I am saddened to hear of the closure of Redemptorist High School. Being an alumnus of Catholic schools, it was my lifelong expectation that I would provide my child with a Catholic school education.

While considering schools, I was appalled to discover that the mindset of private schools in Baton Rouge appears to be “what can the student do for our school” rather than “what can our school do for the student.” I heard more talk about standardized test performance and high-tech computer labs than about willingness and ability to educate. It seemed the schools were more concerned with how students could elevate scholastic and financial standing of the institutions.

Since those days, I’ve talked to many parents who suffered the same experiences. If a child does not fit the mold, they are rejected. If a child can’t sponge information in the classroom and succeed on their own devices, they are rejected.

Schools rejecting children? Catholic schools inviting students to leave? What has happened to the primary objective of educating all students? Why the aversion to the challenge of some?

Nothing is more painful to a parent than having their child rejected. No words are more welcome and comforting than those proclaimed at Redemptorist schools: “Bring your child here; we’ll take care of her.”

Redemptorist, in embracing and educating all students who approached its doors, built an accepting environment with an eclectic mix of students from a broad range of scholastic, financial, social and ethnic backgrounds. The campus presence of its special education program was beneficial not only to the special students but to all the students. The students received a Catholic education and learned the skills of accepting, supporting and loving others — not just those coming from similar backgrounds but all of God’s children. What more could a parent want? What could be better for Baton Rouge?

How disappointing that the diocese would choose to shutter this gem rather than capitalize on its strengths.

Rene Torregrossa

retired medical technologist

Baton Rouge