Editor's Note: Today's post continues our open letter to "Discipline Donnie," with Part B of the exam we introduced last week.
How timely (ironic?) it is that this post occurs on Mother's Day weekend, since, as you'll soon find out, it seems that moms, not children, are the ones to be seen and not heard.
OK, Don. Stop, and put your pencil down. Now, Boy! It's time to move on to the essay section. Write as much as you wish, and take all the time you need.
B. Long Essay. In each numbered item below, you will find typed in bold-face a summary statement of one of the many reports we have about your "school" followed by prompts in plain typewriting, to which you must respond in a well-organized essay. Spelling and grammar count, Don, so do be careful: This isn't the MHT newsletter.
1. It was reported that a young girl's classmates maliciously teased her about her weight. According to the account, the "priest" in charge did not intervene to stop the cruel harassment. Moreover, his unfeeling response was something to the effect that she is fat; she should lose weight if she doesn't want people making fun of her.
(a) If, after investigation, you deny the report, you may say so and then give the reasons for your denial. If you discover that the report is true but that (1) you do not approve of the administration's failure to act and (2) you abhor its callousness, narrate the remedial steps you will take to make sure something so uncharitable never occurs again. Also describe in detail the medicinal and vindictive disciplinary actions you will initiate against the administration.
2. The "school" is promoted as offering a top-notch education, yet numerous reports insist three lay "teachers" have no formal background in education at all, and one of them is only a high-school "graduate" who began teaching there the summer after her graduation from your "school." (We have no confirmed reports yet on the formal educational background of the "religious" or the "priest" in charge.) As a stern caution, Don, MHT completion doesn't count as formal training for service as an educator — or a big-box-store greeter,for that matter — so don't mention it in your answer.
(a) List all the teachers at the "school," including lay, "religious," and "clerical." Next indicate the (accredited) university degree(s) they possess along with their majors and minors, the subject areas in which they teach, the certification they hold to be able to teach in those areas, and the years of experience they have in teaching children in a formal educational setting under appropriately trained and credentialed supervision.
3. It has been reported from several sources that many mothers have unsettling doubts about your "school," but, under the influence of cult "clergy," the dads insist their kids continue attending despite the moms' serious misgivings. Moreover, the accounts say that cult "clergy" principally target the men in an effort to keep students enrolled and the high tuition rolling in.
(a) In his Handbook of Moral Theology, Prümmer teaches that "the wife is obliged...to pay careful attention...to the education of her children" (463.c). Whether or not you deny the practice of targeting spineless fathers, explain in theory how the deliberate exclusion of the mother in the decision-making process about her child's (children's) education can still enable her to fulfill her peculiar obligation as a Catholic wife and mother?
(WARNING: In framing your answers, Don, bear in mind that your cult is NOT part of the Church, while every Catholic family is part of the Church; consequently, every Catholic family is above you and your "clergy," who do not belong to the clerical state. To be brutally candid, Don, your "school" is not Catholic in the strict sense. You are therefore forbidden here to assert in the name of the Church that your cult may assume a total educational rôle or that Catholic parents are bound to send their children to your "school." We will deduct points if you even so much as intimate your cult represents the Church and has rights above those of parents.)4. A persistent complaint, constantly repeated since your years in Michigan, is that the rules aren't for everyone, that some families and their kids get a pass while others must pay the full penalty for a rules' infraction.
(a) If the report is true and you endorse the content of the threat, explain what authority, doctrine, or personal charism allows cult leaders outside the Church to affirm that children who do not attend the cult's "school" will suffer eternal perdition?
Editor's Note: The exam will continue next week with the final section, part C, multiple choice.