Academy of the Holy Names fights back against ‘woke culture’ lawsuit
Image via the Academy of the Holy Names.

The couple who sued claim the school 'lost its way.'

The Academy of the Holy Names is pushing back against a lawsuit filed by benefactors claiming the school is misrepresenting itself as Catholic by embracing “woke culture.”

The school, as well as the Florida Catholic Conference, filed petitions in late September to dismiss the case brought by Barbara and Anthony Scarpo, who are seeking a refund on a $1.3 million pledge made in 2017.

The Scarpos filed suit against the Academy and the Catholic Conference in June, accusing the school of breaching contract by falsely promising a Catholic education. In the suit, the couple demand that the school rescind their $1.3 million pledge as well as their prior tuition payments for their two daughters who previously attended the school. According to the complaint, the tuition amounts to more than $50,000.

“The Academy lost its way, distancing itself from mainstream Catholicism, and embracing new, politically correct, divisive and ‘woke culture’ where gender identity, human sexuality and pregnancy termination, among other ‘hot button issues,’ took center stage,” the complaint reads.

The pair are also seeking a court order prohibiting the Academy from advertising itself as a “Catholic” school and halting accreditation from the state Catholic Conference.

“Under the guise of ‘Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,’ and protecting its diverse students, the Academy chose to guilt its White students into believing that they were guilty merely because of their skin color or because their parents could afford to pay tuition,” the complaint reads. “Rather than view racism and hatred through the lens of a Catholic education, Defendants chose to provide only one perspective — you as students should feel guilty if you are white and your parents can afford our tuition — with or without financial aid.”

However, in the recently filed motions to dismiss, both the Academy and the FCC argue that the separation of church and state provided under the First Amendment prohibits government courts from “intruding” into disputes over religious beliefs or doctrine.

“The nature of plaintiffs’ claims, by definition, would require the Court to determine what constitutes ‘a Catholic education consistent with the standing of main-stream Catholicism,’ and indeed what constitutes ‘main-stream Catholicism,” the FCC wrote.

Judge Paul Huey is set to hear the suit on Dec. 14.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


  • Alex

    October 5, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    Sounds like their daughters didn’t turn out to be little Virgin Mary’s who don’t know what a condom is.


    • just sayin

      October 6, 2021 at 11:20 am

      That’s not creepy at all, Alex.

  • casey callahan

    October 7, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Sounds like buyers remorse wrapped in vague, immeasurable, persecution. I’m so tired of wealthy, white men declaring that the acknowledgment of oppression against everyone who isn’t wealthy and white is invalid. Pay your bills.

  • Timothy Petri

    October 17, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    Sounds to me like a non-catholic school is trying to attach itself to a Catholic humongous trillion dollar industry for the obvious benefits as they’re demonstrated here with the support. However I do not see any doctrine at all related to anything to do with the Catholic Church on their school’s website maybe that’s what should be presented to the judge by the school to reassure everyone that they are in fact following to the tea roman Catholic doctrine as they call himself Catholic not new age or not some cult but actually roman Catholic that should be simple enough shouldn’t it?

    I’m amazed at all that the Catholic church has the guts to even come forward against anybody with all the deception the squandering of their parishioners own hard-earned money in the form of gifts and ties while they’re at the back door making deals for clergy abuse cases settling them for millions of dollars and lawyers fees and they’ve got the nerve to point fingers to point a finger at a couple who’s donated money with the good intentions but will not fund heresy? That is amazing…..then again for the Catholic church it’s pretty normal..
    As a matter of fact as long as they’re going to go in that direction we should all be very transparent in our financial statements and background and all the funding that they’ve received and then covid-19 small business loans how many settlements have been settled with parishioners money taxpayers money why don’t we just kind of all be transparently fingers that are donation from a couple who didn’t have to donate anything….
    Everybody in? I didn’t think so.

Comments are closed.


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