St. Michael’s School is a Catholic school, and as such, follows the teaching of Jesus Christ. All students, in Preschool through Grade 8, receive an education based on our three pillars: faith, knowledge, and character, which are developed through the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching: Life and Dignity of the Human Person; Call to Family, Community, and Participation; Rights and Responsibilities; Option for the Poor and Vulnerable; The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers; Solidarity; and Care for God’s Creation. Above all, we teach our children to respect and honor all people regardless of race, religion, socio-economic background, or sexual orientation. Hate speech, actions, and stereotypes are all un-Christian choices and are not condoned. But, we are each born with the stain of original sin, and throughout our lives we are challenged to continually reflect on our actions and work toward improving our imperfect nature. We may fall, but we ask for forgiveness, resolve to do better, and begin again.
Recently, someone whose only connection to our school is that they own a license plate frame with our school name allegedly made a hurtful, anti-Asian remark following a disagreement on the street in La Jolla. While the remark was not recorded, the anger of the individuals targeted by the remark was, and that video has been circulated widely in social media accusing our school of complicity. Various attempts were made to take over our Instagram and Facebook pages in an effort to draw our school into this dispute, followed up with phone calls and emails to our school threatening “retaliation and protests” for our role in “protecting” individuals engaging in hate speech. St. Michael’s School does not condone hate speech of any form, and it also does not support the response that followed. The assumptions that were made and the conclusions that were drawn were based on one single piece of information, a license plate holder. That license plate holder does not speak for St. Michael’s School, nor for the entire Catholic faith.
Upon our return from Easter vacation, we will continue to engage our students in the teachings of Christ, specifically as they pertain to age-appropriate dialogue on race, and the hurt and harm we inflict on others when we do not treat one another with dignity and respect. Hopefully, our students will become beacons for a better and more loving world.