Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Try it. You’ll like it!

August 22nd, 2010, Promulgated by Mike

Bay Area Catholic Schools operates four elementary schools, a middle school and a high school in the Bay City, Michigan area of the Diocese of Saginaw.  Hit hard by the lousy economy, they have seen their combined enrollment drop by about 19% within the last four years.

Believing that many families had little idea of what a great educational value they were missing out on, the district has launched something of a “Try it. You’ll like it!” program:  All new families enrolling in grades kindergarten through 12th grade will be charged no tuition for the first quarter.  If, after that first marking period, they decide to leave, they will owe nothing.

Already the district has seen a 5% uptick in new registrations and there are still over two weeks to go before school opens.

One would hope that DOR’s new school board will be keeping an eye on how well this initiative succeeds.  If it works in Michigan there’s no reason it cannot work here.

Story here and here.



36 Responses to “Try it. You’ll like it!”

  1. jetscubs86 says:

    It would be a good idea; however, the DOR is trying to get rid of all the Catholic schools.

  2. Nerina says:

    I’m still not convinced the financial sacrifice is worth it (even if you get a quarter free). My evidence is purely anecdotal, but the stories I hear about what is and isn’t taught in our Catholic schools leaves me skeptical. Perhaps those with more intimate knowledge could elaborate. Ink, what are your impressions? How about Ink’s mom? Mike, I know your granddaughter attended Catholic school – what do you think? It troubles me when I hear that Dan Brown books are required reading at premiere schools like McQuaid with the explanation “the student’s faith should be strong enough to handle it.” Uhm, have you been to church in our diocese? Do you think many kids have “strong enough” faith to handle the misrepresentations and outright lies purported by Dan Brown?

    I understand that SJB is doing a great job, but again, I wonder about the curriculum and the experience of the teachers there. I am not trying to be a wet blanket, but I’m trying to get an accurate picture of what exactly goes on in our Catholic schools. Are they able to present and sustain a Catholic identity?

    Of course, I realize my questions may be a way of soothing my somewhat guilty conscience since we haven’t placed our children in Catholic school :).

  3. Mike says:


    From what I have heard, the elementary schools can vary somewhat in their levels of orthodoxy. My three granddaughters (each one school year apart) went to Holy Cross; the oldest for 6th through 8th grade and the other two for 7th and 8th grade. Prior to that they went to City of Rochester schools, mainly because their parents wanted it that way.

    Holy Cross was pretty much on the orthodox end of the spectrum: Fr. Wheeland and, more importantly, the principal (Becky Maloney) saw to that. It’s the principal who has the final say on which teachers offered to her by the MCCS actually get hired and which of the religion textbooks approved by the MCCS actually get used in the school. And it’s also the principal who has the final say on such things as school-wide Marian devotions (e.g., Holy Cross had an annual May Day Mary crowning ceremony in which the entire school – and much of the parish – participated).

    That’s not to say that everything was absolutely perfect. I know that at least one of the junior high teachers was a cafeteria Catholic and, while I’m pretty sure he/she didn’t openly advocate dissent in front of the kids, that attitude still has to have an effect on them at some level.

    After graduation my oldest granddaughter went to live with her mom in Ontario County and went to public high school out there, but the two younger ones went on to Bishop Kearney, with my wife and I picking up the tab. When the elder of these two was a BK freshman I noticed that her religion text was not on the list of USCCB-approved books. After looking through it I could see why: Catholicism was pretty much presented as one choice among many and – in my reading, at least – frequently not the best choice. When I sent an email to her teacher questioning the use of this book I got an almost immediate response from the principal that avoided entirely the points I had raised and merely said the text book choices were reviewed each year. To their credit, BK did go to a USCCB-approved text the next year; still, the school always gave me the impression that they were more about college prep than they were about passing on the faith.

    Both these granddaughters were more into social life than school and – even after repeated warnings from us – in 2008 the sophomore failed one course and the freshman failed two. We weren’t going to pay that much money for kids who refused to get their priorities straight and both girls finished or will finish high school in Greece.

    That’s about all I know for certain about local Catholic schools.

  4. Nerina says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Mike. It is food for thought.

  5. curmudgeon says:

    Nerina – As a parent of students attending SJBS, I am curious about your scepticism of Catholic education, especially as it relates to SJBS. You are on record condemning story lines of a fictional television show you admittedly have never watched, and now cast aspersions on the soundness of an education received at a school in which you have no experience. Perhaps you ought to learn about a subject before purporting to know anything about said subject. You condemn the show Friday Night Lights for glorifying abortion, (which it did not do), but put your children in an educational system that teaches, preaches and glorifies pre-marital sex, contraceptives and abortion through their sex ed programs. You condemn society for its atheistic approach, yet have your children in an education system designed by an atheist, with the stated goal of removing God from society (John Dewey), all while casting doubt on a school and its administration that has a God centered curriculum. A curriculum based upon the classical model that worked for over 150 years, that is based upon God and laid the foundation for this country’s greatness. Or, perhaps, you home school. If so, how do you derive your curriculum and what is your educational background? It seems you speak before knowing or learning facts, and as such often overstate or know little to nothing of which you speak. Do not rejoice in your ignorance – learn something, please.

  6. curmudgeon says:

    Furthermore – the curriculum followed by SJBS was developed by the Angelicum Academy, a curriculum when followed through high school will give the students 48 credit hours of college education. See for more info.

  7. Mike says:


    Nerina can speak for herself – and I expect she will – but having read my way through your screed twice now I think I’ve earned the right to tell you that it is a first class over-reaction.

    Nerina never cast aspersions or anything else on SJBS. She did say she had questions “about the curriculum and the experience of the teachers” and that she was “trying to get an accurate picture of what exactly goes on in our Catholic schools.”

    Your “Perhaps you ought to learn about a subject before purporting to know anything about said subject,” is a complete non-sequitur. Nerina admitted her lack of information and asked for help in filling in the blanks.

    May I suggest you count to 100 very slowly the next time you decide to comment, lest you make a total fool out of yourself – again.

  8. benanderson says:

    yeeouch curmodgeon! You seem mighty defensive. all Nerina said was

    I understand that SJB is doing a great job, but again, I wonder about the curriculum and the experience of the teachers there.

    The first part of her sentence is a compliment and the second is an open question in which she admits ignorance (not trying to hide it). Your information on the school is more than welcome. Your personal attack against Nerina is most unwelcome. Also, your condemnation of anyone sending their kids to public school is totally unfair. Sure, public school isn’t ideal, but what is? What really matters is the parents’ involvement in their kid’s lives.

  9. curmudgeon says:


    The following quote is evidence of opining without knowledge or facts:
    “My evidence is purely anecdotal, but the stories I hear about what is and isn’t taught in our Catholic schools leaves me skeptical”

    The next quote is in the form of a question, but the context again makes her scepticism and negativity clear:
    “I wonder about the curriculum and the experience of the teachers there. I am not trying to be a wet blanket…Are they able to present and sustain a Catholic identity?”

    If there were truly were a good faith inquiry to the school, the inquiry should have been more positive, rather than negative – why the questioning of the teachers experience and their ability to present and sustain Catholic identity? She admittedly is being a wet blanket.

    That Nerina has opined previously without fact has already been established. Who then, is the fool – the one who speaks with the facts at hand, or the one who purports to speak knowledgeably and expounds without facts or knowledge?

  10. curmudgeon says:


    I’m not being defensive, I prefer people to speak factually. When the topic is trivial, speaking ignorant of fact is tiresome, but not worth the effort to correct. However, the predisposition to opine without fact is noteworthy. When this predisposition rears itself in important matters is when it is worth the effort to correct and hopefully teach. If you read carefully, you will see I do not condemn parents who send their children to public schools. I DO condemn parents who send their kids to public school and criticize Catholic schools. Also, I did not present a criticism of public schools, I presented facts about curriculum and highlights of the sexual education practices in the schools. Some cannot afford Catholic education, and that is a shame. Our Bishop has taken away from the Parishes the ability to charge tuition according to family circumstances – the practice in place when I was in the system. This has, in part, allowed for the slow decline of the Catholic schools in our Diocese.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Mike seems a little bitter that Bishop Clark closed down his Holy Cross school. And yeah! Let Nerina speak for herself, hero.

  12. Mike says:


    You’re over-analyzing here and, as a result, over-reacting.

    Anecdotal evidence is simply evidence based on individual, unstructured reports, as opposed to evidence collected by scientific survey methods. Each report might be completely false, might be partly true, or might be completely true. There’s no simple way of knowing, which is why basing decisions purely on anecdotal evidence is always risky. However, the more independent anecdotal evidence there is that points in the same direction, the less risky that decision becomes.

    Nerina had some anecdotal evidence that largely pointed in a negative direction. She asked others for their evidence to see how it compared with what she had already been told. In my experience that’s what reasonable people do!

  13. Mike says:

    Anon. 10:31: Another non-sequitur.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Could Holy Cross school ben closed dowwn because it was too orthodox?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mike 11:35: Au contraire!

  16. Nerina says:


    Well, your sign-in is certainly appropriate given your comments in this thread.

    First, I said I did NOT have all the information about Catholic schools and clearly said, too, that my evidence is purely anecdotal. I was trying to be diplomatic and not simply dismiss SJB or any other Catholic school. From what I have heard (and I know people who send their children to SJB, OLM, McQ, and St. Mary’s in Canandaigua) legitimate questions may be asked. Again, I am not simply condemning any school.

    Part of your first vent-spleening actually provides some information for me. Thank you. But I know, for a fact, that they have at least one teacher at SJB who has no certification for teaching (at least according to usual teaching norms). I’m not saying that this person or others are not capable of teaching. But, again, are questions not allowed?

    When I asked about presenting and sustaining a Catholic identity, I clearly asked it about all schools. Note the plural reference. But I can see how you might have thought I was saying that about SJB in particular. I appreciate the chance to clarify, because one thing I am sure about is that SJB appears to be focused on authentic Catholic teaching. My questions are more about curriculum and staff qualifications.

    As for my post on “Friday Night Lights,” I admitted that I did not watch that particular episode (apart from a few minutes on the links I posted). I *asked* for the opinions of others and admitted that some did not think the abortion issue was presented in a negative light. What more would you like me to do? Would you say I need to look at pornography to be able to pass judgment on that too? I will always speak out against abortion no matter how pretty the package it is offered in.

    And yes, I have my children enrolled in an “atheistic” education system. Guilty. But guess what? My kids have been able to witness to others about their Catholic faith. My son wrote an essay on abortion for all the school to see after his teacher hung it up on the wall in fourth grade. He then presented why the Crusades are a one-sided narrative that were really an act of Christian defense against Muslim aggression. Oh yes, and my daughter debated the topic of Purgatory at lunch and also talked about salvation of Jews after the subject of the Holocaust was discussed in her 8th grade social studies class. Oh, and my 5th grader (who I think is mentally “checked out” most of the time) also wrote an essay about “choosing life” when asked to write a paper with the theme “Standing Up.”

    So go ahead with your curmudgeonly attacks against what was a friendly inquiry and show again why I should ever charitably reply to you. I believe you doth protest too much.

    @Ben and @Mike,

    Thank you, both, for your chivalrous defense.

  17. curmudgeon says:


    Thank you for the definition of anecdotal evidence. Another definition of anecdotal evidence is hearsay. Hearsay is notorious for bias and is the most untrustworthy source of information. I admit I am guessing here and could be wrong, but I would think Nerina is gathering her information through hearsay. Whether the hearsay is first or second hand I don’t know. I would infer it is second hand as she seems to be asking for direct source information – albeit in a backhanded manner. If you are truly open minded and seek information, you are impartial in your questions – something like – I understand SJB is doing a great job, I wonder what the curriculum is and how does it differ from the Diocesan schools? Can you see the difference in that question vs. “I understand that SJB is doing a great job, but again, I wonder about the curriculum and the experience of the teachers there. I am not trying to be a wet blanket, but I’m trying to get an accurate picture of what exactly goes on in our Catholic schools. Are they able to present and sustain a Catholic identity?” The “but again” betrays her bias along with her admission she is a wet blanket. Not overanalyzing here, just reading comprehension.

    Mike we agree on more things than we disagree and your defense of your colleague is admirable. Was I harsh? Perhaps, yet I feel strongly that the Catholic schools are challenged enough by the secular authorities without intramural challenges of quality and deliverance. We should be working to build rather than tear down the efforts of those working for the education of our youth through doubt and scepticism. I’m sure Mother Seton faced plenty of doubt as well, was she wrong in her vision?

  18. curmudgeon says:


    Thank you for clarifying that all my points were in fact accurate. You state I protest too much – which is an implicit admission of your skpeticism. You doubt SJBS in particular and Catholic education in general. You admit to speaking without fact or context. You send your children to public school and feel fit to tear down authentic Catholic education. I am curious, do you feel Catholic education was wanting when staffed by the religious? Many of whom had no certificate of teaching according to usual teaching norms? And may I ask why you place such great faith upon said certificates? Are you familiar with the philosophy and theory the certificate implies? Have you read the philosophies of the Dewey, Darwin and Freud that make up the majority of modern teaching theory? I am glad you are happy with the public education your children are receiving, but question why you feel the need to doubt the authenticity of the education of those who choose to send their children to Catholic school? Asking questions is a fine exercise if you seek to better the end result. Asking questions to cast doubt is just cynical.

  19. Teresa says:

    One of the most important decisions I’ve made as a parent is securing the right educational environment for my children that would allow them to flourish academically and spiritually. Our family began that journey at St. John Rochester before moving over to St. Joseph Penfield. Although we reside in Victor, where the public school system is highly regarded, we believe that St. Joe’s is worth the added financial burden. As a vocal critic of this diocese, I am particularly sensitive when it comes to teaching my children the precepts and traditions of the Catholic faith. Anyone that reads this site knows that the parish of St. Joseph’s suffers from the liturgical abuse that is rife under the guidance of our Bishop.

    With that being said, I wholeheartedly believe that the school under the leadership of Sister Christina Luczynski, CSSF integrates Catholic values and morals in a manner that remains faithful to church doctrine. She understands and appreciates that,for the most part, the people interested in a Catholic education (people willing to pay tuition) expect it to be a “Catholic” education. We want superior academics but we also want our children to grow spiritually.

    For the curious I thought I’d share the following. Based on 2009 -2010 Testing, Grade Four Language Arts, the NYS average for private school students who met or exceeded the standard was 65%, SJS students achieved 92%. The NYS average Mathematics test score for private school students was 71%, SJS students scored 95%. (The SJS numbers might be even higher but I couldn’t confirm them so I stuck with the lower numbers).

    Furthermore, 100% of SJS Teachers hold a Master’s Degree or higher, along with New York State Certification. This is often an area where people assume teachers in the Catholic system are less educated therefore willing to work in an environment where they will earn less money.

    I reference these numbers only to show that despite less funding than public schools, core academics do not suffer at SJS. Frankly, I want to know that during the thirty five hours my children spend each week away from my care that they will pray in community and they will be encouraged to acknowledge their spirituality on a daily basis. This is simply not feasible in the public school system. Is it a perfect environment? Not for everyone. But I do believe it is providing my boys with a well rounded education that reinforces their identity as Roman Catholics.

  20. Nerina says:


    I wish you’d address me directly, instead of continuing to impugn my motives through other comments, but I will restate some things and comment one more time:

    I declared my ignorance, asked for more information and clarified when you misread my original comment. It seems your main gripe is that you don’t like my wording. Ironically, you *could* have been an ambassador for SJB, but instead you’ve come across as a reactionary – not good considering more orthodox people must combat this image constantly.

    For the record (since you seem to be keeping track of my record), I have no doubt that SJB is serious about Catholic culture (I can see that for myself on their website). What I have questions about is the overall philosophy, curriculum and background of the teachers. Frankly, when I read something like:

    “Equally as important is fostering of a “learning atmosphere such that the child is“emotionally engaged and motivated in learning, to exercise intellect, imagination and memory in an emotionally satisfying way” “(from the SJB website), it smacks of progressive teaching methods. I am certainly happy to be corrected. And that’s what you could have done – charitably.

    You make a big point of how I worded my comment, but I could turn the tables on you and compare the way Mike answered my initial inquiry v. the way you did. Mike presented his experience. You immediately attacked, accusing me of intellectual sloppiness and assuming bad motive. Simply put, you jumped to conclusions and put words in my mouth. Clearly I touched a nerve by mentioning SJB and grouping it together with diocesan schools.

    As to my skepticism, I’ll give you one example – I know for a fact that one of the elementary grade teachers is, by profession, an athletic trainer. Now she may be a very capable teacher, but as a potential consumer of SJB I think it reasonable to wonder about the qualifications of the teachers. What experience do they have? How do they manage the classroom? What is their knowledge of child development? Also, I have been told (by parents who are sending their children to the school – whether that makes it “hearsay” or not, I don’t know), that the curriculum coordinator for the upper grades is a former homeschooler and NASA scientist. Okay. But is she qualified to develop a JH currciulum? What is her experience? Are these not fair questions to be asked?

    I understand that you are financially and emotionally invested in the school and I pray that it is successful (because I think that could be a very valuable witness in our diocese). But I would appreciate not being verbally abused and indirectly referred to. If you have something to say to me, then say it to me, and not to Mike or anyone else. At least be man enough to address me straight on.

  21. Nerina says:

    Obviously my last post was done before reading your response, Curmudgeon.

    AGAIN, you are putting words into my mouth. You can say the same thing over and over again, but it does little to convince me because you are arguing straw men. Yes, I do have questions about SJB (is a question now equivalent to a doubt?). But, where did I tear down Catholic education? I do have concerns about it in our diocese, but on the whole I am an advocate when it is done well. In fact, I have often argued for Catholic schools to return to their roots and reclaim their Catholic identity! Right now, given the current state of Catholic education IN OUR DIOCESE (for emphasis, not yelling here)I would not send my kids to Catholic school (and my husband and I did not make this decision easily).

    I admitted that I did not have all the facts, so if you consider that a rhetorical victory, congratulations. You have done nothing in your comments to present SJB in a positive light. Quite the opposite. As to the Catholic schools of old, I imagine I would have been supportive after looking at results and evaluating what kind of students were being turned out. With SJB, it is simply too young of a school to know how students will fare. Am I confident that it is better than many of the diocesan schools? Yep. But we won’t really know for a few years. And if the results are positive, if kids are coming out of that school with a Catholic worldview then I will definitely consider it for my 3 year old.

    As to education philosophy, I’m certainly no expert. And perhaps I risk your wrath by commenting since your standard for discussion seems to be “only experts may have an opinion,” but I do have a pretty good understanding of current progressive philosophy as taught at flagship schools like Columbia University. I am not naive enough to think that a certificate guarantees anything, just like I’m not naive enough to think that a pious and religious person is capable of teaching children simply because of his or her piety.

    I’m happy to engage you further if you’re interested in actually sharing your experience of SJB. But if you’re only interested in a verbal slapdown because I dared to question the school, then you can expect silence from here on out. I do hope that you hold yourself to the same standards that you seem to expect from me. From this interchange, I’m starting to see why traditional Catholics get a bad rap.

  22. curmudgeon says:


    Please see my direct response to you. As you can see, I have replied personally to all who have addressed me in order. Some may appear out of order because I have not refreshed while composing. You are indirectly referred to only when I am responding to a third party. As for charity, it is in the eye of the beholder. I feel I have been charitable in taking time to respond. Could I be more diplomatic, perhaps, yet I will not be charitable to those who feel fit to critique those who are tying to make authentic Catholic education viable in this Diocese. As for verbal abuse – if you can’t stand the heat, don’t pontificate without facts, even in trivial matters. And for the record – the NASA scientist? Did NOT develop the curriculum. Developed the execution and operational aspects. Again, stating a “fact” which is not true. She has, however, experience teaching at the collegiate level, along with high school and elementary school in addition to her home schooling, and working in rocket science. Personally, I think she has more qualifications than most of the Masters in education you find in the public schools.

  23. Anonymous says:

    We’re getting a bit hot under the coller. Let’s step back and take a few breaths! God bless.

  24. Nerina says:

    Now, Curmudgeon, was that so hard? To actually provide information? That’s all I was looking for in the first place and I’m happy to hear it – really! One more time, with feeling – I AM NOT CRITICIZING SJB. I am asking questions. I did not pontificate. Not once. I did not condemn. I asked a question and earned an unnecessarily harsh, nasty and uncalled for rebuke.

    I did not state anything as “fact” (so stop putting words in my mouth, please) and said that I had heard the information about the upper grade curriculum from a parent.

    Finally, you set the bar for charity pretty low.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Bickering children!!! This is getting real old. Why don’t you all meet for breakfast at a nice Catholic restaurant and settle your differences there.

  26. Nerina says:

    Don’t worry, Anons. It’s all over.

  27. Nerina says:


    I don’t know how I missed your post, but thank you for providing information and sharing your thoughts. Honestly, it is good to hear that people have a positive experience in Catholic school. As for the financial aspect, tuition would impose a financial hardship on our family (I stay at home and my husband hasn’t seen a raise in 10 years and we try to maintain a pretty generous level of charitable giving all while feeding and clothing and housing 5 kids).

  28. Teresa says:


    It is my hope, laced with optimism, that tuition rates might eventually come down for those schools that are being forced to revert back to Parish control. I think this Diocese has never marketed the value of a Catholic education. Honestly, I’m not sure that some within the heirarchy at Buffalo Road even see the value that exists. As a Roman Catholic community educating our children should be a priority. We should work to make it affordable and available. I don’t know how many families with four or more children could afford to send them to a local Catholic school. Sadly, those benefactors that have generously donated in the past might feel disillusioned that their contributions didn’t produce stronger results (I’ll refrain from using the word squandered).

    Right now there are many initiatives being developed at SJS, designed to showcase the advantages of a Catholic education. Clearly it’s not the right fit for every child. Nor can every parent afford the tuition as it currently stands. But we should continue to work as a community to make the system stronger and more accessible. Our principal probably puts in at least 75 hours a week (my guess is it’s likely much more). Her devotion to the students, teachers and parents keeps me advocating for SJS.

  29. benanderson says:

    too bad we can’t get vouchers. it’s such a shame that I’m forced to pay tuition to the public schools even if I homeschool my children or send them to private schools.

  30. Mike says:

    Re: Vouchers

    In the late 19th century many states added “Blaine Amendments” to their constitutions after the original Blaine Amendment to the U.S. constitution failed to get the necessary 2/3 approval in the U.S. Senate that would have allowed it to have been sent to the States for ratification.

    In New York the “Blaine Amendment” became Section 4 of Article IX in the 1894 rewrite of the state constitution:

    Neither the State nor any subdivision thereof, shall use its property or credit or any public money, or authorize or permit either to be used, directly or indirectly, in aid or maintenance, other than for examination or inspection, of any school or institution of learning wholly or in part under the control or direction of any religious denomination, or in which any denominational tenet or doctrine is taught.

    While the word “Catholic” appears nowhere in the text, almost every sectarian school in every state, including New York, was a Catholic school. IOW, “Blaine Amendments” were simply anti-Catholic bigotry enshrined into law.

    A 1967 New York Constitutional Convention proposed numerous changes to the constitution, including repeal of the above “Blaine Amendment.” The proposed changes were presented to the voters as a single package, which they voted down.

    And that is why vouchers are an impossibility in New York State.

  31. Dr. K says:

    I can explain why you didn’t see Teresa’s post — it was caught by the spam filter. I regularly manually sweep through the spam bin to see if anything got caught that shouldn’t have. This is a reminder to everyone, just in case your post doesn’t show up immediately. It likely went through, but might have been flagged as spam accidentally by the software.

  32. Anonymous says:

    People are taking risks by sending their children to diocesan schools. Who knows when they’re going to be closed. Thank Jesus for schools like Archangel and St. John Bosco. The bishop can’t close those two schools down (though he’d like to). You won’t see false doctrines taught in these two schools either.

  33. Bill B. says:

    Reading all the posts brought back the memories. The ruler over the knuckles in 2nd grade by Sister Mary Stoaking The Coal Now and I can never forget the joy of paddle across the fourth grade rump in Brother Hades Heater’s class. Oh, those memories. I can almost see the flames…

  34. Mike says:

    Gee, Bill, you had it easy! During my time at Aquinas the Director of Discipline had more “hits” in a single year than Pete Rose got in his whole career. And I can still see the Librarian dangling that unruly freshman out of a second story window by his ankles. Ah, those were the days!

  35. Ink says:

    Hello all, apologies for my blatant absence. The better majority of my family and I were helping a friend move into college. >_>; Blogs tend to take a backseat to family and family-friend stuffs.

    Here is my perspective on Catholic schools in Rochester–they need help, but they aren’t bad. Frustrating, absolutely. Misinforming, sometimes. Misinformed, definitely. But malicious? Nope. However, at a Catholic school (even if it IS Catholic in name only), I have more opportunities to give my opinions in class and to debate with fellow students–right under the nose of the administration. I will not get expelled for saying God’s name, or for carrying a rosary in my purse for use in painful “prayer services” or whatever they call those these days. And every now and again, I learn some nifty little nuggets of information. I consider Catholic schools an opportunity to further my own learning by research and developing arguments–sort of like a vaccine.

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