Parents raised millions for their beloved local Catholic school, but then the administration allegedly became so woke it ultimately violated its own mission, according to a lawsuit filed in June.
Anthony and Barbara Scarpo charged the Academy of the Holy Names in Tampa, Florida, with “distancing itself from mainstream Catholicism, and embracing the new, politically correct, divisive and ‘woke’ culture.” Gender identity and openness to LGBTQ lifestyles, pro-abortion stances, white guilt and other “hot-button issues” replaced Catholic teaching, and students were allegedly taught to feel “guilt for not having been ‘woke’ sooner,” according to the lawsuit.
AHN runs an all-girls high school that prides itself on its Catholic curriculum and boasts alumnae such as former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who declined a request for comment.
The Scarpos claim that the school breached its contract for failing to provide their two children with a traditional Catholic education as well as “besmirching and harming” their reputations after they pledged $1.35 million to the school and helped raise an additional $9 million.
Although, not everyone at the school agrees with the Scarpos claims or believes AHN has lost its Catholic foundation.
In July, three former AHN alumni pushed back against the Scarpo’s claims in an open letter signed by over 500 former students of the Academy and other schools run by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in New York and Seattle, the Tampa Bay Times and WFLA reported. They believe what the Scarpos criticized at the Academy aren’t failures of the school, but examples 0f the Catholic faith in practice.
The letter’s authors and former students, Keri Kelly, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Dolan and Allie Reichert quoted the Bible and said that while there is more room for improvement, they were proud of the school’s move toward more diversity, equity and inclusion.
“We would be angered and saddened to see our alma mater change the curriculum because of one family (who are no longer associated with the Academy),” the letter said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “We believe such teachings are not antithetical to the Catholic faith. On the contrary, we argue that these teachings are essential to development in the Catholic faith. The Catholic faith compels us to seek out practices that support and uplift all of our brothers and sisters.”
The Scarpo’s have seen the letter, which Anthony Scarpo said mischaracterized the goals of the lawsuit, the Tampa Bay Times reported. They want to be what he said is the “silent majority” of parents who are unhappy with the school’s shift in direction that started around 2018.
“When you begin to teach social justice without the umbrella of Catholicism and you leave God out of the discussion and leave anything that is Catholic out of the discussion, now all you have beco….