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November 03, 2005

Sacramento School for Pretend Catholics

October 15th, 2005 — Sacramento Bee

Marie Bain, 50, of Sacramento, who had taught at Loretto High School since August, was dismissed after a student's parent obtained pictures showing Bain escorting people into a Planned Parenthood clinic last spring.

The pictures were delivered to Bishop William K. Weigand, head of the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, who outlined the decision to terminate Bain in an Oct. 5 letter to the president of the all-female school.

"Obviously, the very public nature of Ms. Bain's previous volunteer activity at a Planned Parenthood Clinic is inconsistent with her position as a teacher at a Catholic high school and her role as a collaborator in the formation of Catholic women," Weigand wrote. "Abortion is gravely immoral and Ms. Bain's active and public participation in the procurement of abortions is morally inappropriate and unacceptable with regard to her work as a teacher at Loretto."

Loretto High School, if you didn't figure it out, is a Catholic school, or it's supposed to be.

October 22nd, 2005 — Sacramento Bee

The mother of a Loretto High School student obtained photographs that exposed a drama teacher as a former Planned Parenthood volunteer, a revelation that led to the teacher's firing last week. It wasn't the first time Wynette Sills raised her anti-abortion views on the all-female, private Catholic campus.

Sills, who leads anti-abortion rallies outside Sacramento-area Planned Parenthood offices three times a week, complained to school administrators last year about a classroom presentation on domestic violence, said Gail Erlandson, a theology teacher for 11 years at Loretto.

Sills objected to brochures listing agencies that offer help for women because they included Planned Parenthood, which supports abortion rights. The brochure was later revised.

October 22nd — “Stand Up and Speak Out”, personal blog of 15-year-old Katelyn Sills

In case some of you have not figured it out yet, Wynette Sills is my mother. I was unable to reveal this earlier because at the time of my last post, my family felt that it might make my time at Loretto awkward. After all, our family appreciates the school and hopes that my younger sister will also be able to go there. Now that the Bee has revealed our identity publicly, I would like to share the article and my thoughts as a sophomore at the school.

October 26th, 2005 — “Stand Up and Speak Out”, personal blog of 15-year-old Katelyn Sills

First, I would like to thank those who commented on my blog, especially the women who courageously spoke about their abortion experiences. There is no better or truer voice for the pro-life movement than those who have had abortions. Thank you for sharing your stories. 

After the initial uproar and confusion over Ms. Bain's dismisal, things are now pretty much the same as always at Loretto, from my point of view. My friends are still my friends and, for the most part, people treat me as they did before. 

One thing that I had not mentioned was that Loretto's administration has banned my mother from campus since October 16th. Obviously, we hope this can be resolved soon, especially since there are school events (such as the school play) that our family would like to attend.

October 31st, 2005 — “Stand Up and Speak Out”, personal blog of 15-year-old Katelyn Sills

As of Saturday, October 29th, I was given official notice by express mail that I am expelled from Loretto High School. This was given completely without forewarning, without a meeting, and without a chance to say goodbye. My family is now seeking legal advice, and more details will follow.

November 2nd, 2005 — Sacramento Bee

Loretto High School administrators have barred an anti-abortion activist and her daughter from the all-girl Catholic school for what they called an "escalating series of public attacks" against the school.

Loretto administrators said Tuesday that Ed and Wynette Sills of Pleasant Grove and their daughter Katelyn, a sophomore, are no longer welcome at the private college preparatory school....

The Sillses' "attacks" included "taunts, threats and verbal abuse directed against members of our school community, as well as a mass e-mail campaign slandering the school's reputation as a Catholic institution," wrote Loretto's president, Sister Helen Timothy, in a statement.

"We cannot," Timothy continued, "allow members of a single family to disrupt our ability to serve all Loretto families and provide their daughters with a safe and stable campus environment conducive to learning."

Timothy said she would not comment beyond the statement.

Statement by Sills Family to Sacramento Bee

Saturday morning, October 29th, via overnight mail, we were informed by the administration of Loretto High School of the "immediate dismissal" of our family from the school. Coming in the middle of fall term, this dismissal is most unfair and undeserved.

What is worse, however, is the administration's outrageous charges that our family has engaged in "threats," "abuse," and other "malicious" behavior toward members of the Loretto community. These charges are categorically false and defamatory. In actual fact, our family has at all times acted respectfully in attempting to resolve a difficult situation for the good of all members of the Loretto community, continuously seeking reconciliation. This is an institution that we desired our daughters to attend since they were very young. Katelyn enthusiastically dedicated her extra-curricular time towards numerous school activities, including the Recruitment team, which visits elementary schools in the area to encourage 8th graders to join the Loretto community. Anyone who knows our family will recognize these allegations as blatantly false. It is very unfortunate that the administration has chosen to respond with falsehoods and vindictive spite.

Sounds like someone needs to clean house. This isn't the first time a Catholic school has made a spectacle of itself by opposing Catholic teachings. I'm not Catholic and don't pretend to be, but it doesn't take a Catholic to see that if you don't intend on following the teachings of that denomination, don't claim you're part of it.

Posted by Danny Carlton at November 3, 2005 05:44 AM

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