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One of the more prestigious high schools in the nation is investigating its leader for possible inappropriate behavior. The president of Regis High School in New York City, Jesuit Fr. Daniel Lahart, has been placed on administrative leave.
Fr. Lahart: “I’m starting my fifth year as president of Regis High School in New York.”
In an open letter on the school’s website, the chair of trustees wrote, there are “allegations that Fr. Lahart may have behaved inappropriately in his interactions with certain adult members of our community.” It’s not the first time Regis has had problems.
Senator Chuck Schumer: “Regis is a school that teaches values.”
Former headmaster Jesuit Fr. James Kuntz was put in prison in 2009 for possessing child pornography. But Regis High isn’t the only Jesuit school rocked by scandal in recent times.
News anchor: “A hazing scandal has turned into a police investigation.”
In 2019, a sordid hazing incident was investigated at the Jesuits’ De La Salle High School in Warren, Michigan.
News anchor: “A broomstick was used in an aggressive threatening sexual manner as a hazing ritual on the football team.”
In 2015, Fr. Richard Kurtz of Jesuit High School in Detroit was sentenced to 12 years in jail for sexual assault and possessing child porn. Last year, eight former students sued Jesuit College Prep. in Dallas, alleging sexual abuse by five Jesuit priests in the 1980s.
News anchor: “The unnamed student says the priest gave him alcohol and raped him.”
And this year, a female teacher is suing Jesuit High School in New Orleans for being sexually harassed and groped by a top administrator.
Harassed woman: “It wasn’t right; I felt violated. … I knew that the culture at the school was to protect those that were top administrators.”
At Regis High School, it’s too early to know exactly what the allegations are and whether or not Lahart will be exonerated. What is evident, however, is a continuous pattern of sexual deviancy and cover-up within Jesuit schools. It appears this once-great religious order, formed to fight the errors of the Protestant revolt, may now need a great reformation of its own.
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