When Jesus walked this earth and selected His disciples, the
chosen were six fishermen (Peter, John the Baptist, James
and Andrew), one tax collector (Matthew), one capable of
serving as treasurer of the group (Judas), one was selected
because of friendship with two other selected disciples
(Philip, friends with Peter and Andrew) and the occupations
of the remaining disciples are unknown (Bartholomew, Thomas,
James, Thaddaeus, Simon and Matthias).
Although the disciples were all men, they had long hair,
wore open-toe sandals and wore long robes. I canít imagine
for a second that Jesus made the selection of disciples
based upon their hair, clothing or shoes. I believe He made
the selection based upon the individualís heart and
willingness to trust, believe, support and follow Him.
Why Central Catholicís administration would do anything more
than what Jesus did is both perplexing and irresponsible.
This is the same organization we trust and have confidence
in to provide a standard of excellence in teaching our
children. Our tax dollars (through vouchers) are being used
to pay for the intolerance their school system obviously
feels for many of its students.
They want us as parents, grandparents or other relatives of
the students, to believe that they know best what is
essential to student learning. They give themselves far too
much credit in this category. There are at least two things
wrong with their philosophy: 1- excellent teaching adapts to
the student and 2-excellent teaching requires respect of the
diverse talents and ways of learning for the student.
Most churches I have been to encourage you to come as you
are. Yet, we accept that students in Catholic schools are
required to wear a uniform? So, letís stop right there.
When does the Catholic school student get to be the
individual that he or she is? Why should the student have to
wait until after school or the weekend to be an individual?
The answer is the student should be comfortable being an
individual during the school day as well. It is not
necessary to have every student wearing the same hairstyle,
the same shoes or carrying the same style book bag in order
for the student to learn. Students are first and foremost
individuals, not robots. Centralís administration should go
visit Toledo School for the Arts (TSA) or Toledo Technology
As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world,
Catholicism has played a prominent role in the history and
development of civilization. Letís not forget that it was
the Catholic missionaries who went to the various countries
such as Africa, South America and also the U.S.ís Wild West
to convert what they considered salvage people who didnít
look like them Ė naked, long hair, bones in the nose,
feathers in their hair, cannibals Ė to Catholicism.
The Catholic Church also considers itself to be the
authentic continuation of the Christian community founded by
Jesus Christ. I know the Jesus Christ I serve, never
required his disciples to dress in the same colors, the same
outfits or the same anything. Yet, each disciple followed
Him and remained an individual while doing so.
The Catholic school administration needs to follow the lead
of Jesus Christ and erase its arrogant attitude in trying to
turn our children into robots. God made each student an
individual and he or she needs to remain that way. Besides,
isnít that what Central wants to do Ė to make disciples of
its students also.