Saturday, June 16, 2012


Saving a Catholic School


  1. I believe in Catholic Education and All Sainbts Academy. I am horrified and shocked that those responbsible for choosing a new principal would select a person who has a law suit filed against him for his role or lack thereof of the scandal within his school regarding the teacher and sexual conduct with a student. From the word around town this kind of activity has been well known for years and this teacher who got caught was just that. Others have not.Bottom line the buck stops at the principals desk. I am shocked because with the ongoing sex scandal in our Church, (I know it is of a different kind but inappropriate sexual behavior is just that) I believe to implicitely condon that behavior with the hiring is in itself a form of scandal and certainly a lack of witnessing Catholic teachings. How could this happen? Surely there are qualified principals seeking work. Was this another secrative hiring of convenience or nepotism?

  2. Nice article, but there are a few points very different about this community and the one in the story. The leader of our parish Catholic School does not see it as fit to send his own children there, but yet calls it an unmatched education from the pulpit. My young daughter learned the meaning of the word hypocrite that Sunday on the way home. Our commmunity is infused with too many entitled individuals out for themselves. Only another natural disaster like the flood of 1972 could bring it back together after all the deceit used to divide the community on issues of churches closing, schools closings and combinings, sports combining and more recently the lax controversy.
    I recently attended two juxtaposed ceremonies, one at All Saints Parish where at first one could actually feel The Holy Spirit in the air as Bishop Clark spoke directly to the Confirmation candidates. Then the parish nonsense started and swoosh out went The Spirit as an out of place lacrosse talk was used to water down a past mistake. The other ceremony was a beautiful culmination of incredible public school teachers and their students celebrating the eighth grade farewell at CFA. This ceremony concluded with a standing ovation led by the students for a classmate very deserving of highest honor for 3 C's-character, courage and commitment. I was moved to tears and not for the first time, at a CFA student event.
    I feel Catholic education in Corning lost its identity when it lost real support from Rochester. I feel the parish is also losing its Catholic identity as well. I raise my children Catholic with the sad reality that because of where we live they may not identify with this faith. The phrase 'Vaya con Dios' is fitting. When they sprout wings and fly away, I will be happy if they go with God. It would be nice if they keep their Catholic faith but after all is said and done here in Corning, going with God is enough for this parent.

  3. I think Tobia was hired to close the school effectively. He knows school admin better than the parish admin. After a year or two of concerted "effort" to revive it, it will be proved not feasible to remain open. This way people will accept the bad news and efforts to save it by alumni and the community will be kept to a minimum. Master plan, thesis or plain old scheming, call it whatever you prefer.

  4. Does someone have a link to online articles about the lawsuit? I don't subscribe to the Leader and don't have kids in the school system, so I have no knowledge of what poster 11:58 said, and would like some background on it.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Here is a link to an online article about the lawsuit:

    From the article: "According to the lawsuit, Deck[er had a]n inappropriate relationship with at least one other student prior to January 2011, and the district and the school took no action. Additionally, the suit claims Decker was not suspended from herer had a job until March 9, 2011, when The Leader published a story about the relationship – 23 days after the misconduct was reported to Tobia.

    Also, the plaintiff claims the defendants did nothing to stop the victim from being bullied after the relationship was made public."

    It does seem problematic that the teacher was allowed to remain in her position after a second inappropriate relationship came to light, let alone the first one. Perhaps legal issues were uppermost in school officials' minds at that point.

  6. Fact is fact. Tobia was principal at time of first incident and second. He is being sued for non action when a student is involved. And ASP hires him? Has the leadership, no ethical standards or value of Catholic Witness via the institution of the school. I cannot make excuses for them. If in turn something was explained by administration , I may not feel so strongly. We are talking about students who are in an over/under situation with a symbol of power....a teacher. And it was not addressed until it broke in the news. shameful

  7. Who made the final decision to hire? Parents? Parish leadership? Does anyone know of other candidates?

    1. 5:52, Deacon Dean of course. Sure he probably wasted the time of many by letting them believe they had a say in the hiring. Tobia was set for the position months ago.

  8. The following article will be in this weekend's bulletin on page 6:

    The hiring committee included teachers, parents, parish reps, and diocesan reps.

  9. From what I have heard, the new principal is a good man. Is it possible that district policies and teacher union issues kept the teacher in place? I'm just asking, because it is horrible to think that a teacher with such serious moral lapses would be allowed to continue until her sexual misdeeds with two students were published in the newspaper. The children continue to be victimized in such scenarios because the adult is allowed to continue. It is just this sort of thing that has had the Catholic Church in hot water for years now.

  10. I could not agree more with Gretchen's last sentence. That is why it is so upsetting that ASP, published as a Catholic Church community, would even think to hire a person in any way connected to a sex scandal involving an adult and youth. I simply cannot comprehend what Catholic teaching, ethics, morality and witness means to the hiring committee. For me this has more to do weith the hiring committee and the values ASP holds than it does about the principal they hired, albeit, one carrying a public scandal on his back.