NEW ORLEANS – Days after public revelations of decades-old sexual abuse allegations against Jesuit High School, the president of the school has released a statement seeking to reassure the community of Jesuit’s current dedication to student safety.
“As many of you have read or heard, a media story today discussed what can only be described as deplorable actions by school employees decades ago,” Jesuit president Fr. Christopher Fronk wrote in a statement addressed to Jesuit alumni and parents of alumni. “My heart is broken for any victims of abuse. Sexual abuse is disgusting, and we reiterate our apology for the hurt and sadness inflicted on any victim in our community.”
All current faculty members were called together to discuss the revelations and to pray for healing for victims of sexual abuse, Fronk wrote.
“It is important that you know the steps we take to ensure the safety of our students,” according to Fronk. “Every employee goes through two independent criminal background checks, state and federal. Additionally, we go through safe environment training through the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The Jesuits in residence go through these same checks, in addition to annual training through the Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus.”
All school personnel are “mandatory reporters,” Fronk wrote, and any “credible allegation of sexual abuse against someone who is a minor will be immediately reported to law enforcement.”
“I stressed to parents and faculty today that they are the front line in recognizing harmful situations and should report inappropriate behavior immediately,” Fronk wrote. “From day one I have been committed to making this the safest possible environment. We take seriously all claims of abuse and will continue to work toward healing and reconciliation for anyone in our community. We must come together as a community to heal.”
Fronk said he will never regret taking his position at Jesuit, and said he continues his commitment to the school’s mission.
The statement ends with Fronk’s entreaty for all alumni and parents of alumni to “join us in prayer for anyone impacted by abuse.”