By Catholic Review Staff
The Archdiocese of Baltimore has responded to a complaint filed March 5 in Maryland U.S. District Court on behalf of Annette Goodman, a former librarian at Archbishop Curley High School.
The complaint, filed by attorney Linda Correia against Archbishop Curley High School and the Archdiocese of Baltimore, alleges that Goodman was wrongfully terminated April 10, 2014, “in an attempt to cover up” the school’s and archdiocese’s “deliberate indifference” to an Archbishop Curley teacher’s sexual behavior with a student.
The archdiocese, however, says that Goodman was fired after waiting more than three weeks to report a suspicion of sexual abuse. State law and school policies require employees to report such suspicions immediately.
“Ms. Goodman’s complaint alleges that on March 6, 2014, she heard a student and teacher ‘did it’ in a car,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “Her first report to school administrators was more than three weeks later, on April 1, 2014, which was the first indication the school had of a suspicion of sexual abuse. The school reported to the police that afternoon. Ms. Goodman had not reported to civil authorities. We do not believe we should pay an award to someone who knowingly fails to report child abuse for weeks.”
According to the statement, “the archdiocese and its schools conduct extensive training with all employees and volunteers on child abuse prevention and reporting.”
“Employees know that Maryland state law and school policies require immediate reports to civil authorities followed by a written report (to civil authorities) within 48 hours of learning of a suspicion of child abuse. We do take disciplinary action if a school employee fails to report suspicions of child abuse immediately.”