With all the controversy surrounding Covington Catholic High School in the news and on social media, it would be easy for me to bash my own Catholic high school and jump on this anti-private school bandwagon. However, that is not me, and that is not what my school deserves.
I am in no way condoning the actions that were committed by those high school boys, but it is also not fair that because of this one action, Catholic high schools are being given a bad rap.
My high school encouraged me to have my own ideas. It did not try to influence me any one way, it did not try to brainwash me or force beliefs on me. It did not teach me to discriminate, it did not force my political views.
I am not "anti-woman" or "anti-minority," I am not a privileged white kid unaware of the world around me. My Catholic high school did not teach me that I was better than anyone else.
It taught me the exact opposite. It taught me how to love. It taught me how to learn, it taught me how to lead, and it taught me how to listen. It taught me compassion and kindness. It taught me about the many views and opinions of the world, and it taught me that I could believe in whichever I wanted to.
My Catholic high school taught me how to make a name for myself, and how to command a student section. It taught me how to do calculus, how to solve a crime, how to make a boat out of cardboard boxes, and how to manage my time better (we're actually still working on that one).
It taught me that it was okay not to take a date to a dance, and while I never quite learned how to dance, it taught me to never stop dancing. While some of these lessons may seem arbitrary, the reason they are vital in my development is that they taught me how to have fun.
My Catholic high school was a place where new ideas were accepted and encouraged. It was a place where a healthy debate was supported and appreciated.
Beyond that, it was a place where teachers could be more than just teachers; they were my mentors, leaders, coaches, senior picture photographers, and most importantly, my friends. It was a place where I could paint my whole face pink for a student section pink-out, and not be judged by a single person.
It was a place where I could wear my hair in a messy bun and show up to class in a blanket because I knew my appearance wasn't what others were concerned about. It was a place where crocs were considered high fashion, a place where I (and the rest of the student body) was more excited for a basketball game than homecoming.
It was more than a school to me, it was a home. My home. It was the "high school experience" and so much more, and I can confidently say that I am where I am, and I am who I am because I attended Catholic high school.
Now I understand that not every school is like this. I understand that there are institutions that instill superiority in their students. There are some schools that do not teach this, but their students still develop a superiority complex.
The point being, not every Catholic school is the same, and they should not be grouped or stereotyped into a category of corrupt and biased institutions merely because the mistakes of a group of students from one school out of 6,000 were publicized.
Moral of the story, not every Catholic high school is the same, and it's unfair to assume so.