Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Melinda Henneberger of the Kansas City Star reports on a case unfolding now in Kansas City:
Will Muller, a rising sixth grader at St. John LaLande Catholic School in Blue Springs, has been kicked out — “disenrolled” after much prayer, according to a July 19 letter from the principal, Susan Martin.
This is not because Will, who is 11, was struggling academically or did anything wrong. On the contrary, “he’s an ‘A’ student,” said the mother of a classmate, and liked by everybody. “My son would say he’s the only one who never talks or gets in any trouble.”
According to the letter, he’s being expelled because his parents, Paul and Hollee Muller, have “stated both verbally and in writing you do not agree with nor do you support the teachings of the Catholic Church. After prayerful consideration and discussion among our school administration it is obvious we no longer have a partnership with you, since the values of your family are not in alignment with those of our school. Therefore, the school administration has made the decision to disenroll your child from our school.”
As it happens, the Mullers are mainstays of the parish and the school, where they are volunteer basketball and track coaches, run a Tuesday night “open gym” for the kids, and “volunteer to do a lot of things other parents won’t,” said that same St. John mother, who like all four other parents I spoke to, did not want her name used out of fear that she, too, might be shown the door and left scrambling to find a new school three weeks before classes begin. “Their whole life was that church. It’s just wrong, and it’s going to hurt a lot of the kids.”
Hollee’s “given so much of her time, I’m shocked they would do this,” said a second St. John mom.
Paul Muller attended St. John himself, as did his 15 siblings. So this decision is devastating for their family, and for the wider community, too.
There’s much more. You need to read it all.