The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 1, 2013

McCort: Rumors of firings untrue

JOHNSTOWN — A Bishop McCort Catholic High School spokesman on Monday dispelled widely circulating rumors about multiple teachers being fired from the academic institution.

Matt Beynon called the speculation “unfounded.”

He elaborated by saying, “That is not an accurate description of any events that have occurred.”

Rumors began circulating in the afternoon that anywhere between five and nine teachers had been fired from a staff of slightly more than three dozen instructors.

“No one was let go,” Beynon emphasized.

Bob McGowan, co-organizer of the Friends and Family of Bishop McCort High School, added, “I saw some email traffic. It was unsubstantiated.”

The rumor caught fire during what has been a difficult and speculative time for Bishop McCort.

Principal Ken Salem was placed on administrative leave on March 1.

He was replaced by former Assistant Principal D.A. Gardill. No reason was given for the decision.

Bishop McCort has been involved in a controversy during the first months of 2013. Franciscan Brother Stephen Baker, a former trainer at the school, has been accused of sexually molesting numerous students throughout the 1990s. Baker committed suicide by stabbing himself in the heart on Jan. 26.

In recent weeks, the newly formed Friends and Family of Bishop McCort High School has been helping the community deal with the Baker incident and offering support to Salem. The organization has filed for articles of incorporation. It plans to seek nonprofit status.

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