From: Carrie Harris
It would be an understatement to say that Sunday’s front-page article in The Republic caught me off guard. After attending Mass with my husband and son, I recalled the father’s homily on love and how we define it in the modern era. How well do we love our fellow man? How well do we show it? I was reminded of the former when I read the headline, “Complaint filed against district.” Initially quite angry, I said several prayers and thought of a better way to focus my energy. I hope that it is fruitful.
I was an educator in the public school system for 10 years, half of which were devoted to Hauser Jr.-Sr. High. As a history teacher, I consider myself a proud constitutionalist and respect the separation of church and state. As a Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. employee, I have had multiple sit-down conversations with both Superintendent Shawn Price and Dean of Students J.P. Mayer to express school-related concerns or ask for accommodations during times of personal emergency. Each of these conversations was received with courtesy, respect and a genuine attempt toward resolution. I am conflicted as to why there was not an attempt for this to be resolved locally, because I am certain the complainant would have been shown the same.
I am a proud Catholic, mother and wife. Originally from Evansville, I discovered the town of Hope and Hauser and knew this is where I wanted to continue my career and raise a family. I was one of those teachers who had nearly burnt out after five brief years in public education. What was it that made Hauser different? It took me awhile to figure it out, but I finally realized that Hauser reminded me of my alma mater, Mater Dei High School. A private Catholic high school, it offered selfless and humble teachers, produced polite and motivated students, and created an overwhelming presence of human decency.
People there and people in the “surprising little town” of Hope do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. At no time during my career at Hauser did I witness teachers or administrators initiate prayer. It would be foolish to think that what makes Hauser the successful academic institution that it is, has nothing to do with faith. Administrators do not force it onto anyone. Teachers do not preach faith to students. Students are not forced to pray during the daily moment of silence. However, faith is woven into the very fabric and everyday doings of the FRHC community.
The consequence of the letter received by Price will have the opposite effect of what the complainant was hoping to achieve. There will be a stronger presence of faith in the FRHC community than ever before, initiated by the students and families who make the town what it is. They have been here since its founding because where there is faith, there is Hope.