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That petition was started after information came forward that some in the district had supported a former teacher convicted of sexual abuse. The district has now announced that changes are ahead.
Matthew Lomaglio was a Rochester City School District gym teacher, convicted of molesting an eight-year-old boy in school. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
It was what happened during the investigation of that case, and in the time after his conviction, that fired up this community. The prosecutor in the case says several in the district refused to cooperate with the initial investigation. Then several more wrote letters to the judge, some of those said to be on district letterhead, supporting LoMaglio.
"That kind of behavior among those teachers and whomever else that supported him is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," said school board vice-president Cynthia Elliott.
This petition, even signed by the mayor of Rochester, called for changes.
"We have to show the community that our words are followed by our deeds," said school board president Van White.
White said policies are already in place requiring employees to report abuse and cooperate with law enforcement in any abuse investigation. The district says that language has been strengthened.
"The updated policy puts all our staff on notice that they will be disciplined if they do not cooperate," said Ed Lopez-Soto, district counsel.
"We want to make sure that nobody can come back to us and say, gee, I did not know. Now they know."
The district is also planning to re-train its nearly 6,000 employees, from teachers and administrators to custodians and cooks. The new online module is being created with Child Protective Services.
"I don't want to give the sense that this is training that hasn't been provided before, because it has. We have just not had a systematized way to track it and make sure it's recurring on a regular basis," said Bethany Centrone, RCSD chief of human capital initiatives.
The training will cover detecting child abuse, the requirement of mandatory reporting to CPS and the extra requirements for educators that they report to police if they suspect abuse.
It will all be rolled out in the next few weeks.
- See more at: http://rochester.twcnews.com/content/news/723093/rcsd-to-begin-re-training-staff-about-reporting-abuse/#sthash.JRSgjG8x.S1mgphge.dpuf