Shattuck-St. Mary's Releases Statement About Previous Incident

Updated: 10/10/2012 11:17 AM By: Scott Theisen

Officials at Shattuck-St. Mary's school released the following statement Tuesday after authorities revealed more alleged incidents of abuse by teachers at the school. The allegations came to light a day after former teacher Lynn Phillip Seibel was charged with 17 sexual misconduct, child pornography charges related to incidents involving students at the school.

Full statement from Shattuck-St. Mary's:

Questions have been raised about the school’s handling of the circumstances around the 2008 suicide of one of our faculty members.  Here are the facts in that matter:

On the afternoon of December 5, 2008, the school received what it believed to be a credible allegation of misconduct on the part of the faculty member in question.  After assessing the allegation, school officials immediately put in place a plan to remove this individual from the school so that an investigation could be conducted and appropriate notifications made.  The suicide occurred that evening while that plan was being carried out. 

At the scene of the suicide, the allegations in this matter were fully and immediately disclosed to the investigating officers.  In addition, within two days of the suicide, the school conducted two town hall meetings – one with parents and one with students – that were webcast to all interested parties in which the allegations were disclosed and discussed openly as violation of trust and contrary to the policies and culture of the school.

At no time did the school do anything other than seek to be open and transparent about these circumstances with its students, families, faculty, staff and law enforcement. 

The school has a zero tolerance policy on issues of harassment, discrimination and criminal behavior that applies to faculty, staff and students.  Those policies are communicated to students and families through our student handbook and to faculty and staff through our employee handbook.  Those policies are reinforced through annual meetings and other communications.  Our policies in these areas have evolved steadily over the last two decades to reflect changes in the legal environment, new technologies, societal changes and other factors.  We believe strongly that our policies contribute to creating a safe and inclusive environment at our school.

When we become aware of any allegations of possible violations of our policies and standards in these areas, we investigate and – if the allegations are substantiated – take appropriate action.  We do so consistent with legal obligations, our responsibilities to our students and their families and our commitment to protecting the rights of our community members.