Police Won’t Seek Charges at IC

Revere Police said on Tuesday afternoon that there would almost certainly be no criminal charges taken out in the investigation into alleged misconduct at Immaculate Conception (IC) School.

Furthermore, Police said the situation seemed to be a misunderstanding that got out of hand quickly.

“We’re confident after investigating the matter that it is coming to a conclusion and there will be no criminal charges taken out – pending a further investigation,” said Lt. John Goodwin. “We honestly feel that it just appeared to be an incident that grew legs quickly due to maybe some poor judgment and maybe a lack of policy at the school. There appears at this point to be no malicious intent here at all.”

That police investigation, however, will not save the jobs of three members of the IC community, including lead Parish Administrator Father George Szal, a popular and vocal member of the community since coming to Revere several years ago.

Szal was removed from his position immediately last week.

Also removed by the Archdiocese last week were IC Principal Alison Kelly and one teacher (who is not named). A custodian, who was the focus of the investigation, was placed on leave, but will likely not have any charges leveled against him.

Last Tuesday evening, Jan. 12, lighting erupted around the school as the Boston media descended upon Winthrop Avenue to get the story around a statement sent out by the Archdiocese.

The statement came after a vague letter from the Archdiocese that went home to parents on Monday about alleged misconduct at the school – though that misconduct was not spelled out or explained.

The statement on Jan. 13 read, “Within the past week the Archdiocese of Boston has learned of the potential indecent exposure by a worker at Immaculate Conception School in Revere during the course of using the boy’s bathroom, which is intended for the exclusive use of the students. We have been informed of three potential incidents where this may have occurred during the course of the school day over the past month and one-half.

Upon first learning of this news during the past few days, the Archdiocese directed that the worker be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. Additionally, this matter has been reported to the proper authorities for their review.

Schools and parishes have strict guidelines and policies to follow when such matters are brought to their attention. As a parish school, the pastor is ultimately responsible for insuring that all staff adhere to these policies. With regards to Immaculate Conception in Revere, the pastor, principal and a teacher have resigned their positions due to their failure to report these possible incidents in a timely manner.”

Szal, Kelly and the teacher were removed for not immediately reporting what they knew, which is a violation of the strict zero tolerance policy developed after the priest sex abuse scandal of the early 2000s. The firings seemed to be a message to all in the Archdiocese about the importance of these regulations.

“When it comes to the safety of our children, there can be no breakdown in following well-established and effective policies,” read the statement. “When mistakes are made we must hold ourselves accountable. We are grateful that the pastor, principal and teacher have accepted responsibility. This is not a reflection of their entire professional and ministerial careers. It is the result of a failure regarding this specific issue. By taking this action today, we believe it serves as teaching moment for our entire community to reinforce once again the importance of staying vigilant in the protection of our children.”

Revere Police found out about the matter on Monday night and began an investigation late last week, interviewing the student that had made the allegation.

The allegation came, sources told the Journal, due to the fact that the custodian sometimes used the boy’s bathroom near the gym, which is apparently near the custodian’s office. It has apparently been common practice for a number of years.

About one and a half months ago, the student told his parent that the janitor had used the bathroom when students were there on a few occasions.

The parent called the school and asked that perhaps a change in policy might be in order and she wanted to talk about that.

There were apparently two other calls, and no immediate action was taken on the suggestion.

However, several sources indicated that the parent had never intended to unlock such a maelstrom on the school with the suggestion.

Investigators said they have not officially closed the case, but expect to do that imminently after a review by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, which has been helping with the investigation.

In the interim, for the Parish, the Archdiocese has appointed the Rev. Charles Bourke of Winthrop’s St. John the Evangelist Church to lead IC.

The Catholic Schools Office will appoint an interim principal to lead the school.

Seth Daniel:

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  • much to do about nothing... another neurotic parent crying wolf... this should have never reached the levels it did... oh well... there you go... now because of a few bad apples the innocents now have to bear the consequences of the 'neurotic' whims of a few... there has to be a common sense approach to filter these cases, one that doesn't give the spot light to neurotic parents or more copycats are sure to follow to the detriment of everyone... am sure that somewhere the anti-catholic MSM, progressives and liberals are LOLing in some sewer.

    • If you take your boy into the men's room at Fenway Park or any other large facility, you're very likely to walk in to men taking a leak. Is that "indecent exposure"? Of course not! This whole episode is RIDICULOUS. The fact that three people lost their jobs over this is a disgrace. And the only reason the archdiocese acted the way it did is because Cardinal O'Malley is a buddy of Pope Francis, is a so-called "expert" on abuse, and he wants to protect his bogus reputation on being "tough on child molesters." Cardinal O'Malley and his staff are buffoons. Their actions had absolutely *nothing* to do with "protecting children" and everything to do with protecting egos. Meanwhile, the lives of three good people are shattered.

      • You, sir are an ignorant... it is because of people like you that another scandal can break up... you spend your time smearing the Cardinal and the Pope and you fail to see that the reason there is a 'zero-tolerance' policy is because people like you like to undermine, smear, slander, tabloid-tongue, gossip the credibility of the Church... as a matter of fact, people like you have created this 'intolerant' environment and people (with real lives and problems) are caught in the middle of the crossfire... if the Catholic Church were to take a less strict policy, people like you would love to bad mouth the Pope and the Cardinal for 'not caring' for the children. Go take your boy to Fenway and let him be raised by whatever he sees there... this is America, it is your right... but don't tell the Church what to do in order to protect children and at the same time insult them with your 'ignorant' suggestions.

      • Perhaps the 'buffoonery' occurred as a result of legal advice, and hopefully an honest attempt to protect children. A tough call. I support the parent in reporting the incident; right or wrong, it's part of the job of parenting to protect one's children. It's up to the school to to consider a 'common sense' approach. It's unfair and a poor example to scapegoat the victim.

  • The archdiocese freaked out and cost 3 people their jobs. They didn't investigate a thing! Nothing! Now they look like fools. They never even bothered to mention that it was the priest who called to notify them, and ask k what he should do. and they fired him? They need to come out and apologize to everybody. And offer the 3 their jobs back. #fools

    • I beg to differ... the custodian NEEDS to be fired... if it had been established that boys restroom as out of limits and he continues to use it is ALL ON HIM... the Principal should ALSO resign as he didn't enforce the policy nor disciplined the custodian... However the Pastor who above all has everything to do with everything BUT THE SCHOOL is a tragedy that was fired. Specially if it is true that this was the FIRST TIME THE PRINCIPAL notified him.

      • There was NO OUT OF LIMITS FOR THE BATHROOM i know that for a FACT! my daughter goes to this school,Not until this all fell out that they put up a sign saying Students only bathroom and another FYI for everyone the lunch ladies use the girls bathroom right next to the boys bathroom, so i ask you what is the difference???? SOCIETY IS DISCUSTING! THE PARENT THAT SAID THEY NEVER MEANT FOR ANY OF THIS TO HAPPEN SHOULD OF CLEARED THIS UP THE SECOND IT GOT OUT OF HAND END OF STORY!!!!

        • You are wrong. Ever since the infamous Boston scandal EVERY employee of a CATHOLIC institution that deals with 'minors' is OBLIGED to take the "Protecting God's Children" course, one aspect of it is the VIRTUS program. http://www.bostoncatholic.org/Offices-And-Services/Office-Detail.aspx?id=4970&pid=460 I have taken the VIRTUS program and it SPELLS OUT WITHOUT ANY SHADOW OF A DOUBT that it is "INAPPROPRIATE" for an adult to be in a closed environment with a child... case in point, a bathroom... You are telling me that the "Principal" is ignorant of this fact??? are you telling me that this custodian has NEVER taken this course??? for both reason, the Principal and the custodian 'should' be held accountable. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. The pastor, however, was made known of the situation in the last 'occasion' thus he is the only 'real' innocent victim.

        • If you take your boy into the men's room at Fenway Park or any other large facility, you're very likely to walk in to men taking a leak. Is that "indecent exposure"? Of course not! This whole episode is RIDICULOUS. The fact that three people lost their jobs over this is a disgrace. And the only reason the archdiocese acted the way it did is because Cardinal O'Malley is a buddy of Pope Francis, is a so-called "expert" on abuse, and he wants to protect his bogus reputation on being "tough on child molesters." Cardinal O'Malley and his staff are buffoons. Their actions had absolutely *nothing* to do with "protecting children" and everything to do with protecting egos.

          • You, sir are an ignorant... it is because of people like you that another scandal can break up... you spend your time smearing the Cardinal and the Pope and you fail to see that the reason there is a 'zero-tolerance' policy is because people like you like to undermine, smear, slander, tabloid-tongue, gossip the credibility of the Church... as a matter of fact, people like you have created this 'intolerant' environment and people (with real lives and problems) are caught in the middle of the crossfire... if the Catholic Church were to take a less strict policy, people like you would love to bad mouth the Pope and the Cardinal for 'not caring' for the children. Go take your boy to Fenway and let him be raised by whatever he sees there... this is America, it is your right... but don't tell the Church what to do in order to protect children and at the same time insult them with your 'ignorant' suggestions.

      • No offence but you probably didn't read the article very well. The police said there was a lack of established protocol. Not a very good reason for the teacher, principle and the pastor to resign. I have asked and no one has ever heard of such a policy in the archdiocese. We should check with the public schools to see if they have one. All that was needed was a little correction, establish a clear rule and move on. Apparently that's all the mother was wanted... Now her child lost his teacher and principle in the the middle of the year. if there is any fault it's that the principle just didn't understand what the mother wanted. Again, not a reason to ruin people. PS: The custodian will NOT lose his job and I don't think you taking a piss should get you fired... Maybe a slap on the wrist.. The archdiocese exaggerated.

        • As far as I know... the Principal was informed the 3 times these 'incidents' took place by the parent... likewise, the Principal either was negligent or ignorant of the 'PUBLICLY GLARING' situation of child abuse stigma and the Catholic Church... with zero tolerance as a policy (which is rigorously enforced when it comes to priests) should be justly rigorously enforced when it comes to principals and custodians/employees... it is this presumption-of-guilt or stigma as a FACT that Catholic institutions suffer from which should send a clear message to all Catholic agencies and employees that when it comes to children we can't afford 'negligence' or 'oversight'. If the custodian did not know the policy... is on him... if the Principal didn't know/nor enforced the policy... is on him... apparently the child did mention that the custodian was 'exposed' and if that doesn't trigger in the custodian a sense of 'inappropriateness' then he should resign or BEG to take a course on Child Abuse prevention. His ignorance is naive at best.

          • A)There were not 3 incidents. You have been misinformed. And that is due to the archdiocese not making things clear. They issued a very misinformed press release and caused this whole mess. The boy mentioned to the mother that he went in the boys room and the custodian was taking a leak one time only. The mother thought it wasn't a good idea and asked them to implement some new policy She asked about it on three (3) separate occasions if they had done anything about it. But she was never angry and never said the custodian exposed himself. The DA already said last night there there will be no charges because there was no wrong doing. B) As I stated - There is no policy. C) There was no "exposure"

          • If your facts are right, then I stand corrected, but the facts I got were from credible sources, hence my outrage. HOWEVER, I am 'sure' that there 'is a policy' and has always been since the Boston's scandal hit the Catholic Church that no adult 'should' use the boys/girls restroom... all part of protecting children program across the whole Catholic Church. Add to that 3 separate occasions and the pastor didn't know about it until the last one??? Just because you say it doesn't make it so, nor does hearsay constitute fact... so I will wait for the 'facts' to be revealed. How sure are you about your facts?

          • nope whoever ur sources were/are are wrong!!! there was NO POLICY...just like no policy for the women who use the girls room right next to the boys bathroom!!!!

          • look it up yourself... it is in the Diocese website... url is in one of my comments up... look for Protecting God's children... it applies to all church and school staff.

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