Abusive Priest Became School Teacher

A publicly accused abusive Omaha priest became a licensed substitute teacher just five months ago, according to a lengthy new investigation by the Associated Press.

We call on law enforcement officials to use every possible method to prod anyone with information or suspicions about this abuser’s crimes to come forward. We call on school and state education officials to take his license. And we call on Catholic officials – especially in the Omaha archdiocese - to do more to warn the public about him.

In November, Fr. Andrew Syring resigned from the archdiocese “after a review of allegations that included inappropriate conversations with teens and kissing them on the cheeks,” according to the AP.

Dan Hoesing, the superintendent of the Schuyler Independent School DIstrict in Nebraska, says “he could not disqualify Syring when he applied to be a substitute teacher because the former priest had not been accused of outright abuse or criminally charged,” according to the AP. “But Hoesing instituted strict rules requiring Syring to be supervised by another adult at all times, even while teaching, and banning him from student bathrooms or locker rooms.”

But that is not good enough. We call on Hoesing and the Schuyler school board to do all they can to alert students and staff about Fr. Syring’s past. We call on state lawmakers to remedy this loophole if need be. And we call on Omaha Archbishop George Lucas and his extensive staff to use church bulletins, pulpit announcements and parish websites to prod others with information or suspicions about Fr. Syring to call law enforcement immediately AND to turn over to school officials his entire personnel file.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant