Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a slanted media story about a Catholic school in South Carolina:
After an employee at the largest Catholic high school in South Carolina was arrested two years ago on voyeurism charges—he was caught videotaping two male students in a locker room—school officials immediately contacted the police and fired him. This would ordinarily be the end of the story. But we don’t live in ordinary times.
On February 3rd, Larry Richter filed a class-action lawsuit against Bishop England High School and the Diocese of Charleston. He is a steeple-chasing lawyer known for suing the Catholic Church. His belated lawsuit charges that school officials and the diocese intentionally installed windows that overlooked the locker rooms so the staff could watch the students undress.
The accusation is scurrilous.
When the school was built in 1998, small windows were intentionally installed between the athletic coaches’ offices and the boys’ and girls’ locker room. They were installed not for the purpose of satisfying the urges of Peeping Toms, but for safety reasons.
According to a statement released by the Diocese of Charleston, “Their purpose was to allow coaches to monitor for fights, bullying, smoking or any type of inappropriate activity that might occur within the locker rooms. The plaintiff’s claim that the windows were installed for the sole purpose of exploiting students is simply ludicrous.”
If Richter were right, why weren’t their scores of complaints about employees who took advantage of this situation to spy on students? Why did it take one homosexual employee—21 years after the windows were installed—to take a video on an electronic device of boys in the locker room? He said he “liked younger guys.”
So one sicko employee abuses a well-intentioned policy and now all of sudden the school and the diocese are charged with exploiting students for over two decades. Only a fool or an anti-Catholic bigot would believe such nonsense.
Shame on “The State,” a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, for offering such a one-sided story on this issue. It published two articles on what happened, and in its second installment it devoted exactly two of thirty-four paragraphs to the Catholic side. It does a disservice to readers by putting Catholic officials in the worst possible light. The real culprit here is Richter, not the school or the diocese.
Contact Paul Osmundson, senior news editor: firstname.lastname@example.org