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queen of martyrs

Principal at Catholic school in Chicago suburbs is fired for defying Archdiocese's mask mandate

Feb. 17, 2022
The pastor at Queen of Martyrs parish in Evergreen Park, Ill., said that Jacob “Doc” Mathius has been removed as school principal

After serving for more than four decades as an educator in Chicago Catholic schools, a principal at a south suburban elementary school has been fired for his pushback on the church’s Covid-19 mask requirement.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Jacob “Doc” Mathius, the principal of Queen of Martyrs Catholic School in Evergreen Park, Ill., was fired after refusing to comply with the Archdiocese of Chicago’s policy that mandated the wearing of masks in schools.

“Yesterday, Doc Mathius and I met to discuss the events of the past week," the Rev. Martin Marren, pastor at Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church, said in a letter to parishioners.

“...I told him I would welcome him back but that, in my view, he needed to take some fair and reasonable steps that would repair the breach his actions created in our parish and school community, as well as with our sister schools in the Archdiocese. I am greatly disappointed to say he declined and as a result, will not be returning to our school,” he said in the letter.

Parent Andrew Tourville said families like his are “heartbroken” to lose Mathius as their school’s leader, especially as the archdiocese has shifted to a mask-optional policy last week at schools and churches at many schools.”

Marren said in his letter that although he, too, is “saddened” by Mathius’ departure, “I am sure you can understand that it is not possible for an organization to employ someone who will not abide by rules that apply to all.”

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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