Sacred Hearts Academy, an all-girls Catholic school in Kaimuki, has fired a teacher after two high school students reported “inappropriate behavior,” according to a letter sent to alumnae on Friday .
“We immediately investigated and dismissed the teacher on the same day the incidents were reported. We notified authorities, and the parents filed a police report. This is now a police matter, and we are fully cooperating with the investigation,” Betty White, head of school, said in the letter. “We acted quickly and deliberately in responding to our students who were very courageous in reporting the inappropriate behavior of this teacher.”
White went on to say that the pre-school-through-12th-grade school must still do more to protect students.
“Required criminal background checks and interviews with previous employers do not always give the full picture of a potential employee,” she added, citing a soon-to-be-released report by the National Association of Independent Schools that will provide recommendations on ways independent schools can be “even more proactive in preventing and addressing educator sexual misconduct.”
Sacred Hearts is immediately requiring training for staff as well as a workshop for parents by the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, she said, adding that the school is also establishing its own committee on sexual abuse.
White did not respond to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser request for further comment and the Honolulu Police Department had no immediate comment.