Last weekend a parent of a child attending Saint Matthew’s Early Education Center asked if we had heard anything about an incident involving a member of its staff. We hadn’t, so we emailed the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and asked if it could provide any details.
We were provided the text of a September 22nd letter sent to parents of the students at the school by Father Tom Heron, the pastor of Saint Matthew Parish. The letter reads:
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I write to share that a classroom aide in our Early Learning Center (ELC) Program was placed on administrative leave last week and has not been on the campus since that time. We took that action following a report that was made to authorities concerning an incident alleged to have occurred at school. This matter is currently the focus of an active law enforcement investigation.
Prior to beginning service at our ELC, this individual obtained appropriate background checks as well as child abuse clearances and completed Safe Environment Training programs. Such safeguards are standard operating procedure for any employee or volunteer who comes into regular contact with children in the course of their duties.
At this time, the matter is being investigated by the Conshohocken Police Department and no criminal charges have been filed. We will continue to cooperate with police in the course of their work. As the matter is not yet concluded, there is no additional information I can provide about its status. I will update you if possible.
I realize that this development is a source of anxiety for you. Please know that our parish remains fervently committed to preventing child abuse as well as protecting the children and young people entrusted to its care.
You may wish to visit the website of the Archdiocesan Office for Child and Youth Protection (www.childyouthprotection.org). It contains resources for parents and information about how the Archdiocese is actively working to create a safe environment for children and young people.
Sincerely in Christ,
Reverend Thomas Heron
Yesterday, we emailed Chief Mike Orler of the Conshohocken Police Department to ask about the status of the investigation. We have not yet received a reply.
More to come.