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Facebook revolt at Sacred Heart

Schools of the Sacred Heart are in the Flood Mansions on Broadway.

DISPATCH | Elizabeth Moore

Last year the New Fillmore reported on the reversal of the decision to close Stuart Hall High School in San Francisco in the July 2010 article, “Elite private school will live on.” Just short of a year later, there is another tremendous example of the same community coming together, this time to celebrate a Schools of the Sacred Heart educator, who after 38 years of service to the community has had her contract terminated, apparently without cause. Like last year’s decision regarding the closing of Stuart Hall, this decision was made without input from the community, and it has attracted a similar outcry.

At the same time that young people are using social media to instigate social movements in the Middle East, young people at 2222 Broadway (and beyond) are using social media to instigate a social movement at home. This is a story about a little school with a big, big heart.

On May 20 the Schools of the Sacred Heart community became aware of the termination of the contract of Mrs. Celine Curran. The termination, for which no cause has been announced or evinced, has sparked a nationwide outpouring of responses from the Schools of the Sacred Heart community. Students, parents, and alumni alike, as well as people from outside the schools’ community, have risen to celebrate a woman whom they have termed “the heart and soul” of the schools. A Facebook group begun by a current CSH junior reached nearly 1,000 members in a week. A blog hosted by tumblr, created by two recent CSH alumnae, offers page after page of letters and testimonials attesting to Mrs. Curran’s impact on the community. Daily and some-times hourly, a student, parent or alum posts a message in the Facebook group.

The worldwide network of Sacred Heart schools rests on five goals and criteria, which all students are taught. Goal Three is “A social awareness that impels to action.” We students are living out this goal. We are taking the skills we learned in school and using them to take action and come together as a community, and our efforts to respond to this apparent injustice have been facilitated by the internet and social media.

As the schools approach their 125th anniversary, students are acting upon the goals and values that have formed an integral part of the Sacred Heart education since the beginning of the schools’ existence. They are also acting upon an idea that is instilled in all students at Schools of the Sacred Heart: that a Sacred Heart education is not just an education of the mind, but of the heart. Mrs. Curran is “the heart and soul” of these schools, and the community has acted to celebrate her accordingly.

Elizabeth Moore
Convent of the Sacred Heart ’07

Read more: “Unlike anything the school has seen