Prompt: Write an essay identifying one community of people whom you consider to be victims of human rights violations. In the letter format, this will be mailed to an opposing side's organization to see if it is possible for one person to make a positive difference.
2014 Mirror Drive
February 26, 2008
Kansas State High School Activities Association
PO Box 495
Topeka, KS 66601-0495
Dear Mr. Musselman:
Recently, I viewed a video clip on Yahoo! featuring Michelle Campbell; a referee discriminated against due to her sex. This report surprised me at first, since I have always believed that this kind of inequality was nearly extinct here in America. However, what struck me as even more odd was the cause of this injustice: not favoritism, but religion. This story sparked an interest in me, since situations like these are not heard about very often, but are occur nearly everyday. Rather than allowing people to discriminate others due to beliefs of their religion, everyone should be treated equally regardless. Relevant to this association, schools should not be allowed to limit the freedoms and rights of females due solely to the Bible.
Many institutions have a religious foundation like schools and workplaces. Some of these establishments enforce old Christian laws and strictly follow the Bible. These followers may mimic the prejudice depicted in the Bible. There are many example of this discussed in various books of the Bible. In Genesis, women are viewed as property of either her husband or father. They are creatures who are useless until they can bare children; if a woman's spouse dies while the she is still childless, her reproductive rights go to her dead husband's brother. In the Old Testament, they are shown as seducers. If a man suspects his wife of infidelity, he will seek a priest, who will decide whether she truly faithful; his decision must be accepted. Those who follow these laws prevent women from fully expressing and representing themselves.
In schools that follow Christian laws, females are likely to be suppressed and denied of the rights guaranteed in the US Constitution. For instance, at St. Mary's Academy, a school near Topeka, Kansas, is owned and operated by the Society of St. Pius X, which follows old Roman Catholic laws. These laws state that developing young men should be influenced by men rather than woman. Therefore, Michelle Campbell was not allowed to officiate a boys' basketball game was not allowed because the academy did not want her influence over the boys. After much criticism, the academy responded by stating their belief in forming and educating boys and girls separately during the adolescent years. "This formation of boys is best accomplished by male role models, as the formation of girls is best accomplished by women. Hence, in boys' athletic competitions, it is important that the various role models, [even] coaches and referees be men (Griego)". They feared that a woman referee would be a bad influence over the basketball players.
However, this discrimination is uncalled for. After all, what is a referee for? A referee is an official who "maintains the flow and integrity of the game (Google Dictionary)". The official is makes fair and equal calls. A good referee is unbiased and will spots violations instantly. Any good referee, regardless of sex will make impartial calls in the game, and that is the only point of an official in a game. The sex of a person does not determine what calls one will make. He or she is not there to be a role model or an influence, but to make correct judgments. Once he or she wears the black and white striped shirt, they are a referee, only hired to make unbiased calls.
I do understand that St. Mary's Academy is a traditional Catholic school, following old Christian laws, one which promotes same-sex influence rather than integration. If it is their policy to follow the directives of the Catholic Church regarding co-education, I respect that entirely. However, I still believe that it was unfair for Michelle Campbell to be discriminated against, just because she was a woman.
As executive director, you should help eliminate this injustice. Referees are supposed to regulate the integrity of the game. It does not matter what sex they are. They can be anything, but just as along as they are fair and a good referee, that is all that matter right? That is all St. Mary's hired this official to do. I am asking you to please be intolerant of this kind of discrimination, and take action to eliminate it where ever apparent. Think about how many voices and ideas are smothered each day because of religion-based discrimination.