LAFAYETTE – Just how deeply Greater Lafayette’s private schools might be cut by a suggestion this week from Jennifer McCormick, Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction, that the state should tie anti-discrimination provisions to state school vouchers wasn’t exactly clear.
Principals and superintendents at schools in Tippecanoe County that received vouchers from a combined 938 students during the 2017-18 school year walked carefully – or took a pass – on the question in the days after McCormick vented at the Statehouse that schools that get public money should accommodate gay and lesbian students, teachers and staff.
“I guess the implication is that we’re not friendly to LGBT students,” said Glenn Tebbe, executive director of the Indiana Catholic Conference, which handles public policy questions for the state’s five Catholic dioceses and their schools.
“And that’s just not the case,” Tebbe said. “The Catholic schools do serve students with very diverse backgrounds. We certainly welcome and want students who desire a quality Catholic education … regardless of their socio-economic issues or their sexual orientations or their gender or ethnicity or their religion, for that matter.”
As for teachers, including those at four schools in the Lafayette Catholic School System? Are they held to the same standard used at Indianapolis’ Roncalli High School, where guidance counselor Shelly Fitzgerald was put on administrative leave when her same-sex marriage became public knowledge?
Tebbe said that’s “always been the case.”