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Catholic school administrator resigns after parents object to girl identifying as boy

Catholic school administrator resigns after parents object to girl identifying as boy

A sign outside a classroom taken in 2016. | REUTERS/Tami Chappell

The father of a girl who said she was a boy reportedly left his job administering a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Baltimore because of his theological disagreements with the Catholic Church.

The National Catholic Register reported this week that the father, who served as an administrator at School of the Incarnation in Gambrills, Maryland, resigned on Nov. 6, after parents of other students got upset about what they believe to be the school’s affirmation of the student’s gender identity. 

Parents told other school and diocese officials that they were concerned the man had used his authority to make school officials and children call his daughter a boy. 

The Archdiocese of Baltimore reportedly granted accommodations to his third-grade daughter allowing her to dress like a boy, go by a boy’s name, use gender-neutral pronouns and use a private bathroom.

The father announced his resignation on Facebook on Nov. 7, saying, “I know y’all are excited. I am too. I’m also proud and excited that I finally get to say publicly that my courageous youngest child is a transgender boy.” 

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The Christian Post reached out to the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the School of the Incarnation. No response was received by press time. 

As of Tuesday, National Catholic Register reported that the administrator’s daughters still attend the Catholic school.

According to Catholic news outlet Church Militant, teachers and parents at the School of the Incarnation faced a high-pressure campaign from school superintendent Denise Ball and principal Nancy Baker to make them call the girl a boy. Ball allegedly threatened teachers with termination if they refused to say so. But Ball has denied claims that representatives of archdiocese pressured teachers and parents. 

Archbishop William Lori said in a letter to school families that although faculty had been informed of the girl’s preferred new name, they were not under pressure to use it, according to National Catholic Register.

Principal Baker allegedly called every third-grade family to convince them to treat the girl as if she was a boy. Most children in the girl’s classes now call her a boy, the group Archdiocese of Baltimore-Parents Protecting Catholic Identity told the National Catholic Register.

“As a school, we have no intention to ever diminish or hide our Catholic faith or the teachings of the Church," Baker wrote in an email to parents obtained by Church Militant. "Our curriculum remains the same, and that foundation remains the same.”

“We also remain committed to being a community in which we all strive to be kind in our words and actions," Baker continued. "Finally, we remain committed to working collaboratively with home and school to help each student grow in grace and truth, and I believe strongly in that partnership.”

In a phone interview with a Catholic blogger, Ball denied the claims of the Church Militant article, saying that the article does not “accurately reflect the facts of the situation.”

“At no time did any archdiocesan, not myself or any school staff member, threaten parents or teachers or demand that a person act in a way that’s inconsistent with their religious convictions,” Ball assured, adding that those with concerns have been given an opportunity to voice them. “The school has and will continue to maintain its Catholic identity and unwavering commitment to fulfilling the teaching of the catholic church including those regarding human sexuality.”

While she couldn’t comment on the case at hand since it involves a student, Ball went on to say that the archdiocese “ensures” that all students are given the support from the faculty and staff that “is consistent with our Catholic teaching.” 

When asked directly, Ball did not say whether the diocese permitted teachers to call the girl a boy.

Parents discovered that the school’s family handbook added language saying it does not discriminate based on gender identity, reported the National Catholic Register. 

This language seems to contradict the school handbook’s statement that it can refuse to admit students who do not live according to the teachings and ideals of the school.

“School of the Incarnation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability or handicap, gender identity or expression, or protected activity,” a section of the handbook reads. “The school reserves the right to deny attendance to anyone whose behavior is contrary to the teachings and ideals of the school or whose behavior or attitude is disruptive to the functioning of the student body.”

The school handbook said that the School of the Incarnation does not discriminate against people who complain about school policy or oppose its anti-discrimination rules.

In 2019, the Vatican released a pamphlet titled “Male and Female He Created Them,” which stated that transgenderism did not fit into the Christian worldview. God created men and women, and other genders don’t exist, the pamphlet said.

“Christian anthropology has its roots in the narrative of human origins that appears in the Book of Genesis, where we read that 'God created man in his own image [...] male and female he created them.' These words capture not only the essence of the story of creation but also that of the life-giving relationship between men and women, which brings them into intimate union with God,” the pamphlet reads.

In 2016, Pope Francis denounced transgenderism in a private meeting with bishops in stark terms, calling it an “annihilation of man as image of God, reported The Guardian.  

“Today, in schools they are teaching this to children – to children! – that everyone can choose their gender,” the Pope said.

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