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Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Further Diocesan Incompetence

Well, my days of not taking Bishop Kmiec seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

Fresh off my complaints about the Bishop's obfuscations and fabrications regarding the "Journey of Faith & Grace," comes another story which demonstrates that the Bishop has once again blundered his most basic obligations to the community.

I make no bones about the fact that the overwhelming majority of people in the church, and on the staff of Catholic schools are dedicated, hardworking, good people. Mathematically speaking, the numbers of bad apples in the bunch amount to little more than a rounding error.

When you do have a bad apple, however, it is just that much more important that you get rid of them. In a public school, you would have to deal with union issues*. In a private school, Catholic or otherwise, you can eliminate teachers as you see fit.

If one wheel on your car falls off, you can argue about how well the other three are performing until you're blue in the face; your car is still heading for the ditch. Likewise, it does no good to argue how great the majority of your teachers are if you don't deal with the ones that are putting your students at risk.

Witness, for example, the debacle at Buffalo Seminary a short while ago. A teacher was caught in the parking lot of the Walden Galleria mall. The school claimed that they had no inkling about this teacher. In the immortal words of Col. Sherman T. Potter: Buffalo Bagels. I know for a fact that they were warned about this guy by another teacher in 1996! The leadership at that school failed in their basic duty to protect students, then feigned innocence. As a result, I invoke the Klingon punishment for treason - no member of my family will even consider attending that school for 3 generations. I will also tell this story to anyone who even considers sending a daughter there.

Now the diocese itself has a scandal. The scandal is not that the incident happened. The scandal is in how the Diocese handled it; or rather how they did everything they could not to handle it.

A computer teacher and class f-3 dirtbag couldn't keep his hand of the girls in the middle school in which he taught. The incidents stemmed back to as early as Fall of 2002. The complaints were swept under the rug. The principal laughed off complaints by other teachers. The Diocese, which had just enacted a supposedly tough new policy on such things, failed to act according to their own policy.

What makes this most egregious is that the Bishop couldn't even be bothered to talk to the father himself. Instead, he sent his lawyers.

What we have is a Bishop who claims to be for openness and transparency, but again and again operates in the shadows and lashes out at anyone who dares to question his actions.

If even half these allegation are true, there need to be some serious consequences.

Patricia Muscatello, the principal, should be given precisely 2 minutes to clear out her desk, and then be escorted out by security, and handed over to the DA as an accessory. Never again should she set foot in any school.

The Bishop has once again proven that he cannot be trusted, and has again done serious damage to the credibility of the Diocese. Diocesan leadership is in desperate need of a wholesale cleanup. Kmiec, Keenan, and probably a whole host of others need to be gone yesterday.

*Indeed, my major problem with teacher's unions in general, and mine is no exception, is that they fail to make a distinction between protecting a good, or inexperienced, teacher from railroading and blocking the removal of a bad one. Back to top

Update 8/27/07: Included link to story in Buffalo News. Also, as ES1 pointed out, the principal has, in fact, resigned, though she claims that this incident had nothing to do with it.


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