WE STAND WITH STS! End the misrepresentation of St. Theresa School in Kenilworth
This petition had 143 supporters
In December 2016, Saint Theresa Catholic Elementary School was named by one of its school and parishioner’s families in a lawsuit. What began as a family’s litigation to allow their daughter to play on a boys’ catholic youth organization basketball team turned into a sideshow of speculation, misreporting and spectacle. Going viral in the national news, media outlets picked up the story as told by the family and ran a one-sided exaggerated and distorted tale. Under a gag order because of the litigation the school was not afforded the ability to give any perspective in the matter and was left unable to defend itself.
This is where we come in. WE STAND WITH STS!!
We are parents, alumni, families and parishioners who know, love and appreciate St. Theresa Elementary School, the parish community and what it does for our children and our families.
We are uniting to tell the side of the story not being showcased in the media. The one of a principal and school who readily offered options and support to the family that slanders its name. STS teaches their students respect, dignity, charity and responsibility to become “good Christians and honest citizens” and held to these principals in this. They followed rules outlined by the Catholic Youth Organization and the Archdiocese of Newark. They worked with what capacity they could to provide alternatives to the student when there was no school basketball team due to lack of interest. The options were met with a lawsuit and a refusal of cooperation from the family.
Worse yet, it was met with negative comments to the media and disparaging remarks about not only the school but the students in it. STS students were collateral damage to this family’s grudge against the school. They were misrepresented by the girl as jealous and intolerant. They were subject upon arriving to school with media vans and reporters. Police enforcement was dispatched to school property for the safety of the students. Their privacy and the privacy of the families attending the school were violated by the attention brought on. Attention which this family seemingly relished. A family who told reporters their interpretation of reality, that they were met with defensiveness rather than the reality that they subjected their girls to this spectacle to inspire, influence, and embolden the attention. Attention that afforded this family and their daughters opportunities with national organizations, basketball stars and media personalities. All opportunities that were obtained by falsely claiming injustice. Our students don’t deserve this. Our faculty doesn’t deserve this. The good name of this educational institution doesn’t deserve this. We collectively are tired of the misrepresentation.
WE STAND WITH STS in rejecting the claim that the school and the students in any way bullied, rejected or discriminated against this family.
WE STAND WITH STS in knowing that our principal and our faculty went and do go far beyond what they need to do on a daily basis to accommodate and work with our children.
WE STAND WITH STS in its achievements in inclusion, flexibility and progressive thinking.
WE STAND WITH STS in knowing that it followed rules and protocols and tried their best to make accommodations.
WE STAND WITH STS in knowing that this issue has gone far beyond a girl not being able to play basketball and has grown to a family’s vindictiveness.
WE STAND WITH STS because WE ARE STS!
We are the parents who volunteer our time to assist, coach, lead and impact. We are the students who learn, grow, love and work together. We are the teachers who nurture, teach, give and inspire. We are the people who know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the negativity of ONE family will not bear witness to the resilience and confidence of all the others. WE STAND WITH STS!!
Please join me in getting the message out that STS is not what is being portrayed. We recommend that you share information here and also reach out to each of these parties (see list below.) We feel that the Archdiocese and the nation overall needs to hear from everyone as we feel they’ve only heard one side of the story. Please share what is in your heart and what you feel is pertinent.
- Include personal testimonies and stories of your positive experiences at the school; interactions within the community, the value of the Catholic education your child(ren) receive.
- How important St. Theresa School is to the community and the parish itself
- Personal successes of your students, stories of how the faculty and administration has helped your family and children.
Here are the people you can reach out to:
- Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R., D.D., Archbishop of Newark, Archdiocese of Newark, PO Box 9500, Newark, NJ 07104-0500
- Dr. Margaret Dames, Ed.D., Superintendent for Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Newark, (973) 497-4260, SchoolsOffice@rcanschools.org
- Sr. Patricia Butler, SC, Elementary School Administration and Essex and Union County Elementary Schools for the Archdiocese of Newark, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jim Goodness, Vice Chancellor and Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Newark, 973-497-4186, email@example.com
- Jonathan Azzara, Public Relations Specialist, 973-497-4193, firstname.lastname@example.org
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