such thing as sex without consequences. This concept of “rights,” like democracy, is a proposal that has been distorted by the unintelligent masses. Regarding “rights” in and of themselves, no one has a right to perform actions which may harm another human being; that is the basis of no smoking ordinances, speed restriction regulations, drunken driving laws, and laws not allowing you to target practice with a rifle in your front yard adjoining a busy street. One who appeals to his or her “rights” to the murderer who has just broken into the house will soon realize how vacuous the concept is and how contingent it is upon someone willing to acknowledge that human beings do have the God given right to “life” and take seriously the responsibility to uphold this. Alas, how many unborn with the potential to enjoy all that life has to offer will succumb to an irresponsible mentality of an animal that kills its own kind for the sake of convenience. How can a woman have a “right” to kill what has been scientifically established to be a separate homo sapiens within her? To argue that this human is not a “person” is again appealing to arbitrary and artificial human constructs and not biological reality and natural law. A foetus is exactly what a Mozart, a Mother Theresa, a Michael Jordan or an Einstein is at a given stage of development; killing a human being is homicide, killing human beings en masse is genocide.

Catholics must stand firm in solidarity against this carnage and be proud of their stand for life…The masses, as witnessed by most of the above comments, will not like it. But remember what Jesus said, “if the world hates you, remember that it hated me first!”
3/12/2011 2:31:13 PM
SG says:
Beacon and Joe 31: wow, impassioned rants! What a way to convince people you're right! These kind of self-righteous indignant arguments have never convinced me I'm on the wrong path. Throughout history the Catholic body has committed atrocities in the name of the 'word'. So please get off the pedestal, there is no way you can tell me you live by every word in bible. You'd be in jail. Oh, and Beacon? The Catholic religion, all Christian religions in fact, stole pagan rituals, traditions and sacred days in the name of conversion. And THAT is fact.

I'm all for discussion, acceptance and understanding but holier-than-thou rants make my blood boil. I doubt you'll convert many people with those stances, nor will you have many people willing to listen to you.
3/13/2011 10:21:45 AM
Beacon says:

What a muddle! Impassioned pleas to promote death over life, absolution from responsibility for sin, faulty perceptions of “Canadian values”, total ignorance of the reasons for two types of school systems! Isn’t anyone interested in the truth? No one concerned about the consequences for you and me of all these false “rights”?
First, on a practical level, fewer babies being born makes for fewer children in school, less reason for schools of any type, and grave concerns for the future of Canada. The depravity today is incredible! Does the right of a child’s life depend on the whim of a parent as to whether or not they want to be held responsible for a one-night stand? Let’s get some facts straight, and in the right order!
Throughout time societies without a knowledge of and submission to the only wise God, have degenerated consistently into riots, assaults, wars, rapes, disease and the killing of children, often on the pretense of worship to some pagan idol. It happened to ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Greeks, Romans and any others you wish to drag up from history. But, when the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth, died and rose again people truly found salvation. Societies began to change. Christians spread over Europe and Asia. The issue at hand was the return to degenerate societies through amalgamating pagan views with snippets of Christianity. At the Reformation, in the early 1500s this was the issue, that Roman Catholic teaching did not agree with the way of salvation found in the New Testament of the Bible.
Freedom of religion (not from religion), freedom of speech, and freedom of the press were focussed on the right of the individual to speak, worship and write, according to the truth, the absolute fact of God’s control over our lives, and to warn against the absolute judgement (the wrath of God and eternal punishment) to be faced by all. Conspiracies of the masses or of the Roman Church with kings, which dominated the past, were the real fears, the real affront to life and security. Only those who have repented of their sin have hope for eternal life and freedom from eternal punishment. God grants life. Sexual intercourse makes babies. All new offspring have the same right to live, the same chance to repent before the living God.
“There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ”, no other gods, no other intermediaries, no other beings who can intercede with God, just the Lord Jesus. In colonial Canada, people were seeking to ensure that this truth was captured in schools, in teachings, in the Protestant churches. Our Constitution, the British North America Act, spuriously re-named after adoption of the Charter in 1982, as the Constitution Act, captures within it the fact that schools would continue in perpetuity as they were at Confederation. What were they at Confederation? The majority, public schools were Protestant, and all who immigrated into the country were to be immersed in the Protestant recognition of the absolute truth of the New Testament (sect 93 (1)). Roman Catholic schools were permitted as alternative, “dissentient” schools because of the number of Roman Catholics also in the country at Confederation (sect 93 (2, 3)), but after grade 8 (at first, later grade 10), were to be integrated into the public, Protestant system to complete their education. Get it? Public schools are (in perpetuity) automatically Christian and Protestant. So all the schools under public funding are to be Christian, not just the Catholic. The majority system is to be Christian, not just the Catholic! The Constitution trumps all other laws. Any decision made against this constitutional foundation is a lie and must be overturned. Therefore, public schools and Catholic schools exist in perpetuity and cannot be overturned by specific acts of legislatures or even the Parliament of Canada! For 30 years a lie has been circulating in Canada suggesting that public schools are “non-religious”, even atheistic. Clearly a day of reckoning is coming!
So, killing of babies is as wrong when done through abortion, as when people in ancient times sacrificed their children to Molech. Yes, freedom of speech must occur, in Catholic schools, and in the public schools, too. In recent years this has not been happening on many fronts. Both school systems are obligated, though, to teach the truth that we function under God’s laws, not our own, and are charged with the task of teaching truth to the children. In recent years lies have been given centre stage, while truth has been suppressed. When we die we don’t stand before a committee of our peers, fellow liars and sinners. No, we stand in horrific fear before the living God, who only forgives those who have repented through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus. So, yes, let’s have discussion, open discussion in fact, in all schools. Let’s get the truth of God back out in the open, and evaluate all decisions on the standard of the One with Whom we have to do.
3/12/2011 3:31:01 PM
baor says:
What exactly are you a "BEACON" of? Surely not in the ways of the perfect christian way of doing things. I may have to quote your utterly forgettable words in my rant against pretty much all of what you have written here.

You have stated that those who do not follow your "only wise god" degenerate into "riots" "assaults" "wars"? I suppose you forgot or purposely left out Pope Urban II's rally cry of "Deus vult!" or "God wills it" when he sent thousands of christians to the "holy land" in 1096 to slaughter muslims (followers of the SAME god as his). That doesn't sound like "degeration" to me.
There was just as much if not more war and killing in Christendom (now Europe) than there was in the far East or the Western Hemisphere .... home to a group of people with honour all their own and NO IDEA who Jesus was and many of whom who were conquered by force and bloodshed by Christians.

How about the catholic and anglican policy of removing aborigional children from their homes by force, cutting their hair, and punishing them if they spoke in their own language? Removing the Indian from the child. Stellar!! Did Jesus order that?
How about the inquisition in Spain which among other horrific "enlightened" events ordered Jews and Muslims to convert or leave? Many whom lived there for a thousand years and who by the way believe in the same god as Christians do. Jesus was a Jew AND is one of the prophets of Islam.
Mr "Beacon", the pope is only a man (will never be a woman) chosen by other men, who makes decisions for over a billion people based on a book written by other men (many books were conveniently left out) over a 2000 years ago. I really don't think the bible was written with the conquest of the western hemisphere or the creation of Canada in mind.

While I will not ever care how you steadfastly defend your faith with all of your one tract christian is right words, I do care that you so steadfastly equate my rights with anything christian. My family name dates to the first English speaking persons in what ultimately became Canada and I still believe that funding ANY school with a religious bent via tax money should be UN-constituional. Within 100 or so years Canada will no longer be majority Christian if current birth trends and immigration stays the same. Should they be forced to fund something they do not believe in as citizens of this land?
I do see many good things in your faith and the faith of others, but Catholics (and christians for that matter) need to look at themselves and see that they do not hold a monopoly on what is moral and what is not. They can teach their way at home with their own money just as Jews, Muslims, Siks, Hindus, Buddists etc do. The constitution can be changed, and should.
3/14/2011 10:06:51 PM
collie says:
Agree with alot of comments here and disagree with alot too. BUT bottom line here is if 1 group was allowed to wear red tape and NOT talk then the others should be allowed to wear green tape WHY NOT??? Doesnt matter about schools position it is the students view ALL should be allowed to voice their opinions (with in reason ie swearing ect..) As for choosing between schools HERE is a thought for that! I pick the closest school to my home!!! no other reason. Dont want my child on a bus forever.
3/12/2011 7:14:22 PM
slmr443 says:
Hold fast to your beliefs. Forget everything else...
3/12/2011 8:06:07 PM
JimboJ says:
I am VERY pro choice, and am glad that the legal issue is not even a debate any longer in this country. I just get upset when people who agree in some of the same important things that I do, protest in a disruptive and inappropriate way.

What if Alex approached the administration and said exactly this.... "with all due respect, I have a concern. Although the catholic church has made it's views on the issue of abortion clear, in recent years we have seen that the church has changed it's official stance on other controversial issues to coincide with modern scientific and political beliefs. I consider myself a good catholic, and I would love the opportunity to stage a silent demonstration, parallel to the "Life" demonstration that occurred. This demonstration will be organized, occur and such and such a time, and we will be collection pledges that will be donated in support of young single mothers in our community. Though the view that I will be expressing is against the current Catholic doctrine, I believe that it is important to show that healthy debate on such issues can still be heard and considered amongst good Catholics, and I respectfully request the permission to carry out this demonstration which will require a slight alteration of our official school uniforms for the duration of the demonstration. Thank you for hearing my request"

Would that have worked? I'd say maybe. There might even be a decent chance of it. That's how the pro life demonstration approached the issue, they went to the people in charge ahead of time, let them know what they wanted to do, did so quietly, and with advanced approval to alter their uniforms. They also use their demonstration as a fund raiser. Did they receive all the media coverage and have members of the public praise their "courage" for following the correct channels? Of course not, that is boring. If Alex had exhausted all diplomatic means of attempting to express her issue and then became more disruptive, would I support her? Hell yeah!

But she didn't even try. The article (which I believe is spun against the catholic school board) even says that she showed up to school unannounced wearing the "choice" sticker and proceeded to hand out more. Of course this resulted in a disruptive environment. What do you think happens when you go up to students who haven't planned any event or possibly not even have a good understanding of their own stance on the issue, hand them a sticker and say "wanna be in a protest? It is happening right now, and it will take place all day, all over the school. All you have to do is wear this. PS, they are sending us home and I'm calling the newspaper!"

Remember the most recent G8 summit? There were hundred of individuals and organization who put in a lot of painstaking work to petition the governments and G8 administration to allow their respective concerns and beliefs to be hear. These groups were organized and had a variety of concerns ranging from climate control, to debt forgiveness for developing countries . They respectfully requested permission to have their opinions heard inside the summit, and thought the bureaucracy involved in doing this was undoubtedtly overwhelming, they persisted. It was hard work, but some of them were successful and they were allowed to present. Remember these speeches on the news? Me neither, it wouldn't have been as exciting as what was shown....

Outside there were also groups who had a variety of concerns ranging from climate control, to debt forgiveness for developing countries. They chose to express their view in a disruptive way, and were faced with riot squads and tear gas. They received a lot of media coverage and a lot were portrayed as victims to the repressiveness of "the man". They received a lot of media coverage, but was their message really heard? I don't think so. The protest was the story, not the issue that they claimed to be "fighting for"

I can't help believe that there was a hard working activist inside the G8 building with a masters in international development who had dedicated his or her life to fighting for social equality in a educated, professional manner who saw the idiots on TV and felt that her cause was just set back 5 years in the eyes of the people who were "on the fence" were now off it on the opposite side.

Did Alex really want to make a change in the way that the school allowed expression on controversial issues? if she did, she set her cause back now. The battle line has been drawn. If there was a student who wanted to approach the administration and petition to allow a contrary opinion to the abortion issue to be expressed and respected within the school, that won't happen now.

The riot squad tear gasses the protesters, the school sent students home. Not for the opinions that were expressed but for the situation that was created. The difference is the riot squad had a pretty good idea what the situation was going to be that day. The school staff was taken by surprise. Young Alex has learned that if you fire bomb a research facility because they use animals for testing, you will have media coverage, and you will be called "courageous". Petition the law makers to change the rules on animal testing. That's hard work and boring, and I won't get any media. Why even bother?
3/12/2011 8:32:35 PM
Richard Kowalchuk says:
Let's be clear about something. The event in question was an annual solidarity fund raiser to benefit pro-life causes. Over 100,000 lives are lost each year through abortion. The introduction of the green stickers simply served to make the event into a political one. Alexandria is being heralded as a heroin because of her contrary view to an absolutely immovable Catholic position. Real heroism would be demonstrated if she would leave the school and ask her parents to redirect their tax dollars. What is so heroic about opposing a central teaching which everyone would suppose you were supporting just by walking around with the school uniform? Our Catholic institutions have more than a few individuals hanging around to get a paycheque or for some other reason and giving only lip service to Church teachings. Such people are in serious need of integrity. Instead, they are held up in esteem, while others who may be working tirelessly to faithfully serve the organization they chose to associate with, are treated with disdain or indifference. Perhaps Alex indeed possesses leadership skills. I only hope her next cause will be more noble and show more personal integrity.
3/12/2011 10:18:09 PM
kt says:
I'd just like to point out that Catholics are also against sex before marriage, yet St. Patricks has rooms for young mothers in the basement, which is practically saying that their okay with these young mothers going against the Catholic beliefs, and they support them.
but yet, these students cant even have a choice about abortion?
i find it funny that one of the reasons some students were sent home is because the green tape isnt part of uniform, yet the students can wear colourful scarves, and such little things like that, as long as the crest is showing. some students had "choice" written on their hands, or arms, which isnt bothering the uniform at all, yet they were still sent home, or told to wash it off. so clearly, they were sent home because of their opinion.
3/13/2011 12:41:43 AM
JimboJ says:
I am VERY pro choice, and am glad that the legal issue is not even a debate any longer in this country. I just get upset when people who agree in some of the same important things that I do, protest in a disruptive and inappropriate way.

What if Alex approached the administration and said exactly this.... "with all due respect, I have a concern. Although the catholic church has made it's views on the issue of abortion clear, in recent years we have seen that the church has changed it's official stance on other controversial issues to coincide with modern scientific and political beliefs. I consider myself a good catholic, and I would love the opportunity to stage a silent demonstration, parallel to the "Life" demonstration that occurred. This demonstration will be organized, occur and such and such a time, and we will be collection pledges that will be donated in support of young single mothers in our community. Though the view that I will be expressing is against the current Catholic doctrine, I believe that it is important to show that healthy debate on such issues can still be heard and considered amongst good Catholics, and I respectfully request the permission to carry out this demonstration which will require a slight alteration of our official school uniforms for the duration of the demonstration. Thank you for hearing my request"

Would that have worked? I'd say maybe. There might even be a decent chance of it. That's how the pro life demonstration approached the issue, they went to the people in charge ahead of time, let them know what they wanted to do, did so quietly, and with advanced approval to alter their uniforms. They also use their demonstration as a fund raiser. Did they receive all the media coverage and have members of the public praise their "courage" for following the correct channels? Of course not, that is boring. If Alex had exhausted all diplomatic means of attempting to express her issue and then became more disruptive, would I support her? Hell yeah!

But she didn't even try. The article (which I believe is spun against the catholic school board) even says that she showed up to school unannounced wearing the "choice" sticker and proceeded to hand out more. Of course this resulted in a disruptive environment. What do you think happens when you go up to students who haven't planned any event or possibly not even have a good understanding of their own stance on the issue, hand them a sticker and say "wanna be in a protest? It is happening right now, and it will take place all day, all over the school. All you have to do is wear this. PS, they are sending us home and I'm calling the newspaper!"

Remember the most recent G8 summit? There were hundred of individuals and organization who put in a lot of painstaking work to petition the governments and G8 administration to allow their respective concerns and beliefs to be hear. These groups were organized and had a variety of concerns ranging from climate control, to debt forgiveness for developing countries . They respectfully requested permission to have their opinions heard inside the summit, and thought the bureaucracy involved in doing this was undoubtedtly overwhelming, they persisted. It was hard work, but some of them were successful and they were allowed to present. Remember these speeches on the news? Me neither, it wouldn't have been as exciting as what was shown....

Outside there were also groups who had a variety of concerns ranging from climate control, to debt forgiveness for developing countries. They chose to express their view in a disruptive way, and were faced with riot squads and tear gas. They received a lot of media coverage and a lot were portrayed as victims to the repressiveness of "the man". They received a lot of media coverage, but was their message really heard? I don't think so. The protest was the story, not the issue that they claimed to be "fighting for"

I can't help believe that there was a hard working activist inside the G8 building with a masters in international development who had dedicated his or her life to fighting for social equality in a educated, professional manner who saw the idiots on TV and felt that her cause was just set back 5 years in the eyes of the people who were "on the fence" were now off it on the opposite side.

Did Alex really want to make a change in the way that the school allowed expression on controversial issues? if she did, she set her cause back now. The battle line has been drawn. If there was a student who wanted to approach the administration and petition to allow a contrary opinion to the abortion issue to be expressed and respected within the school, that won't happen now.

The riot squad tear gasses the protesters, the school sent students home. Not for the opinions that were expressed but for the situation that was created. The difference is the riot squad had a pretty good idea what the situation was going to be that day. The school staff was taken by surprise. Young Alex has learned that if you fire bomb a research facility because they use animals for testing, you will have media coverage, and you will be called "courageous". Petition the law makers to change the rules on animal testing. That's hard work and boring, and I won't get any media. Why even bother?
3/13/2011 9:32:53 AM
Brittany 02 says:
To kt… The Catholic Church is “definitely” against sex before marriage. And if there are young mothers at school, there “should” be rooms for them in the basement. This absolutely “is not” saying that they are “okay” with it. It “does not” mean that they condone the action. But the fact is that for centuries, the Church has extended mercy and forgiveness to unwed mothers; monks and nuns would provide shelter for unwed mothers and care for the children. Research the early works of the Jesuits or “Wikipedia” saints such as Saint Vincent de Paul. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” but Jesus said to the woman caught in the act of adultery; “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” That is the stand of the Church and the reason for “rooms” in the basement, and is totally in harmony with Its pro-life stand, “yes, we’d rather care for children than to have them aborted!” There is no wishy-washy “okay with it” here, the Church is on solid ground. But while it extends forgiveness for any pass offences, the Church cannot possibly condone words such as “choice” written anywhere in open defiance to its teachings; that is totally different issue. There is no “opinion” when it comes to the official pro-life stand of the Catholic Church, there is no room for so-called “choice” and “discussion” on that issue. None, nada, zip! And I believe strongly there should not be; a Catholic institution is not the place for a secular and moral relativist mindset, which typically voices itself with phrases such as “well, no ones gonna tell me how to live my life and what’s right or wrong, I’m gonna do what ‘I feel’ is right.” (note the emphasis on the word “I” =self-centeredness, and the word “feel” = subjectivism, hence “self-centered subjectivism”) That is the anthem of the self-indulgent “me” generation. For those that disagree on this issue, there are other schools! Please don’t pollute the classes and corridors of a Catholic institution with your toxins for the sake of the spiritual health of others that may attend the school for the right reasons.
3/13/2011 2:36:22 PM
sg says:
Brittany 02 I was interested in your statements until this: "a Catholic institution is not the place for a secular and moral relativist mindset, which typically voices itself with phrases such as “well, no ones gonna tell me how to live my life and what’s right or wrong, I’m gonna do what ‘I feel’ is right.” (note the emphasis on the word “I” =self-centeredness, and the word “feel” = subjectivism, hence “self-centered subjectivism”) That is the anthem of the self-indulgent “me” generation."

Ahh the idea that moral and values change over time. While I'm not a Catholic, I do believe that Catholics have changed their ideas over time, don't you?

And while you may not believe that a Catholic school is the place 'for a secular and moral relativist mindset', surely you can see that this was handled badly by administration. Such an important issue in Catholic institutions and instead of discussion and teaching there was punishment? I think it was an unfortunate way to turn kids away from Catholic teaching, even belief itself. You may have no doubts about your beliefs, but what about those who do? Turning them away? Is that really the best way to handle it?

I believe in moral relativism, it can also be called 'progress'or 'advancement'.
"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone'
3/14/2011 10:59:42 AM
William Belle says:
3/13/2011 3:49:52 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
What would Jesus do?
3/13/2011 4:19:04 PM
mercy mercy me says:
this is a letter i wrote to various members of the thunder bay separate school board, cc to the thunder bay catholic diocese [adding to withhold my tithes from the collection plate, money talks in the Business of religion and education]

the time has come for me, and all i have influence with, to designate my [our] property assessments to the public school board.... with the recent attempt at the Selkirk Aud. name change to the most disturbing actions taken to deflect your behavior regarding the expulsion of students for having an opinion other than what you decree, it is akin to Shari'a Law, my support can best be used elsewhere...i look forward to the day when your municipal, provincial and federal support is withdrawn and only one school board remains ...the public school board....this comes from a person who has survived 8 stifling years primary separate school, 5 years secondary catholic high school,3 siblings,all were or are teachers in the separate school system,1 deceased,1 retired,1 retiring this year...i am embarrassed for them
warmest regards
peter
ps
public relations wise:
defaver should curb his smug grinning for the camera when discussing such grave matters, it does not well disguise half truths he is expounding
3/13/2011 6:57:53 PM
Alex and Lilah says:
Oh mercy mercy me! You haven’t explained that the “you” that decrees these opinions is the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church! The school’s beliefs “should” and “must” reflect the beliefs of the teaching office of the Catholic Church. Catholic schools are there to “teach” students these values; that is why they are “separate” (Hello?). Any student can have an opinion, but perhaps should keep this opinion to themselves in an institution that is ipso facto pro life by virtue of being “Catholic.” Having an opinion is one thing, to openly rebel against what they know to be the Church’s teaching is another. Perhaps respect should be taught here, as one does not enter someone’s house as a guest and start criticizing the host’s choice of colors on the walls or the way he or she does their dishes; it’s best in some circumstances to keep your opinion to yourself… again, out of respect. One cause of what has been referred to above as the “me” generation is children who unfortunately have been spoiled for lack of discipline and proper guidance, and think they can get away with anything. The expulsion was absolutely warranted under the circumstances. For a child’s soul, surviving Catholic school is a breeze compared to surviving the “boob tube” and what is dished out by the contemporary secular media who are telling children too young to have an informed opinion of their own what their opinion should be. In other words, the “opinions” adolescents have other than that what you condemn the Church for decreeing are those that modern secularism decrees, and are by definition “a-theistic” in the sense that they do not reflect God’s teachings and the protection of His creation. So if “money talks,” then many of us Catholics will double their contributions to offset your deficit. And as mentioned by several commentators above, “there are other schools;” so by all means, and this goes for all that do not agree with the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings, designate your property assessments elsewhere if that what it will take to clean up our Catholic institutions!
3/14/2011 12:14:21 AM
mercy mercy me says:
Dear Alex &Lila,
i am in no position to refute what your diatribe defends,other than the conflicting 'keeping our opinions to our selves', but i do relish the concluding statement for acknowledging the most prominent underlying negative factor faced by the catholic institution albeit out of context "this goes for all that do not agree with the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings, designate your property assessments elsewhere if that what it will take to clean up our Catholic institutions!"..money talks.
vaya con dios
3/14/2011 3:06:54 PM
Emily says:
alex is my sister. she's awesome to do what she did
3/14/2011 9:32:36 PM
Collie says:
HYPOCRITS nothing more to say!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3/15/2011 11:52:58 PM
stpatsgrad says:
I agree with many of the comments posted here, from both sides, and I understand fully that the pro-life kids got their event approved and Alexandria didn't. However, here's the bottom line: the administration at St Pat's should never have approved the pro-life event in the first place.

I understand that pro-life is a Catholic belief, but that is not the issue here. It was completely unfair to allow one side of the debate to be represented and not the other. Either both views should have been able to participate, or neither group of students should have been allowed to wear their tape.

If the topic of pro-life was to be discussed at school at all, it should have been in a classroom setting, not in the hallways. I am a St Pat's grad, and I can tell you from experience that topics like these were taught to us in a very educated, objective way, with a "Here's what the Church believes," mentality. Catholic beliefs were *presented* to us in the classroom, but not *forced* upon us. Euthanasia and same-sex marriage, for example, were two ethical topics that I can remember discussing in my grade 12 religion class. Everyone was allowed to speak freely and ask questions on both sides of the argument. Neither side was called right or wrong. At the end, it was just concluded that (for example) "The Church does not support same sex marriage." Everything was very factual, and not imposing. Hearing those words: "The Church does not support same sex marriage," was not offensive or suppressive in any way. It would have left a completely different taste in my mouth had I been told that I would have to go home if I voiced an opinion against the Church.

We were always encouraged to think for ourselves and voice our opinions. In grade 11, we were asked to write a paper on our personal relationship with God. I wrote my essay on my relationship with my father instead, explaining that going to Church brought us closer together, but that I really didn't believe in God at all. I got an excellent mark and very positive comments on that paper. The Catholic board is very much aware that not every student that attends believes what the Church believes. They have not made a promise to parents to enforce or push the Church's beliefs on their children. They have promised to give their children *access* to the Church's teachings; it is up to them to accept them or not. That's the experience I had at St Pat's.

I have no problem with the issue being talked about in school. I have no problem with the school supporting the Catholic view of pro-life. But, it needed to be presented in a way that could educate the children and allow them to ask questions and receive information about *both* sides, not just have the opinion of one side thrown at them. If administration thought this pro-life event was going to play out in any other way, they are so much more ignorant than I thought…
3/16/2011 3:43:18 AM
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