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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Truth About My Immediate Dismissal

We and our attorney, Eric Grant, have repeatedly tried to reconcile with Loretto's administration, beginning with our request for a retraction and apology on November 4th. After waiting ten days, Loretto finally responded with an unfortunate refusal along with a copy of their press release. My family continues to hope for reconciliation (see our press statement), but any reconciliation must necessarily address the falsehoods discussed below. Thus, we have decided to release all of the communications between my family and Loretto so that people can see the truth for themselves.

On Saturday, October 29th, I received an express mail envelope from Loretto administration, which ordered “immediate dismissal” of my family from Loretto High School. Please read it here.

First of all, the letter states that Loretto was "ready to move on with our educational mission" and that "the focus of the administration, faculty and students continues to be disrupted by the actions of your family." How does one "move on" while one's mom is restricted from campus permanently? It would seem that my family would be the ones not allowed to "move on."

As you can see in the letter, there were three pieces of "evidence" for my expulsion. I would like to discuss all of them below.

  1. The first "piece of evidence" as reason for expulsion was that there was an "email from Wynette Sills threatening Sister Helen with the disruption of Open House." Here are the emails between my mom and Sister Helen about Ms. Bain teaching at Loretto and the events in between. Because Sister Helen has refused to meet with us or return our phone calls, these emails are our only communication with Sister Helen. These are all of the emails. Nothing in these emails has been edited, except taking off our home phone number (for obvious reasons), omitting personal identities when noted and the pictures included in the first email.

    The October 4th email is where the "threat" supposedly happened. I invite you to read it again. If this email was so "threatening" that it was grounds for expulsion, then why was my family allowed to attend Open House after the "threat" was made? It just doesn't make sense.

  2. The next bit of "evidence" is that my dad "trespassed into a private area and attempted to intimidate an Assistant Principal" at Loretto's Open House on October 16th. My dad talks about it here.

    Obviously, it is my dad's word against the assistant principal's. However, Loretto's actions afterward further support my dad's statement. That day, there were police officers already on campus. If my dad truly was threatening and trespassed, it would have been common procedure to interview the alleged "intimidator." My dad was never interviewed. Also, my dad has volunteered on Thursday mornings before school for Loretto's TEAMS club (preparation for Stanford's Engineering, Math and Science contest) all of my freshman year and all of this past year up to two weeks after Open House. If my dad was intimidating, why was he allowed on campus with Loretto students? The only reasonable conclusion is that Loretto's administration knows that my dad did not threaten or intimidate anyone. Thus, this second reason for dismissal is also false.
  3. The third piece of "evidence" was an email from my mom asking our family and friends for prayer. It is quoted fully in the letter, but you can also directly read the email of October 27th here.

    Apparently, asking for prayer and capitalizing Catholic is "malicious," "slanders the reputation and integrity of Loretto High School" and is grounds for expulsion. If this sounds unbelievable, I suggest reading the dismissal letter again.

Also in the envelope were my grades from this year and last year. As you can see, I have been a straight-A student during my time at Loretto. I have never, in my life, been sent to the principal's office or have received a detention. (And here I am getting expelled.) Obviously, this expulsion is not about my grades or my behavior at school.

This "immediate dismissal" came completely unexpectedly and without warning. In fact, the very week before my expulsion, I was thrilled that I was chosen to be one of the defense attorneys on Loretto's Mock Trial team. I was hoping to try out for a solo in the choir. I was looking forward to Homecoming week with my friends. Yet, Loretto's administration sent me this notice on a Saturday morning and indicated that the contents of my locker would be shipped to my home. I was unable to say goodbye to my friends and teachers, or even ask for reconsideration. Furthermore, these same classmates and their parents received a letter from Loretto's administration which accused my family of the items that I discussed above. You can read the letter here.

Some people have speculated that I got expelled because of my blog, but Loretto's administration never asked me to restrict anything on my blog. This forum has allowed post-abortive women to share their stories, some for the very first time. These true experiences can change hearts and minds, and most importantly, can save a life.

My expulsion was the only remaining power that Loretto's administration had over my family. They chose to use that power, stating the three pieces of "evidence" above as "proof." This expulsion was greatly unreasonable, undeserved, and vindictive. Furthermore, the falsified "evidence" is defamation of my family's character. For the last ten days, we have given Loretto's administration an opportunity to retract their false statements and apologize, but they have refused. My family and I will not stand for this. I hope that you will not either.