The principal at a private Catholic school in Winnipeg was off the job Thursday after he allegedly offered to provide credits to students who attended a pro-life rally.
David Hood, principal at Christ the King, a K-Grade 8 school in the city's St. Vital neighbourhood, was asked to stay home as the board of directors reviews the incident and his employment.
"Certain pro-life activities are in keeping with Catholic teachings but I think the issue here was the extension of the credit and that it wouldn't be something that this, as a school, Catholic school, that we would sanction," said Robert Praznik, director of education at the Archdiocese of Winnipeg Catholic Schools.
According to Praznik, Hood agreed to give students credit for attending the 40 Days for Life campaign, an international event against abortion.
In 2010, pro-life supporters in 238 locations around the world took part in 40 consecutive days of prayer and fasting and round-the-clock protest at abortion facilities.
Supporters in Winnipeg this year are being asked to pray in front of the Women's Hospital on Notre Dame as part of the campaign, which runs from Sept. 28 to Nov. 6.
At Christ the King, Grade 7 and 8 students are required to do 10 hours of community service for school credit. But the schools in the archdiocese don't sanction such political activities, Praznik said.
Praznik said Hood ran the dates of the vigil in the school's newsletter, which prompted students to ask whether they could participate for credit. Hood agreed they could, Praznik said.
"It's really I think, you know, a personal decision of a principal that has escalated very quickly," he said.