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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Santa Margarita High School Teacher & Principal In Hot Water

It has come to my attention from a source that Santa Margarita HS teacher Dr. Eric Hansen and Principal Brother Lawrence Monroe have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of sexual abuse allegations. Here is an email that was just sent out to SMHS parents informing them about the situation...
Dear Eagle Family,

In keeping with the policy of the Diocese of Orange, Dr. Eric Hansen has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation into these concerns.

We are sharing this information with parents, students, faculty and staff in order to comply with Diocesan and school policy and in fulfillment of the transparency and accountability precepts of Bishop Tod Brown's Covenant with the Faithful.

Anyone who has concerns or information pertaining to these European tours led by Dr. Hansen is requested to contact Mr. Bernie Esposito at bernieesposito@aol.com. Mr. Esposito is a licensed private investigator who is investigating this matter on behalf of the Diocese.

Brother Lawrence Monroe has been placed on administrative leave at this time for failure to follow diocesan policy in responding to these concerns.


Fr. Gerald M. Horan O.S.M. Vicar for Faith Formation - Superintendent of Catholic Schools Diocese of Orange - Marywood Center 2811 East Villa Real Drive Post Office Box 14195 Orange, CA 92863-1595 [714] 282-3055


Nice. It's sad to see another sexual abuse scandal developing in the Diocese. European tour????? My mind is already racing on what could have happened on an unsupervised trip like this. There are a number a questions that this incident brings to mind:

1) Why didn't they call police/child and protective services?
2) Why are they conducting their own investigation? Shouldn't parents deal directly with law enforcement and not some church-hired PI?
3) Where is the compassion?
4) Why are administrators who have acknowledged that they failed to report in the past (MD principal, Lu Dominguez - who is now an Asst. principal at SMHS) reprimanded?
5) Why does it seem like the Catholic Church is above the law whenever allegations like these surface?
6) Don't they do background checks on teachers & priests?

4 Comments:

  • At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are an absolute fool. The fact that you immediately assume the charges are sexual hints both at your lack of knowledge in the matter and your disgusting mindset. THe accused man is of great character and HIGHLY respected in our school, however it seems a parent became overly concerned with a non-existant matter on these trips of a NON SEXUAL connotation. It is not publicly released what such charges are, as some people unlike yourself are actually trying to keep the dignity of this man in tact. To address the other ridiculous slander you have so carelessly posted, it is not a criminal act therefore the police would have no reason to be involved. The Catholic Church (mind you I am not catholic and am hardly religous) is not always above the law as you said, although I do agree that in the past they have hid things within CHURCHES and not SCHOOLS. Believe it or not, there is a difference there the last time I checked. Maybe you should check too. Brother Monroe as well has nothing even to do with these charges. In fact, the reason he is removed currently is because he knew the charges were completely absurd and did not feel that our teacher needed to be removed. The diocese however did not want to take the risk that he was wrong (mostly because of aforementioned scandals in the church), and so they took action, regardless of the uselessness of it. I could go on refuting your assumptions, however I will sum up and say that this teacher is a great man, not a "pedaphile" (again, how you even thought that is beyond me considering it makes no reference to students whatsoever), and he should be respected. So please, the next time you feel like being a moron, do it someplace private.

     
  • At 6:47 AM, Blogger Allan Bartlett said…

    Anonymous,

    You're just flat wrong about abuse only happening in churches. I went to Mater Dei in the late 80s. There was a lot of bad stuff happening that I and most people were not aware of that has since come to light. You also seem to convienently forget about Father Harris who was the Principal of Mater Dei and then SMHS. Do you remember what happened to him? He was defrocked because he was molesting students. So don't bring your "I'm a fool" smack here until you go back and look at the past.

    I was naive back then as were most others. Only some of the abuses have been admitted to by the Church. They're still stonewalling to this day on a lot of cases.

    So yeah it sucks that this is people's first impression when an allegation or incident like this arises. I hope to God the allegations against Mr. Hansen & Monroe are not correct.

    Lastly, can I recommend a good movie to you? It's called "Deliver Us From Evil"

     
  • At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Question authority. weither or not your questions pan out to be valid... they should be asked.

     
  • At 9:17 AM, Anonymous JEC said…

    Anonymous,

    Before you blast Allan for stating that these allegations against Dr. Hansen may include sexual abuse, I invite you to closely re-read the e-mail that diocesan officials sent out to parents:

    “We are sharing this information with parents, students, faculty and staff in order to comply with Diocesan and school policy and in fulfillment of the transparency and accountability precepts of Bishop Tod Brown's Covenant with the Faithful.”

    The Covenant with the Faithful, which Tod Brown “ceremoniously” nailed to the front door of the Holy Family Cathedral in January 2003, was Brown’s direct response to the sexual abuse crisis that was/is plaguing the diocese.

    It only addresses issues of sexual abuse of children and young people. You may read it for yourself at: http://www.rcbo.org/covenant/covenant_to_faithful.htm

    So, if anyone brought up the issues of sexual abuse, it was the diocese, not Allan. And if you want to blast someone because you feel the allegations are false, I suggest you call the diocese.

    Also, considering that there are two very public cases of abuse currently pending against Mater Dei, where school officials admitted that they allowed admitted molesters to resign quietly rather than call authorities, the extrapolations here make sense.

    Something else disturbing - Why is Dr. Hansen quiet? I have to say that if my employer falsely implied that I was engaging in illegal sexual contact with children and/or young people, I would slap them with a lawsuit so quickly that it would make your head spin.

    The silence is deafening.

    Finally, as one of the numerous former Mater Dei students who was molested at the school, let me tell you – it happens. And it still happens. And that’s why an e-mail like this one distributed by SMHS deserves a great deal of scrutiny and investigation.

     

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