Scottsdale, Ariz., Sep 6, 2016 / 01:25 pm (CNA).- Parents are outraged after religious pranks at a football game in Arizona included vandalism of a statue of Mary and a dancing Jesus on the football field.
A white statue of the Virgin Mary sits on a lit pillar at the entrance of Notre Dame Prep Catholic high school in Scottsdale, Arizona, greeting all who enter the grounds. Last week, ahead of a Friday night football game with rivals Desert Mountain, vandals placed a mask of Hillary Clinton over Mary’s face, an attached a sex toy lower down on the statue.
"It's beyond offensive. There's nothing worse than to desecrate an image of [Mary]," parent Lisa Gregory told a local CBS affiliate. "It's probably high school hijinx, but [the vandal] needs to understand that it was bigotry and intolerance. He probably doesn't realize that," she added.
The Hillary mask and sex toy were quickly removed, replaced by a vase of flowers at the base of the statue. But the pranks continued at the football game, when someone dressed as Jesus led the crowds in cheers and danced with someone dressed like the devil.
"Jesus isn't a mascot. He's a religious figure," Gregory said. Parents say they complained to the security guard, but the prank continued throughout the entirety of the game. "He was dancing with the devil and mocking what we as Christians consider holy and sacred," parent Mike Williams said.
The parents said while they don’t blame the kids for the incident, they blame school officials for not stepping in and stopping the pranks. They said they hope the students learn that the pranks were too offensive and crossed a line. "Kids are young and dumb and make mistakes, but if you can't pray in a public school, you shouldn't be able to mock [Jesus] in a public school," Williams said. The local news station did not receive comment from school officials over Labor Day weekend.