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Catholic School Principal Placed On Administrative Leave After Possible Inappropriate Contact With Students

By Jim Osman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The principal of a Roman Catholic elementary school in Delaware County has been placed on administrative leave but the reason is unclear.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said Dennis Reitano was placed on leave Monday “after concerns were raised during a Safe Environment lesson” at Saint Madeline-Saint Rose School in Ridley Park, Delaware County.

“It makes me sick to my stomach,” said Carly Childers, as she reacted to a letter sent home to parents. “I’ve met him a few times and he always seemed nice. There was nothing that made me think otherwise.”

Officials said a report was made to law enforcement and authorities are investigating. The archdiocese declined to elaborate on what concerns were raised but called it a personnel issue.

State Welfare Department officials say the claims against Reitano were not sexual abuse allegations but about “not respecting personal boundaries.” They also would not elaborate.

“It was very important to the parish, the school and the Archdiocese that we communicate with the parents and that’s why the letter went home last night because authorities are investigating,” said Donna Farrell, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. “We’re not able to elaborate.”

Safe Environment is a program that teaches about healthy relationships between young people and adults.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • Shawn Robertson

    “not respecting personal boundaries.” Hello? Is that what fondling, humping, molestation is called now?

  • ANGRY and FRUSTRATED teacher

    What is it that people are not understanding about NOT HAVING SEXUAL CONTACT WITH CHILDREN?!?! Why do adults think that because you are around kids all day you have a right to permanently damage and scar them? ALL OF YOU CREEPERS ARE SICK! GET OUT OF THE EDUCATION PROFESSION AND STOP ABUSING CHILDREN! You are giving real teachers a bad name!
    To the public: Not all teachers are pedophiles. Not all teachers prey and creep on children. There are those of us that actually take the job of educating children very seriously. God bless all those children who have been forever changed at the hands of a trusted adult. I hope all you pedophiles ROT IN HELL.

    • Michael Cruice

      Why no follow up that the principal has been found innocent of any wrong doing.I guess that is not news worthy . Please follow up your news stories

  • Zzbar

    Sex abuse running rampant in Pa.

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