I guess I don’t know a lot about the effectiveness of requiring school uniforms, but several studies out there including this one, don’t show they help much;

In general, students in schools that required school uniforms did not demonstrate better social skills, internalizing and externalizing behavior, or school attendance as compared with students in schools without school uniforms. These associations were true across both public and private schools. 

I’m sure there are hundreds of studies showing both sides of the coin, but the bigger issue is how the SFSD left the parents in the dark when making this decision;

Peters said she doesn’t agree with the way administration doled out information about the major changes coming to Axtell this school year in meetings held at the school Aug. 2 and Aug. 9.

“Removing the programs built to support our students, restructuring the school and intentionally hiding from the parents and students in my opinion is shameful,” she said. “We are supposed to be a team. This is not how a team works. Ultimately, our children suffer when there are breakdowns of this proportion.”

It kind of seems like this is an authoritarian move instead of something that would actually be beneficial to the students;

“We believe all students deserve the best opportunities,” Konrad said in a statement. “Regular attendance, positive behavior and self-image, and a strong focus on academic success are critical factors for the students who participate in the behavior programs at Axtell Park, now and in the future.”

So shouldn’t this policy be implemented district wide? Why single out lower income or challenged students? I have long heard from teachers across the district (from elementary school to high school, to lower income to middle income schools) that there are major discrepancies on programming and funding depending on what school it is. Maybe uniforms are NOT the issue? Maybe it is staffing, programming and funding?


While private schools are a ‘choice’ I wonder how many parents that send their kids to Catholic Schools will be keen on this policy;

The policy states that students cannot “advocate, celebrate, or express” either same-sex attraction or “transgenderism” in a way that would “cause confusion or distraction in the context of Catholic school classes, activities, or events.” It also says that teachers or staff cannot refer to a student by a pronoun that corresponds with the opposite sex.

While the SFSD did say they made their decision on uniforms based on committee recommendations, kind of sounds like SFCS decision was based on what the Bishop thinks. You get what you pay for.

While I don’t have a dog in the fight since I have no kids, I do fund the public schools, and it seems over the past couple of years there has been a push to turn our schools into a fascist state. There are many reasons why students fall behind, and it has little to do with identity, it usually has to do with income status. I have argued for a long time that ALL students, regardless of income status should get a FREE lunch, if they want it, no questions asked. There should also be equal funding and programming at ALL schools in Sioux Falls, regardless of the neighborhood they are in. But there needs to be a community wide effort to raise wages for the working class parents, offer more affordable family housing and public funding for Pre-K education, which has proven to help with better student outcomes and saves families childcare dollars.

Of course none of this works very well without having an open and transparent conversation with the community instead of implementing polices in the dark of night.

I will have to commend the local media who have decided to cover this very important story. But let’s make no mistake, while the story is partially about gay rights, equality, employee rights, religious freedom and quite honestly, reality, the bigger story is that this teacher’s 1st Amendment rights were spit on by her employer;

“It was very evident that everybody that I talked to at the school cared a lot about their students, regardless of their orientation,” Hickman said. “But it seemed that once I put something on my personal social media, that’s when it became a problem.”

Employee contracts aside and the Catholic’s church stance on homosexuality, this is about a bigger issue; the rights of an American citizen to express their view on any topic outside of work without being pressured by their employer to STFU!

Three months later, she says she was called into a meeting at O’Gorman and was asked to take the post down.

“I left that meeting stating I don’t feel comfortable doing anything about the post when I don’t understand why you’re asking me to do this,” Hickman said.

She then received a letter from Kyle Groos, President of the Bishop O’Gorman schools. It says Hickman’s post ‘promotes beliefs about lifestyle and sexuality that are inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.’

This is close to my heart, being politically involved as I am, many employers I have had struggled with my private political life. I had to remind them that my private life and my political beliefs were none of their business, and I must have been successful, because none of them terminated me because of it, some actually defended me, and I only quit one job because of it (lead usher at the Washington Pavilion).

NO EMPLOYER can fire an employee for their personal beliefs outside of work. It is a blatant violation of their 1st Amendment rights. And while Ukrainians fight for their sovereignty I am reminded that we live in an incredible FREE nation and no one can take that away from us. Bravo to Rachel Hickman for taking a stance. Our rights as free citizens should never be questioned or punished, that is called fascism, because last I checked we live in a free country and the SFCS should be ashamed and admonished, especially an institution that is educating young adults.

I guess priests are only supposed to abstain from sex with people of the opposite sex that are adults, kids don’t count;

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson testified last month that he wasn’t sure whether it was illegal for priests to have sex with children while he served as chancellor of the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese.

The former chancellor gave a deposition last month in a lawsuit that claims the Minnesota archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona created a public nuisance by keeping information on abusive priests secret, reported Minnesota Public Radio.

The 69-year-old Carlson also faces a massive clergy abuse lawsuit in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where he’s served as archbishop since 2009.

Wonder if one of our fine local media sources will cover this story?

From Guest Poster;

OK, on what planet has this ignoramus been on since he became a priest in the 1970’s? I thought any sex was prohibited once he became a priest. I remember my 1950-60’s childhood catechism learning this little lesson from priests and nuns. WTF? Did his childhood priest teach him it was alright? Hmmmmm……

So if it is against Catholic Church doctrine to not have sex, why does he then think it is legally OK for a priest to have diddle with kids? In his priestly studies was there a chapter saying it was legal? Rape laws have been on the books for more decades than we could count. How many 69 year old men or women were taught as children an adult can play with you?

This Fake spent tens of thousands of dollars fixing up the bishop’s house and other special places for him to hide from his flock while serving in SD. This is from the man who refused to drive the previous bishop’s Chevrolet Caprice because it was beneath his position as the leader of a multi-million dollar corporation. He went down to Kindlers and secured a nice little Cadillac instead.

This ‘man’ of God is an individual who does not understand the purpose of his avocation. He wasn’t sure it was illegal for priests to have sex with kids, yea right.

“I don’t believe in the use of birth control, of course I don’t have sex either.”

Nothing like watching a Bishop and a Nun fight over the use of birth control;

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls has sent a letter to clergy saying he isn’t endorsing a nun’s speech at a private Catholic college in Yankton.

Sister Simone Campbell is speaking Thursday night at Mount Marty College. She is the director of a Catholic social justice education and lobbying group, and an outspoken supporter of the new federal health care law.

Campbell said in comments published in the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan newspaper that many Catholics have misunderstood the law’s mandate that most health plans have to cover birth control for women as a preventive service, free of charge.

Bishop Paul Swain says in his letter that the law doesn’t protect religious liberty, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes it.

Hey, Pauly, it’s a healthcare law not a religious freedom law. Just saying.

As a person who collects religious icons and loves byzantine art, I will have to admit, that doesn’t look like a ‘six-pack’ to me. No wonder Mary Magdalene was smiling in the last supper picture 🙂

Actually the art is inaccurate;

Janet Jaime is the artist who designed the crucifix hanging in St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. She was unavailable for comment, but her husband said critics are misinterpreting a common religious icon.

“This isn’t just a subjective drawing. This is a historical icon of the church,” said Reggie Jaime, husband of Janet Jaime, an Oklahoma City iconographer commissioned by the church to design the crucifix. “I can’t help what you see in things, or she sees in things, or anyone.”

I commissioned the ‘Epiphany’ from a Russian byzantine artist (John the baptist, baptizing Jesus), and while the muscles on the stomach are similiar, my piece includes horizontal lines representing stomach muscles, this piece does not. I think this artist is going to have a hard time convincing people his work is accurate.