News Release: Michigan Catholic Conference Calls For Exploitative Ad To Be Pulled

Advertisement Using a Child in a Wheelchair is Shameful and Wholly Untrue

October 24, 2000

LANSING—The Michigan Catholic Conference demands that Michigan television stations remove the latest shameful advertisement being run by All Kids First!. The ad features a disabled child in a wheelchair and says, “private schools are allowed to reject disabled students like Angelica.” This is a deliberately false statement and represents a new low in political campaign advertisements in Michigan.

“It is an absolute shame that opposition to Proposal 1 cannot debate the merits of vouchers for children currently trapped in failing school districts as a policy issue. Instead it has to resort to incendiary and manipulative advertisements which are dishonest,” said Paul A. Long, Vice President of Public Policy for the Michigan Catholic Conference. “Perhaps it is a sign of how desperate the opposition to education reform has become.”

Michigan law is clear that neither public nor non-public schools can discriminate against persons with disabilities. “What is most egregious is that people and organizations that profess to be ‘educators’ are primarily responsible for this outright lie. The citizens of Michigan, especially those in the disabled community, should receive an apology for having to be subjected to such blatant nonsense,” said Long.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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