Boulder Catholic school boots student with gay parents

March 5, 2010

BOULDER — A Catholic school is kicking out a preschooler because the child's parents are lesbians.

The child also will not be allowed to re-enroll next year at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School. The Denver Archdiocese posted a statement Friday saying the parents are "living in open discord with Catholic teaching."

The statement says students in Catholic schools are expected to have parents who abide by church and school policies. The archdiocese said students with gay parents in Catholic schools would become confused.

"To allow children in these circumstances to continue in our school would be a cause of confusion for the student in that what they are being taught in school conflicts with what they experience in the home," the statement read.

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese, Jeanette DeMelo, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that the school does allow non-Catholic parents. But she added, "If any of these families were in open discord with the church or school, they would not be enrolled."

DeMelo said the gay parents in this case became known "through the normal admissions process." But she did not explain why the child was enrolled in the first place if the parents' orientation was known.

DeMelo did not say whether any other students at the school have been booted because their parents don't abide by Catholic policy. The school has 321 students, 42 of them in preschool.

The school's decision was first reported Friday by KUSA-TV in Denver.

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