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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Friday, September 25, 2009

Hawaii school defends teacher accused of sexual misconduct, SNAP responds

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20090925_Kamehameha_Schools_hiring_of_teacher_challenged.html

Given the numerous and serious allegations against Thomas Gardipee, prudent school staff would suspend him and hire independent investigators with law enforcement backgrounds to delve carefully and thoroughly into his past. That’s what we hope will happen now.

We also hope that anyone in Hawaii who may have seen, suspected or suffered any misdeeds by Gardipee will speak up, get help, call police, warn others, protect kids and start healing.

The disturbing allegations about him should be looked at in their totality. The Star Bulletin today reports that Gardipee:
- faced criminal charges of “enticement of a child for immoral purposes and trying to intimidate a victim”
- faced a civil lawsuit alleging that he “sexually abused, harassed and stalked” a boy (that suit was later settled)
- “had disrobed and massaged himself in a whirlpool room in front of a boy” (according to a judge)
- had been suspended from his high school teaching job ... because of “allegations of sexual misconduct”
- was then “permanently removed from the job,” according to Catholic officials
- was then permanently “banned by his religious order from teaching and ministry with minors”
- “spent his remaining years with (a religious order) making and selling pottery"
- faced similar accusations earlier, in 1988
- was “pulled off the job” then too (but was reinstated later, a decision the province now believes "was not handled well," a church official said.)
- engaged in “reported misconduct” that “was inappropriate and unacceptable for a friar -- particularly one working with young people" (according to a Catholic official)
- was at a school with “wide-ranging allegations of sexual abuse of students by various friars”
- has the phrase “license denied” by his name on a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website of teacher licenses
- faced state proceedings to revoke his teaching license
- would face “a much more thorough review" if he sought a Wisconsin teacher’s license in the future (according to a state education official)
- takes students on trips

In addition, former Gardipee students told a Milwaukee newspaper that he “gave them alcohol, condoms and erotic magazines, and two said he asked them to come to his room to masturbate with him.”

The newspaper also reports that
- Gardipee’s former school “has no records of Kamehameha Schools inquiring about Gardipee”
- Gardipee’s former employer, the Capuchins, have no record of an inquiry from Kamehameha Schools about Gardipee”

Again, all of these facts and allegations should alarm Hawaii parents and citizens. We hope the school will err on the side of kid's safety and suspend Gardipee while investigating further.

NOTE: today in Milwaukee, SNAP members are holding a news conference about this. For details, call Peter Isely 414 429 7259, peterisely@yahoo.com, or see below)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around since 1988 and have more than 9,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688, 314-503-0003 cell)


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org