OyChicago blog

Get Szady back

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06/01/2009

Did you read about the local Catholic schoolteacher who was just fired for showing an AIDS prevention video?

Patrick Szady has been teaching at a Catholic grade school for 32 years, and has been showing his students an AIDS prevention video for the last decade. Time Out: The Truth about HIV, AIDS and You is a 16-year-old video featuring physicians and such subversive celebrities as Magic Johnson, Tom Cruise, Paula Abdul, Luke Perry, Arsenio Hall and Neil Patrick Harris. And Szady was fired for showing it to his kids.

In 2009? Really?

In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, I helped establish the State Health Department’s AIDS Unit, and I recall that time with searing clarity. I remember religious leaders who forbade condom use, preaching that anyone who engaged in the sin of non-marital sex deserved whatever their fate might be.

I honestly thought we had passed that epoch of ignorance and hate. Apparently not.

Can you think of a response that is more antithetical to Jewish law, to the dictate that we must preserve life above all other commandments?

I’ve joined the Facebook Group: “Get Szady Back”, just on principle, and urge you to do the same.

It probably won’t get this quiet hero his job back.  But it will let him know he’s not alone.

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