Parents were informed by Mount St. Mary Academy in a memo from principal Diane Wolfe dated Tuesday that two members of the school staff had been suspended pending an investigation by "appropriate jurisdictional agencies" concerning allegations about their conduct. When contacted by reporters, Wolfe reiterated a portion of the statement she'd sent to parents.
The Little Rock police later issued an incident report prepared after detectives visited the school. Lt. Terry Hastings said the matter remained under investigation and he'd have no further comment for the time being. The incident report said a student told her parents she'd been in a "relationship" since 2010 with a 40-year-old female staff member named in the report. (PS: The young woman, now 18, is no longer a student at the high school, Hastings said.) When parents informed the principal, she reported it to administrators and the state child abuse hotline. The woman named and another staff member were then placed on leave. Hastings said the other staff member, a 54-year-old female, was not a suspect in the case. Her suspension was a "school internal issue," he told us.
UPDATE: Mount St. Mary has issued an additional statement saying it had fired two staff members. Kelly O'Rourke, a math teacher and volleyball coach, was fired for violation of policy governing conduct of faculty and staff. The other, athletic director and 9th-grade counselor Kathy Griffin, was fired for "failure to adhere to state-mandated reporting requirements." The statement follows.
STATEMENT FROM MOUNT ST. MARY ACADEMY
MARCH 14, 2012
“Based on the findings of an internal investigation by Mount St. Mary Academy and a concurrent investigation by the Little Rock Police Department, a member of the MSM faculty has been terminated for violation of Mount St. Mary policy governing conduct of faculty and staff. The employee was placed on Administrative Leave on Sunday, March 11, 2012 immediately after information was received by MSM concerning the employee’s conduct. This immediate action was taken to remove the employee from the MSM campus and to protect the safety and security of our students. The termination action was taken today by Mount St. Mary Academy upon learning of the findings of the investigation by the Little Rock Police Department.
As part of Mount St. Mary’s internal investigation into events related to this matter, a second employee placed on administrative leave On Monday, March 12, has been terminated for failure to adhere to state-mandated reporting requirements.
Mount St. Mary’s actions with regard to this situation were taken to protect the safety and security of our students which is our foremost priority. In as much as this issue involves pending legal proceedings, and with respect to rights of individual privacy protected by law, Mount St. Mary will have no statements on the details of the allegations.”
Diane Wolfe, Principal
Mount St. Mary Academy