Petition Calls for Changes at Covington Catholic High School

An alumnus of Covington Catholic High School is calling for “immediate change,” at the school under fire for the actions of its students in Washington D.C. following the March for Life event.

A white teenager from the Kentucky Catholic school, surrounded by laughing and cheering classmates wearing Make America Great Again apparel, is seen standing in front of a Native American elder while smirking during the Indigenous People’s Day March in Washington D.C. Friday.


Guy with a MAGA hat mocking a elder Native American protestor at Indigenous Peoples MarchIndigenous Peoples March – Native American with dignity faces Trump supporters who have been taught to act like lowlifes. MAGA liars are trying to say different, but full video shows the Native American vet peacefully approached the group and played a peace prayer with his drums (damn him, right?). Then (as anyone can see in…2019-01-19T06:37:27.000Z

The Native American man is an elder, a Vietnam-era Marine veteran, musician, educator and youth leader named Nathan Phillips. Read more about him here.

In a petition on Change.org, Matthew Lehman, who graduated in 1995, is calling for sweeping change at the school beginning with the removal of principal Robert Rowe “for fostering an environment where these types of actions and words are condoned.”

The petition, created by Lehman Saturday afternoon, had as its original goal 15,000 signatures but that was soon meet and the new goal is set at 25,000.

Lehman also calls for a special board to review the school’s policies and standards, cease involvement in March for Life and use the funds for students in need, and stop using ‘Make America Great Again’ materials in fundraising, something Lehman says its illegal.

Among the comments are two from a former educator who questions the apparent approval of student conduct by chaperones and another, a Notre Dame alumnus, who said she found “…their behavior unacceptable, and all those who have made them think it is except a bowl should be held accountable.”

“I expect better of the Covington Catholic men …(who are) not behaving in line with Christ’s message.”

The petition is an entreaty to Covington Diocese Bishop Rev. Roger Foys.

“I write to you as a Christian, a graduate of Covington Catholic High School, a parishioner of Holy Spirit Parish in the Covington Diocese, and as a father of an 8th grade boy deciding where he will attend high school next year.

I am sure that you, as many of us in the Covington Catholic community, are disappointed and concerned about the recent actions of a number of CovCath boys in Washington D.C. at the March for Life.

In response to this issue, I urge you to demonstrate swift and decisive leadership.

Specifically, I am petitioning you to take the following actions:

1. The immediate termination of the school principal, Mr. Robert Rowe, for fostering an environment where these types of actions and words are condoned.

2. Appointment of a board of Covington Diocese Catholics to thoroughly review CovCath’s admissions, educational standards, administration and social mission. This board should report directly to the lay population of the Diocese.

3. Cease any further association of CovCath with the March for Life. The time and money previously used for this trip should be redirected to Welcome House, a Catholic organization with a long track record of supporting the lives of the most vulnerable Covington residents.

Unfortunately, what happened in D.C. should not be a surprise to anyone who has been associated with CovCath. The above photo (from last year’s March for Life) was in the CovCath recruiting brochure my son received a few months ago:

Forgetting the fact that including “MAGA” propaganda in the school’s recruitment material is likely illegal under the Johnson Amendment, it also shows a complete lack of judgement by CovCath administration.

CovCath is the only boys’ high school in the Diocese and its stated mission is to embrace the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in order to educate students spiritually, academically, physically and socially. CovCath is an institution in the service of all of Northern Kentucky – rich or poor, Republican or Democrat, immigrant or native born.

I have watched with concern over the years as CovCath has become less diverse, more elite, and more expensive – even as the surrounding community has become more economically and ethnically diverse. It was not many years ago that CovCath’s student body was primarily working-class boys from the urban areas in our diocese. I am not sure what happened in the last generation, but CovCath has simply made itself inaccessible to too many boys in our Diocese.

I am comforted by the fact that most of us in the CovCath Community are generous and kind Christians and that the events in D.C. are not reflective of most upstanding men who went through CovCath.

However, you would need to be willfully ignorant to maintain that CovCath administration has not allowed certain elitist and exclusive tendencies to take root in the school.

It is abundantly clear that CovCath has lost its way under current leadership and significant changes need to be made at the institution.

Your brother in Christ,

Matthew Lehman

Covington Catholic class of 1995″

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