Former high school track coach charged

A former track coach at Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn has been charged by Anne Arundel County Police after the school and the Archdiocese of Baltimore reported to county authorities possible boundary violations involving the coach and a minor. Following is a letter to parents of Archbishop Spalding students dated Sept. 26 regarding the charges, signed by Kathy Mahar and Lewis Van Wambeke, president and principal, respectively.

We write to share important information conveyed to Archbishop Spalding High School by the Anne Arundel County Police Department concerning a former coach at the school, Mr. Brian Funk.

Mr. Funk, who served as the coach of the girls’ varsity track team at Spalding from August 2009 to July 2011, has been charged with Displaying an Obscene Item to a Minor and Child Pornography. He was removed from his coaching position in July 2011 after the school learned of possible boundary violations with a minor, which were reported by the school and the Archdiocese of Baltimore to Anne Arundel County civil authorities.

At the time of his hiring, Mr. Funk was screened consistent with the Archdiocese’s child and youth protection policy requirements. He successfully completed the criminal history check and safe environment training for those who work with children. Mr. Funk has been notified that he is no longer permitted to work or volunteer at any parish or school of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and that he is not permitted to be on any school campus or at any school function for any reason.

Your school and the Archdiocese are committed to protecting children and youth. We encourage you to have a conversation with your child about appropriate boundaries between adults and children and about sexual abuse. Should you need assistance doing so, please call the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection at (410) 547-5348. Resources are also available at http://www.archbalt.org/about-us/child-youth-protection/resources/index.cfm.

We urge anyone who has any knowledge of child abuse to come forward, and to report it immediately to civil authorities. Anne Arundel County Police can be reached at 911. The number for the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services is (410) 421-4800. If the abuse was committed by a member of the clergy or other church personnel including teachers or volunteers, we ask that you also call the Archdiocesan Office of the Child and Youth Protection at (410) 547-5348 or the Victims Assistance Hotline at 1-866-417-7469.

Please pray for all involved in this situation. May God continue to bless you and all the people in our community during this most difficult time.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.