Bishop signs updated policy handling sexual misconduct
CHARLESTON—Students from Charleston Catholic School stood beside Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone as he signed the updated diocesan policy regarding allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse of a minor Dec. 12.
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They represented the faces of what the policy is all about — protecting our children.
One of the new rules deals with the use of social media by prohibiting any individual communication with students through outlets like Facebook or texting.
It also addresses the specifics of how to handle background checks.
The diocese wants to make sure that no names slip through the cracks, as in the case of Louis ReVille, who worked as a tennis coach at Bishop England High School from 2008-10. ReVille’s name is one that was not submitted to the Office of Child Protection Services for a background check. Since then, the former coach has been charged with the sexual assault of minors. None of those who have come forward are Bishop England students.
Bonnie Sigers, safe environment manager, wrote in an email that the new policy continues to require that background checks are done on all employees and volunteers with access to children.
“Realizing that compliance is the heart of prevention, the diocese has enhanced its procedures to assure compliance with this mandate,” she wrote.
The diocesan policy also clearly defines who it considers to be mandatory reporters, plus the process for reporting allegations and the consequences for not reporting.
Peter Shahid, attorney, said mandatory reporters are legally bound to report suspected abuse. Failure to do so will result in legal ramifications and the diocesan policy states that those who fail to comply will be subjected to immediate discharge.
The updated code will go into effect April 15.