Catholic peace studies at LA high school delves into religion, advocacy

As students at Loyola High School of Los Angeles joined thousands of others in protest on April 20 for the National School Walkout, they were using tools learned in class to help make a national statement. 

Tom Cendejas, a teacher at the Jesuit preparatory school, said he helped students prep and plan for the walkout by encouraging them to think about strategies learned in his Catholic peace studies class.

But it wasn’t just about the students: Cendejas, who has been teaching Catholic social justice classes for about 35 years, also prepared the faculty, giving his fellow teachers tips on how to talk with students about these issues.

“It’s what I’ve been teaching for,” Cendejas said.

The Catholic peace studies class breaks out the peacemaking and nonviolence lessons from his larger social justice classes, which allows interested students to dive deeper into where the intersection of religion and advocacy lives.

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