On Thursday, CNN moaned that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos would be visiting a “Pennsylvania Catholic school that subscribes to an anti-trans student policy.”
What constitutes an “an anti-trans student policy” for CNN? The fact that Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, obeys the Diocese of Harrisburg’s student policy on Gender Identity Questions, which states:
This policy addresses the circumstances where there is a clear biological determination of a person’s sex and subsequent efforts to chemically and/or surgically alter the given biology. This is understood in Catholic moral terms as self-mutilation and therefore immoral. To attempt to make accommodations for such persons would be to cooperate in the immoral action and impose an unacceptable burden on others in the school community.
The policy adds, “When parents enroll a child in a Catholic school in the diocese they agree that they will not publically act in opposition to Catholic teaching. Notification of a student’s determination to undergo a sex change procedure or that a student has undergone the procedure (condition #2 as described above) would violate that agreement. The student would be ineligible to attend or remain in attendance in a Catholic school.”
So for CNN, a Catholic school that subscribes to strict Catholic teaching is purveying an “anti-trans student policy.”
This is not the first time CNN or a CNN commentator has targeted a Catholic school; in January 2019, Father Edward L. Beck, a Roman Catholic priest and a CNN Religion Commentator, slammed the boys from Covington Catholic School in Kentucky after an incident at the March for Life, writing:
I don’t think the boys should have been permitted to wear MAGA hats to the March for Life event they attended. The “Make America Great Again” slogan has become political code for an agenda that is often in opposition with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The boys attended the march representing a Catholic boys’ school. Any hat donned should have had the school name or a logo identifying them as participants in the March for Life event — not a hat with a logo that may suggest stances not in accord with the mission statement of their school.
In July 2019, CNN compared two Catholic schools in Indianapolis after one fired a teacher who had announced his same-sex marriage on social media. Cathedral High School fired the teacher after Archdiocese of Indianapolis Archbishop Charles Thompson warned the school it would forfeit its ability to be recognized or identified as a Catholic institution by the archdiocese if it kept the teacher on staff. CNN then reported, “Another Catholic school in Indianapolis was issued the same ultimatum by the archbishop and chose to keep their teacher. In June, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, only 11 miles from Cathedral, refused to fire its teacher and as a result will no longer be recognized or identified as a Catholic institution by the archdiocese. The school said it plans to appeal the decision to the archdiocese and the Vatican, if necessary.”
Cathedral High School issued a statement to CNN that read: “In today’s climate we know that being Catholic can be challenging and we hope that this action does not dishearten you, and, most especially, dishearten Cathedral’s young people. We know that some individuals do not agree with every teaching of the Catholic Church and so their conscience struggles between the teaching and what they believe is right.”