Statement to ”National Catholic Register” in response to inquiry for an article about “curriculum content.”
Jesuit High School Sacramento recently responded to a media inquiry from the “National Catholic Register.” In a similar fashion with other media inquiries and for the purposes of full transparency with our faculty, staff, students, and parents, we would like to share with you our statement to the reporter.
Jesuit High School of Sacramento’s academic, religious, and moral foundation is rooted in our Catholic faith and follows the doctrinal teachings of the Catholic Church and our Ignatian Charism.
Jesuit Sacramento does not use critical race theory (CRT) in its teaching or course preparation and has no plans to change any curriculum to include CRT principles.
Jesuit Sacramento’s curriculum is animated by Catholic Social Teaching, which calls us to see and uplift the human dignity of all people, and in so doing, to live out the Gospel message.
Catholic Social Teaching gives us clear guidance on the topic of racism: it is real, it is pernicious, and it is sinful and has no place on Jesuit’s campus. In the classroom, Jesuit Sacramento’s curriculum has remained consistent for many years – well before the recent increased public discourse on racial justice. Jesuit classrooms invite students to inquire, critique, and reflect upon what they know and are coming to know. Students are taught how to think, not what to think. The goal is to give students a foundation upon which they learn to discern for themselves, treat others with respect, and appreciate the value of service. Jesuit Sacramento’s mission is to form men of conscience, not men of any specific political ideology.
Jesuit teachers and administrators are always prepared to work with students or parents who have questions or concerns about these or any topics. School leadership continues to meet with families regarding a wide range of topics including questions regarding our curriculum in light of the national conversations on CRT. As noted during orientation and in the “Chain of Care” section of the Student and Parent Handbook that all families sign and acknowledge upon enrollment, communications should follow the pre-established internal processes that promote the direct contact with teachers first. Additional communication methods and subsequent contact can continue as needed through the proper department and various levels of administration. Unfortunately, if messages are sent or posted anonymously, Jesuit has no way to have an open and engaging dialogue to support that student or parent.
After several letters were published anonymously, Jesuit responded with an open letter in November 2020 to assure community members of our commitment to our Catholic Jesuit mission and to invite families into productive dialogue. Every attempt was made to invite individuals to come forward and meet one-on-one with teachers or administrators; only a few chose to accept that invitation.
The issues brought by this anonymous group of people have nothing to do with a lawsuit that a former student and his father recently filed related to Jesuit Sacramento’s student discipline process. It is disconcerting that anyone would try to use litigation as a platform for their own personal or political agenda. Jesuit has filed a motion to dismiss the case as part of its plan to vigorously defend against the baseless claims. Jesuit will not comment further outside the courtroom because the matter is in litigation generally and because the matter involves student discipline specifically. Jesuit Sacramento expects its students to treat each other with respect and will take seriously the use of homophobic, racist, or other language that is inconsistent with its mission.
Jesuit High School of Sacramento, founded in 1963, remains steadfast in upholding the mission to produce Men for Others who are academically, ethically, spiritually, and morally prepared for college and all that their life ahead holds. With a strong legacy of excellent academics, arts, athletics, and service in our region; a robust and diverse current student body; and nearly 11,000 alumni – the door continues to be open to working with any community member who would like to meet with Jesuit Sacramento directly.