First-Graders Were Told Kerry ‘Kills Babies’

Yet anoth­er entry in the “rea­sons to home­school” list, found via ariedana:

Teacher’s pol­i­tics dis­turbs students

By STEVE URBON, Stan­dard-Times senior correspondent

FAIRHAVEN — A Rogers School music teacher sent first-graders home on Elec­tion Day to warn their par­ents against vot­ing for pro-choice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date John Ker­ry because he “kills babies,” accord­ing to a School Com­mit­tee member.

The graph­ic polit­i­cal les­son so trau­ma­tized some of the first- and sec­ond-grade stu­dents at the Fairhaven school that it prompt­ed a parental back­lash and hasty meet­ings between par­ents and school officials.

The teacher, Rita Cam­poli, did not return a call at her New Bed­ford home seek­ing com­ment yes­ter­day. But Fairhaven School Com­mit­tee mem­ber Michael Gagne said he has been swamped with calls and e‑mails from irate par­ents, as have school administrators.

The aunt of one first-grad­er called The Stan­dard-Times to say that her niece had col­lapsed in tears at the idea that can­di­date Ker­ry was some­how respon­si­ble for the killing of babies in abor­tions. “She hard­ly has an idea of death. And now she has this vision of John Ker­ry killing babies.”

Assis­tant Super­in­ten­dent Ralph W. Tripp could not be reached for com­ment yes­ter­day after­noon. But in an e‑mail to Mr. Gagne and oth­ers, he explained that the teacher had used her class­es to bring up abor­tion and euthana­sia, both of which she opposes.
“She went on to explain abor­tion,” said the e‑mail.

School offi­cials, said Mr. Tripp, met with stu­dents Wednes­day morn­ing and with par­ents in the after­noon, and a let­ter was sent home to par­ents as well. A staff meet­ing was held yes­ter­day morn­ing, said Mr. Gagne, and he said the teacher has appar­ent­ly been reprimanded.

But that isn’t enough for the aunt, at least, who said she believes the teacher should at least be suspended.

“That lit­tle girl was hys­ter­i­cal, she was sob­bing,” said the aunt. The teacher, she said, was using the class­room and the chil­dren “for polit­i­cal purposes.”

“I under­stand she’s a devout Catholic, but there’s such a thing as sep­a­ra­tion of church and state,” she said. “The kids were trau­ma­tized. At that age they don’t under­stand death. They think of old peo­ple, and now she’s talk­ing about babies.”

The teacher, she said, apol­o­gized, “but that does­n’t real­ly help the situation.”

This sto­ry appeared on Page A1 of The Stan­dard-Times on Novem­ber 5, 2004.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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