Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Catholic school teacher says she was fired for refusing to have her second-graders write letters to Bush opposing the war.

But diocesan spokesman Joseph McAleer said Lazor quit after refusing to fulfill the assignment. McAleer said the students were asked to write letters telling Bush they were praying for peace. ''It is perfectly appropriate for a Catholic school to ask its students to pray for peace,'' he said. McAleer said Lazor refused to follow instructions and walked out, taking her two children, who were students at the school, with her. According to the lawsuit, St. Ambrose Principal Sister Catherine Van Houtin told staff members said she wanted students to write letters to the president indicating they oppose military action in Iraq and asking for peace. Lazor said she objected to having children write politically charged letters without their parents' consent. Lazor reportedly told Houtin she did not agree with the principal's political views. 'Sister Catherine responded by saying that if the plaintiff held that belief, then she did not belong at St. Ambrose anyway,'' the lawsuit states.

This teacher was absolutely correct in her stance. No question. If Sister Catherine wanted her students to do something for peace, she should have hauled them into the church and led them in praying the rosary - for peace, justice, and an end to oppression of all kinds for all people.