Old Mission School accused of concealing child abuse

August 2, 2018

By KAREN VELIE

A former guidance counselor at Old Mission School in San Luis Obispo has accused administrators of concealing child abuse, retaliation against a whistleblower and wrongful termination in a lawsuit filed Monday. [Cal Coast Times]

Jannelle Craig-Difronzo alleges that on two occasions Principal Cynthia Fogarty ordered her not to report suspected child abuse. In both cases, the parents of the children were given special treatment because they were either a wealthy donor or connected to the school board.

After she was hired in 2017, Fogarty ordered teachers and staff not to report suspected incidents of child abuse to Child Protective Services (CPS), according to the lawsuit.

On Dec. 13, 2017, Craig-Difronzo informed Fogerty she suspected a third grader with large bruises on her shins was being abused and that they needed to inform CPS. However, because the child’s father was on the board and to protect the schools reputation, Fogerty ordered Craig-Difronzo not to report her suspicions to CPS, the suit alleges.

Instead, Fogerty informed the father of Craig-Difronzo suspicions, which caused the father to become upset with Craig-Difronzo, according to the lawsuit.

On Jan. 4, 2018, the teacher of a three year old who showed signs of sexual abuse asked Craig-Difronzo what she should do. Craig-Difronzo told the teacher to call CPS.

“When defendant Fogerty became aware of the issue, she ordered both the teacher and plaintiff not to make a report to CPS,” the suit says.

Even so, Craig-Difronzo elected to report the suspected abuse to CPS and to inform the Diocese of Monterey Parish about Fogerty’s request.

The lawsuit accuses Fogerty of retaliating against Craig-Difronzo by first shortening her hours before telling Craig-Difronzo, an employee of 10 years, her last day would be June 1, 2018.

Craig-Difronzo is seeking compensatory, punitive, special and general damages. A case management conference is scheduled for Nov. 26 at 9 a.m. in Department 9.


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Mark

I’ve been accused on this site of Catholic bashing.  Actually, it’s “Catholic Church” bashing to be exact. (Although I certainly cannot understand how so many Catholics continue to support this institution; so yes there is individual responsibility as well.)


Here’s some more Catholic Church bashing I’ll gladly provide. 


Report Reveals Widespread Sexual Abuse By Over 300 Priests In Pennsylvania

https://www.npr.org/2018/08/14/636855561/report-reveals-widespread-sexual-abuse-by-over-300-priests-in-pa


1,000 victims.  Children. And that’s just Pennsylvania.


And what does the Church do? Once again, talk about they care for the children, will institute zero tolerance, blah, blah, blah.  Been there done that.


What should they do? Release all documents of all child molestations, and let law enforcement take it from there.  It sad, a priest will be reported to police for stealing money, but if it’s child abuse they’ll just be moved to another location.


What a horrific godless institution.


Ted Slanders

It is time to error on the side of caution relative to the pagan Bronze and Iron Age thinking of the Catholic church and its ungodly and despicable pedophile priests that continue to molest innocent children at this time!


Contact your Congressman or Senator to bring forth a law that prohibits any future Catholic churches to be built within 1000 feet from any Public Grade School, Day Care Center, or Private School. This stated distance will at least give these children of said schools a “running head start” to get away from any pedophile clergy of the new Catholic church nearby.


We have specific distances for liquor and pornography stores from schools, therefore, why not have certain distances from any new Catholic church with it’s possible pedophile priests within. Think of the safety of the children!


The sickening irony is the fact that any Catholic that remains a member of their pagan church subsequent to said church transferring pedophile priests over the years, and covering up these sickening facts, in turn supports pedophile priests by guilt of association.


The pedophile priests understood over the years that if they were going to sexually abuse innocent children, that they belonged to a powerful organization that prevented them from prosecution through blatant coverups as explicitly shown ad infinitum in past decades.


Who wants to be a Catholic in the 21st century of science, logic and reason, but still wants to remain in the archaic Bronze and Iron Age of thinking, raise your hands!


ottersavers

Remember Tina Swithin? The more things change, the more they stay the same.


http://www.tinaswithin.com/


ActaNonVerba

Thankfully this school has a brand new principal. Hopefully she’s good. From the latest Old Mission Parish bulletin:


“Dear Old Mission Parish Family,


I am happy to have arrived and begun my work as the new principal at Old Mission School.


There has been a flurry of activity around the school this summer as a number of renovation projects are underway. It is exciting to see such positive improvements to our facility. In conjunction with the facility changes we are undergoing a few staff changes as well, including yours truly!


As we prepare to greet our children and families in two short weeks, I am looking to fill a couple of part-time instructional assistant positions and to flesh-out our substitute teacher pool. If you are interested in either of these opportunities or know someone who may be, please see our postings on edjoin.org. I look forward to meeting many of you soon and to sharing with you all the wonderful things happening at your parish school!


Sincerely in Christ,


Shirley Gray,

Principal, Old Mission School”


SLOBIRD

No wonder Pope Francis Declares Death Penalty Unacceptable in All Cases – The …

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/02/world/europe/pope-death-penalty.html


ActaNonVerba

Things are difficult right now for the local SLO Catholic community. The beloved late Bishop of Monterey (Bp. Richard Garcia), just passed away. A retired auxiliary bishop from Los Angeles (Bp. Gerald Wilkerson) is filling on an interim Basis.


On the national level, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is awaiting prosecution for sexually abusing at least one boy and many young seminarians.


Now this lawsuit. If they’re guilty they need to pay the price. Even more importantly, the Church needs to take measures to put a stop to this horrific behavior once and for all. Enough is enough,


Get on it, Francis!


slomark

It’s unbelievable to me that people let their kids anywhere near Catholic institutions, with child abuse (that we know about) running rampant.


Good for Jannelle Craig-Difronzo exposing this.  I hope it gets very uncomfortable for Old Mission.


ActaNonVerba

Your comment is unbelievably ignorant. The incidence rate of child abuse in grades P-12 are higher in public schools than Catholic schools nationwide. You might make use of your favorite search engine before you post such rude nonsense next time.


While even one case of child abuse is completely unacceptable, people should not use these allegations as an excuse to vent their hatred for the Catholic Church. If this Fogarty person and her enablers are found guilty, they need to be hammered. In the meantime however, the anti-Catholic vitriol is most unhelpful, not to mention mean-spirited.


AmericaTheFree

I wonder what the rate of child abuse and sexual abuse is per capita within the Catholic “schools” as compared to public schools? I wonder what that per capita number would be world wide as you are only alluding to the U.S. numbers? And you should consider that reports state that upwards of 4% of Catholic clergy (that would include teachers in Catholic “schools”) have had sexual encounters with children (A Perspective on Clergy Sexual Abuse by Catholic Dr. Thomas Plante).


The Catholic Church is the one true measure of how lost religion is, how it harms more than it helps and is not accountable to anyone, let alone a god that is either dead or has never existed in the first place. The anti-Catholic “vitriol” you speak of is warranted! As far as being “mean-spirited”, what is more “mean-spirited” than harming a child, especially cloaked in the vestments of the only vicar of Christ?


ActaNonVerba

The child abuse rate is lower for Catholic schools than public schools in the US — not that any child abuse is acceptable. You can Google that for yourself. I suspect there are no “world wide” numbers available for public schools.


Your 4% number and your reference are both garbage. Dig a bit deeper if you want the truth. Also, keep in mind that most instructors in P-12 Catholic schools in the US are typically not clergy or professed religious.


Your unsupported attack on the Catholic Church demonstrates that it’s one of the few targets in the US which is still PC to discriminate again. Shame on you for doing just that. Your attack on God is simply ugly, not to mention ignorant. It also telegraphs who you are — a mean bigot.


This lawsuit is not about vested Catholic clergy harming anyone. I suggest you give the article another read-through, this time without taking into consideration your misplaced hatred for God and His Catholic Church.


I’m all for holding the cognizant people accountable. I’m not for using this lawsuit as a club to beat the Catholic Church — by far the world’s largest private charitable organization with nearly 1.5 BILLION members worldwide.


Chance

Man, ActaNonVerba, your hate for the people and love for the church is disgusting. You forgot what you go to church for! The hurting and raping of children is satanic and so is everyone who supports it, covers it up, or promotes the organization that does it. Let the old religion die and the people live in peace and love.


AmericaTheFree

It’s not my 4%, it’s a Catholics 4%, or did you catch that?


Also there’s this; a 2004 report released by John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which worked with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said 4 percent of priests and deacons between 1950 and 2002 were accused of sexually abusing a minor,


And this; Bishop-accountability.org, a Web site that publishes public information about accused priests and their cases, notes that “… some U.S. dioceses don’t submit regular reports to bishops on such cases. The group alleges that in dioceses where greater information was made available, either by choice or because of litigation, “the percentage of accused priests is approaching 10 percent.””


Or this; your own Pope Francis say it’s as low as 2% (Italian daily La Repubblica).


I “would suspect” that where there are no numbers, or no way of getting them either, is because the Catholic Church is the ultimate controller of those numbers as they are the ultimate seat of authority as well within those places/countries.


I did “dig” by the way, and the only place where the numbers were questioned was by those with Catholic Church ties, how convenient (just like your sudden “conversion” to orthodox christianity)…


slomark

I searched for statistics that would support your assertion. I found some new articles on this and read them.  It seems these statistics include verbal abuse as well physical. In addition, they are for K-12.  I would venture to guess that most of the public school abuse is in the high schools, with teachers having sex with students.  While that is horrible, of course, I mostly worry about the completely defenseless grade school kids, like the ages in this article.  If you can find statistics on physical, not verbal, abuse in the K-6 level, I’d like to see that comparison. And not in just sheer numbers, as I’ve seen in some of the articles I found (public school have more students), but in percentages.


On top of this, in public schools, generally, if teachers are discovered to have abused children, the other teachers will out the abuser. There isn’t usually a concerted and institutional effort to suppress the crime as in Catholic institutions.


ActaNonVerba

You’re compounding your display of ignorance with your guesses. Unlike you, I worry about ALL kids — from preschool to high school when it comes to child abuse.


Your comment “There isn’t usually a concerted and institutional effort to suppress the crime as in Catholic institutions.” is particularly nasty and untrue.


Again, your anti-Catholic Church bashing is ugly.


Smith

Wow, NonVerba. Very defensive Catholic, no? I have to agree with slomark. The Catholic Church is an organization where pedophilia runs rampant all through the ranks, and is protected within. The very doctrine encourages it with concepts like confession and celibacy. If you wonder why, the Roman Empire changed it’s name to “Holy Roman Empire.” The Catholic Church is responsible for wonderful eras in history like the Dark Ages and the Inquisition. Do some research and check out the Vatican’s support of Nazi Germany and Hitler. If Jesus was beheaded in a guillotine, would you wear a little guillotine with a basket with his head in it around your neck? Execution devices are not Holy. Oh, and my family has been recovering from the Catholic Church for about 40 years. Thank God we were protected.

 P.S. Calling everyone who disagrees “ignorant” is the sign of an abuser. 


Smith

Please forgive me, speaking up is part of the healing process. Peace.


ActaNonVerba

Is this how your world works? You post lies and you’re rude and then you ask for forgiveness under the guise of “healing”?


Really?


Smith

Please, do say which fact I shared is a lie?


ActaNonVerba

Actually I’m an Orthodox Christian. Odd (but not unexpected) false conclusion. you reached. Your comments about “doctrine”, “confession”, “celibacy”, etc. are all profoundly ignorant. You would do well to pick up a book sometime.


Your comments about “Hitler” and “Nazi” and “execution devices” are not only ignorant, they’re laughably so.


Your hate for the Catholic Church is unfortunate. It clearly has a negative impact on your life and likely those of your family. I hope that one day you will find peace and the truth.


Smith

Ummm, I appreciate how you don’t argue the church was responsible for the Dark Ages and the Inquisition, however, just google images the “Catholic Church and Nazi Germany” and you will see all the fancy Bishops saluting Hitler. If you like to read, study up on it. The Catholic Church hid Nazi war criminals in black robes in churches. Go figure. Everyone here is on a computer and can verify for themselves, the Catholic Church has a deep, dark past with Nazi Germany. I don’t hate the Catholic Church, or your church my friend, I just do not support or approve of child rape or the covering up of such wickedly, dark acts against humanity. Do your own research and educate yourself so you quit projecting your ignorance others. Bless you (and not with an execution device!) 


slomark

Smith, you are absolutely correct. And it’s easy to Google it, if one is not afraid of what he might find.


slomark

“Again, your anti-Catholic Church bashing is ugly.”


Your blind pro-Catholic Church supporting is ugly.


slocal50

Again- you are arguing something that did not happen at the school – this was suspected abuse of the child at home.


Chance

No, we are discussing Catholic institutions covering up child rape. Get clear.


slocal50

Again- these are entirely different subject matters- you are arguing about teachers and school staff abusing students- this claim is of a parent abusing their own child and the school not immediately reporting it to child protected services – they instead confronted the parents prior to going to CPS which apparently is a no-no.


slocal50

While all child abuse is horrible- you understand that this “accusation” relates to abuse of the child at home-


slocal50

You understand that the “accusation” of child abusing was by the parent abusing the child- not anyone at the school.


Smith

slocal50, with all due respect, do you know you repeat yourself? Please understand, we are discussing child rape and the coverup of child rape. As far as I am concerned, turning a blind eye to child rape is child rape. Break the chain of abuse, people. 


slocal

Yeah, well, they also covered up that the principal was the mother of Jason Porter- aka- alledgedly one of the WORST sexual predators in SLO County. $$$$$$$$$


fat chance

Did Jason Porter ever go to prison? I never heard anything about his trial….


AmericaTheFree

And who’d be surprised that the Catholic Church would do it any other way?