Pranks against a Catholic high school crossed the line, parents say [CNA]

#1, Ariz., Sep 6, 2016 / 01:25 pm (CNA).- Parents are outraged after religious pranks at a football game in Arizona included vandalism of a statue of Mary and a dancing Jesus on the football field.

A white statue of the Virgin Mary sits on a lit pillar at the entrance of Notre Dame Prep Catholic high school in Scottsdale, Arizona, greeting all who enter the grounds.

Last week, ahead of a Friday night football game with rivals Desert Mountain, vandals placed a mask of Hillary Clinton over Mary’s face, an attached a sex toy lower down on the statue.

“It’s beyond offensive. There’s nothing worse than to desecrate an image of [Mary],” parent Lisa Gregory told a local CBS affiliate.

“It’s probably high school hijinx, but [the vandal] needs to understand that it was bigotry and intolerance. He probably doesn’t realize that,” she added.

The Hillary mask and sex toy were quickly removed, replaced by a vase of flowers at the base of the statue.

But the pranks continued at the football game, when someone dressed as Jesus led the crowds in cheers and danced with someone dressed like the devil.

“Jesus isn’t a mascot. He’s a religious figure,” Gregory said.

Parents say they complained to the security guard, but the prank continued throughout the entirety of the game.

“He was dancing with the devil and mocking what we as Christians consider holy and sacred,” parent Mike Williams said.

The parents said while they don’t blame the kids for the incident, they blame school officials for not stepping in and stopping the pranks. They said they hope the students learn that the pranks were too offensive and crossed a line.

“Kids are young and dumb and make mistakes, but if you can’t pray in a public school, you shouldn’t be able to mock [Jesus] in a public school,” Williams said.

The local news station did not receive comment from school officials over Labor Day weekend.

Full article…


School authorities should have stopped this immediately and the offenders ejected from the game. :mad:


Parents don’t blame the kids? Ummm, they are the ones who did it…

I suppose they don’t blame the kids when they get bad grades either.

I’d hold the school and kids responsible, and suspend anyone connected.

Has this been sexual harassment, suspensions or expulsions would have been a guarantee. This is just as serious.


I’d tend to agree. To let it continue is to trivialize the behavior. Once upon a time people used to actually respect those who they disagreed with, but now it’s just “kids being kids”. Well being intentionally offensive to the beliefs of others is a problem of their parents not teaching them respect for others. No one can say that it was just an accident that they chose those specific acts at a Catholic school.


I presume the Catholic School was playing a non-Catholic school? Perhaps they’re not aware of just how offensive their choices of imagery are? (or I hope they’re not)

That said, when I was in Catholic High School we had some less than appropriate incidents between our school and a rival Catholic High School. Some students from their school filled our Olympic-sized swimming pool with thousands of golfballs painted in their school’s colors. And someone from our school painted their football stadium’s bleachers our school colors in retaliation. These kinds of hijinx and inappropriate behavior aren’t limited to any particular type of school. High school kids can be mighty stupid when it comes down to it.


I wouldn’t put this on par with painted golf balls in a swimming pool or such a retaliation like that. I don’t consider those relatable in the slightest.

This is beyond the realm of ‘prank’ it’s desecration.

If this happened, I just wouldn’t be part of whatever these people were part of, if they want to openly try and make a mockery of what I hold most dear and desecrate a statue of the Virgin Mary, than if they are part of the Catholic School … well no more, they can go to a secular school if that’s how they feel, if we are 'vs’ing one another in football or something, than some may find that harder, but I would just not play the game against them, I’ll forfeit if I have to, nor watch it.

Put cameras around the school (assume it’s already there) If they trespass, report it to police.

This is not ‘boys being boys’ nor a ‘harmless prank’ nor something silly and harmless like ping pong balls filling a car or anything like that.

If someone did this about someone’s mother or father or another loved one, had vile profanities toward them and mocked them etc in front of them, who here would be cool with that?

“For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

I hope this has helped

God Bless

Thank you for reading


Mother, we ask you to please pray for the conversion of those who did this.


And those who make excuses for it.



Thank you so much for your post, Josh. I snipped out a couple of bits above, for emphasis.

It seems that both you and I read Post #5 with astonishment. Upon reflection, I think after all it really is unsurprising when we consider the current state of the culture. The ‘cutural left,’ via the majority of large American media outlets, plays a constant drumbeat of ‘bigotry and intolerance’: bigotry and intolerance which are almost always defined as ‘racism,’ ‘homophobia/transphobia (etc)’, and/or ‘xenophobia,’ and almost never as religious intolerance/bigotry. On the rare occasions in which religious intolerance and bigotry are mentioned, a vanishingly small percentage of these instances centre around anti-Catholic behaviours such as those described in the OP. So you have a microscopic percentage of a microscopic percentage of media reports, which means it just doesn’t become a real part of the average person’s consciousness; this results in considering the incidents in the OP as merely as just another series of pranks or ‘hijinx’, like filling a pool with golf-balls or painting the opposing team’s bleachers. :frowning:

Imagine for a moment: what if, instead of discussing events aimed at a Catholic high school, we read an article about racist behaviour targeting a largely African-American high school at a football game, or anti-gay mockery aimed at an event of Harvey Milk High School. In either of these hypothetical situations, the media would go into ‘overdrive,’ and few people would disagree that such behaviours are far more serious than mere ‘hijinx.’

Instead, a Google search shows that (as of this moment), the incident in the OP has been reported by CNA (Catholic News Agency) and two local news sources: The Arizona Republic and AZFamily (aka KTVK). That’s it. :frowning:

Until we as a culture begin to treat anti-Catholic behaviour as serious and unacceptable, we’ll continue to see incidents like this ignored by the majority of media outlets, and consequently relegated to equivalence with the silly pranks described in Post #5 on this thread.

In the meantime, as Billy112 and DeniseNY have said, we should pray for the conversion of the perpetrators and those who have been hurt by their actions. May God use this incident to strengthen the faith and devotion of those who have witnessed or read about this event. Amen. :signofcross:


Excellent, excellent post! :thumbsup:



This isn’t a prank (the desecration of the statue) but a criminal act.

Makes me very sad.

Someone mentioned a golf ball prank. That is the kind of pranks teens should be doing. It’s harmless and funny.

This wasn’t harmless nor funny. It was hateful, ignorant and mean.



This isn’t simply putting the opposing team’s jersey on the statue of the Blessed Mother or a wolf chasing St Bernard [the two schools’ mascots]. The fact that they chose to hang a sex toy where they did on the Blessed Virgin was an outright mockery of a deeply held belief. It wasn’t painting bleachers or directed at the school itself, but rather it was a direct attack on the beliefs of the Catholic Church.

Would you be so blasé if it was a school in a predominately white area that showed up in black face in an inner city school? How about if they showed up to a school that was predominately Latino dressed as the Frito Bandito? Why is it just kids being stupid when they make biased statements against religion, but there is zero tolerance for mocking someone because of race or being gay?


Indeed I agree. I hope they aren’t aware of how offensive and wrong what they were doing was. If they were aware you could make an argument for it being a hate crime.

As for the other pranks I mention being ‘harmless’, they may not have been desecration. But causing thousands of dollars of damage to school property in an act of criminal vandalism is hardly harmless.


Indeed no one should be making any excuses for it when the perpetrators are located.


I would place this on par with burning a cross, or painting swastikas on school grounds.


As would I. It’s not just a case of “vandalism”. But I think in the case of many people, it will be like :banghead: trying to get them to understand why this, and other so called “pranks” are just not comprable - regardless of the monetary damage done in those other cases.


This is desecration. If it happened to another religion or protected group it would be big news and a hate crime. But the system is decidedly anti-Christian so this is just a prank. And where did the kids get a sex toy? I guess that is no big deal these days. If they had desecrated the statue by having the BVM smoking a cigarette now that would be an outrage and something to deeply troubled over.



Not sure whether I would call it a hate crime, but it’s definitely serious. Would have to wait and see why they did it and that would be up to the principal and other faculties to deal with, just so long as this is not put down as some ‘boys will be boys’ thing, which is not the case and I agree that this sort of thing is way over the line, I could only imagine if it was a veterans grave, or a beloved member of the perpetrators families grave site.

It is also probably a good thing that it’s not all over the news as a ‘hate crime’ because if it turns out these boys were just really stupid and apologetic, than it may be handled well by the principal, but it most certainly needs to be addressed I believe.

I was thinking of the pool filled with golf balls scenario or bleaches. Something that causes thousands of dollars of damage, I agree, is not harmless either.

God Bless You

Thank you for reading


There are a whole lot of 18-year-old high school students if you didn’t know.


It is as offensive as hanging a noose around a mock-gay student or black student. Neither has any place in society.

Had this been a burning effigy of a cross, I doubt the students would have been allowed to stay in the school.

Race, religion, sexual orientation are all protected classes, but that doesn’t mean they are afforded the same protections.

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