Navy veteran frustrated with today’s woke education starts classical Catholic school
A Navy veteran and father of three who became frustrated with the woke agendas and secular topics taught in today’s schools sought something better for his three daughters — and did something about it.
Speaking on Sunday morning on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Navy veteran Lt. Commander Ali Ghaffari, a deeply faithful person, said, “We’re a military family and we’ve traveled all around the country — we’ve seen lots of schools.”
During his last tour at the Naval Academy, he said, he enrolled his children in the local school system — “I thought they’d be well off and doing well there,” he said.
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But that is not what happened.
“I realized I was not getting what I was hoping for,” he added. “For me, I want my kids to go to heaven. I want them to love Jesus … and live lives of virtue.”
That was not “the path” that the school system was putting them on, he said.
He also noted that his middle daughter was being taught Common Core math — and that every night’s homework was a tremendous struggle for her.
He said there “was crying, screaming, at the dinner table” — and he realized he could not keep his kids in that school system.
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Then he heard about classical education, he said.
Ghaffari said he went to visit a school based on the principles of classical education.
“I was amazed by what I saw,” he said — including “the depth of the questioning” by the teachers. He said he realized that was what he wanted for his children.
“Classical education comes from the Greeks,” he explained. “The Greeks wanted to know, ‘What is a good life look like? How do we live our lives?’ And they came up with living lives of virtue, and asking the big questions, and living a life that is honorable.”
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That live “frees you to have many choices and to do many things,” added Ghaffari.
He noted that classical education uses the greatest works of Western civilization — “these books that are so inspiring and have inspired generations for 2,000 years.”
The Navy veteran said much of today’s education agenda is “very focused on the here and now — and it ignores heaven and the eternal.”
He said his kids now love going to school — “they love their homework. They love studying and discussing big topics. It’s wonderful to see.”
He pointed out that the education so many children are receiving today in public schools and “even in some parochial schools, sadly, is very secularized,” he said.
“And that agenda is contrary to them going to heaven,” he said. “It’s very focused on the here and now and it ignores heaven and the eternal.”
He believes in “bringing God back at the center, where he belongs” — and he said his family does that through attending Mass, praying the rosary every day.
And “God’s at the center of our curriculum,” he said, referencing the school he founded.
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Divine Mercy Academy — the school he began — is an independent private day school in the Catholic tradition for children in kindergarten through 8th grade, its website explains.
It opened in 2019 and enrollment has been doubling each year, as the cohosts of “Fox & Friends Weekend” noted.
It’s located in Pasadena, Maryland.
“We do this by providing a challenging and integrated Catholic liberal arts education.”
“Our mission is to partner with parents in their roles as the primary educators of their children, so as to foster a love for truth, beauty, goodness and learning by providing students with a foundation of wisdom and virtue, so that they may bear witness to the kingdom of God,” the school’s website makes clear.
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It also says, “We desire to form disciples of Jesus Christ, who are made free to realize their full potential by living joyfully in accordance with the truth revealed by God through nature and the Catholic Church. We do this by providing a challenging and integrated Catholic liberal arts education.”
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For anyone wanting more information, the school’s website is DivineMercy.md.