St. Augustine High School: Statement
St. Augustine High School released the following statement today.
This past week, the press has reported that the family of a former student filed a lawsuit claiming negligence of St. Augustine regarding the way that the school handled an incident brought by one student against another student at the school. The incident occurred one year ago on a school trip to Florida.
We are limited by law in what we are permitted to say about the circumstances of this specific case. Our hearts are broken by this tragedy. Our students are part of our family, and any actions against any of them contradict every value St. Augustine High School upholds as a caring Christian community.
To be clear, any form of violence at St. Augustine is not tolerated. Every student at St. Augustine has the right to feel safe from the threat of violence. Students who report acts of misconduct receive substantial support from administrators, counselors, or advocates, both from the school as well as from the Archdiocese. In cases where a crime may have been committed, the school fully cooperates with law enforcement, as it did so in this instance in reporting to appropriate authorities.
Further, our discipline policies specify severe consequences for students who jeopardize the safety of others and we enforce these policies up to and including expulsion for the most egregious behaviors. That is exactly what happened in this instance.
Above all, we have an absolute obligation to protect victims. If any act triggers our duty to report, it is incumbent upon us to report these acts to the appropriate authorities. These reporting guidelines were followed in this case. We strictly adhere to the mandatory reporting laws of the State of Louisiana and the mandatory reporting requirements of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Maintaining a safe and caring community is central to St. Augustine High School’s mission and at the heart of our commitment to our students, faculty and staff. The staff and administration work tirelessly to provide a Christian and safe educational experience for our students and to continually advance the good name and high calling of St. Augustine High School.