Catholic high schools called on to reveal DEI programs after director resigns in Michigan – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic high school in Michigan announced the resignation of its director of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The news led CatholicVote president Brian Burch to call for all Catholic high schools to say whether or not they staff such programs as the underlying race- and sexuality-focused ideology has sparked increased scrutiny in recent years.

Catholic Central High School DEI director Tim Marroquín resigned from his position late last month, according to the school’s president, Terry Tyrrell.

“I extend my sincere gratitude to Tim for his dedication and passion in his efforts to champion a rich cultural diversity and foster an inclusive educational environment within our school,” Tyrrell wrote, according to the Grand Rapids Reporter

The president added that “Catholic teaching guides our belief that we are all created in the image and likeness of God inspiring us to promote the dignity of each person through an inclusive school culture, one that creates a sense of welcome and belonging.”

Marroquín has a lengthy background working in similar DEI roles and has openly advocated for “left-leaning causes in West Michigan,” per the Grand Rapids Reporter.

According to the report, he also criticized the Hispanic Republican Ottawa County Commissioner for allegedly not “advocat[ing] for the Hispanic/Latino community … much less her brown self.” And in 2020, he gave a presentation on swapping out books by white authors “with ‘diverse books’ that de-emphasize white characters.”

He previously ran for city council in Holland, Michigan in 2017, CatholicVote highlighted. During his campaign, he said he wanted to “help bridge” gaps associated with “socioeconomic status, religion, identities related to sexual orientation.” 

Marroquín’s last day at Catholic Central was December 29. He now serves as president of the board of Herrick District Library. 

RELATED: Critical Race Theory: It’s a cancer, not a cure

In an email cited by the Grand Rapids Reporter, Tyrrell said he would “be working with the Catholic Central leadership team to ensure we continue to embrace the rich and dynamic contributions of our students and the community we serve as we consider the next steps for [Marroquín’s] position.”

Reacting to news of Marroquín’s resignation, Burch issued a call for all other Catholic high schools across the country to state whether or not they staff DEI offices in their institutions. 

Burch said DEI programs are Marxist in origin and “designed to pit students against each other based on skin color, gender, and so-called sexual orientation.”

According to Burch, Catholic schools must exhibit “transparency” with regard to “who these people and their associations are.”

In his remarks, he charged that diversity, equity and inclusion schemes are actually “a perversion of Catholic social teaching.”

DEI offices and the ideology itself have come under intense scrutiny by conservatives in recent years.

As LifeSiteNews has reported, critical race theory (CRT) is an academic framework that asserts that people are inherently oppressed or oppressors based upon their skin color. It has been promulgated in colleges, K-12 schools, corporate board rooms, administrative government, and more, and heavily criticized by conservatives who argue the framework is misleading, divisive, and fundamentally racist.

Writing for The Catholic Thing, David G. Bonagura Jr. said that DEI curricula can be more or less radical, but that even the “gentler D.E.I. curricula that promote racial and sexual diversity measure up to Catholic curricula steeped in the liberal arts.” 

“In fact, if we wish to end racism – an authentic goal that all Catholics should support – the best way to do that is through traditional Catholic education,” Bonagura said.

And the ideology has triggered dissension in schools, where not all educators are on board with “woke” trainings or classroom curricula.

Earlier this month, a teacher in Connecticut filed a federal lawsuit after he said he was subjected to “retaliatory discipline” when he objected to mandatory training on issues like “white privilege” and critical race theory, LifeSite reported.

READ: Teacher files lawsuit over ‘retaliatory discipline’ from his pushback against woke training

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