Former teacher says he was punished for protecting kids
FORT MYERS -- A Southwest Florida catholic high school teacher is speaking out tonight. He says he was fired for accusing a priest of asking teenage girls explicit questions during confession. Chris Wilson has dedicated the past 20 years of his life to the Catholic Church and its teachings.
He tells us the Penn State scandal has opened up new wounds, all while he still struggles with how to feel about the religion he says abandoned him.
"And she said there's a priest who's asking girls if they've masturbate and if they have sex," that's what former Bishop Verot teacher Chris Wilson says he heard from his female students after they got back from confession.
"I knew it was outside the lines. It's even against the churches own law," Chris tells us.
So that day last spring the theology teacher reported the priest to the school, the Diocese of Venice, the Fort Myers police and the Department of Children and Families.
"It was obvious to me the diocese and the school officials wanted nothing to do w my concerns," he laments. The following week, Chris was fired by Bishop Verot's principal.
"Mr. Cavell told me plainly you stepped over the line when you called DCF," Chris remembers. And that's why he filed a lawsuit, claiming he was fired for blowing the whistle. We reached out to the catholic diocese twice today to get its side of the story -- but nobody returned our calls.
All of this leaving Chris at odds with his beliefs: "I believe in the mission of the church, but sadly the institution needs to be questioned by the people."
And Chris tells us he wasn't surprised about the Penn State scandal: "Both the Penn State situation and what happened at Bishop Verot could have been alleviated by following guideless."
The lawsuit still pending. In it, Chris is asking for just $15,000.
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