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A Higher Authority?

The Local Puppy Trainer reports on the implosion at a local school: Heads of Rocky Bayou Christian arrested in abuse case

NICEVILLE — A current and former administrator at the area’s largest Christian academy have been arrested for failing to report a sex abuse allegation, according to police.

Rocky Bayou Christian School co-founder and interim Superintendent Bob Grete, 72, and former Superintendent Don Larson, 48, were arrested Friday and charged with failure to report child abuse.

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old basketball coach, unidentified by Niceville police, had a warrant out for his arrest on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct. He was expected to turn himself in Monday.

Police detective Kate Devine said the investigation was “kept very quiet” since allegations arose June 27, when the father of a 14-year-old girl reported “possible sexual abuse” to Grete.

Grete “informed (the father) not to contact the authorities until after Rocky Bayou Christian School could conduct their own investigation,” according to his arrest report.

Grete and Larson were “mandatory reporters” under state law, Devine said.

“I learned that they knew about the incident between the basketball coach and the female juvenile and failed to report it,” she said.

We have a mandatory reporting law in the state because people weren’t reporting abuse and children were dying at the hands of their abusers. The law also provides lawsuit protection to the “mandatory reporters” if the claims are found to be without merit.

Larson contacted the school’s attorney who told him to report it. The state law on reporting is well known, not an obscure statute, and people are reminded of it at the start of every school year, but some people don’t think laws apply to them, that they know better.

There is no way of telling if the school will survive after this, because it isn’t something that makes parents happy and they pay a lot money to attend the school, many to protect their children from the evil ways of public schools.

17 comments

1 SSG { 07.25.09 at 1:50 am }

How disgusting! I feel for that 14 year-old girl. 🙁

It’s also rather odd that it’s a Christian school, located in Niceville and it’s being investigated by someone named Devine. I mean, what are the odds?

2 Kryten42 { 07.25.09 at 2:29 am }

Considering it’s a *Christian* school in the USA… I’d say the odd’s are quite high! 😆

Ahem… I couldn’t resists. 😉

3 Kryten42 { 07.25.09 at 5:54 am }

You know… If you want to halve (at the very least) crime in the USA, just round up all the wingnuts (left, center & right, though predominantly on the right), especially the fundies, lobyists, executives and politicians and hang them from the trees. Then they can be used as fertilizer for mother nature. At least they would finally be of some use. Then you have a half a chance to clean up the other corrupted people, one way or another. It’s amazing what a pacifying thing abject fear can be for a criminal when they know people are serious and there is only one option.

*shrug* It’s the only *deterrent* I’ve ever seen that works.

4 cookie jill { 07.25.09 at 9:26 am }

Sad to say….it’s gotten to the point that when someone broadcasts to the world that they are CHRISTIAN (yeah…sometimes they seem to yell the fact), I wonder what dark secret they are trying to hide.

5 Bryan { 07.25.09 at 11:37 am }

Evaluating the “evangelicals” in a calm fashion should make obvious that they are all hiding something. The basic tenets are about “rebirth” and “redemption”. Look at the emphasis they put on “we are all sinners”, and statements like “love the sinner, hate the sin”.

They must be concealing some pretty despicable activities to be so preoccupied with these things.

This was about protecting the school, not about the welfare of the student, who, at 14, if I remember that age accurately, is suffering major angst over the situation, even if there wasn’t much in the way of physical contact. On general principles I would consider a suicide watch, because adults forget what a powerful force embarrassment is in the life of young teens. Everything is a source of embarrassment, anything that makes them different than their peers can set them off.

A big reason for going to the state immediately is the privacy policy in place. The state will protect identities of everyone until a formal charge is made, and the privacy of minors forever. School investigations have no such safeguards in place.

6 Student { 07.25.09 at 10:00 pm }

I am a student at Rocky Bayou. I’ve been going their about 5 years so far. I can vouch the administarion for the most part is a joke.

One part of the article state

“Grete also told police he didn’t consider the report an emergency because the coach “was not in a school environment on the weekend” and “would only be going to church.””

What Grete didn’t tell the police is they have no problem suspending and expelling students all year long for things they do outside of school. Shouldn’t the teachers be held to the same standards? Apparently not..

The Administration loves the smell of their crap and in my opinion should be replaced completely.

7 Bryan { 07.25.09 at 10:21 pm }

I get a feeling that the administration is more concerned with the school than the students. That attitude of protecting the institution, rather than those without power, is a problem in all institutions.

You absolutely can’t hold those who are learning to a higher standard than those teaching, without being seen as a hypocrite.

Realistically, the people who pay the bills, the parents, may shut the school down by withdrawing their support. You may want to start thinking about that and discuss it with your parents.

8 Badtux { 07.26.09 at 2:35 am }

The law is clear in every state — teachers and administrators are “mandatory reporters” and *must* immediately report even an *unsubstantiated allegation* of child abuse to the proper authorities. Otherwise they can be criminally prosecuted.

Regarding the moral deviancy of the right wingers, and why can’t abstinence-promoting Republicans control their, err… members: They literally believe that if they bend their knee at church on Sunday and “accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior”, all their sins will be “washed away in the blood of the Lamb” and it doesn’t matter what they do the other six days of the week because they can just do it again on Sunday and have THOSE sins forgiven too. This is a logical result of a moral framework that devolves around “avoiding Hell” rather than about any sort of attempt to build a morality of what’s right to do. They think they have a free get-out-of-Hell pass by bending the knee, and since avoiding Hell is all that their morality is about, it doesn’t matter how much evil they do the other six days of the week.

Now, when I was a child my preacher would have told them, “if that’s the way you think, you haven’t *really* accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, because if you had, you’d be trying to emulate Him.” But the Southern Baptist Church has done a race-to-the-bottom, as churches hire preachers who tell the congregation what the congregation *wants* to hear rather than what the congregation *needs* to hear. Indeed, the congregation at my grandmother’s old church ran off a preacher who kept telling them what they *needed* to hear rather than what they *wanted* to hear — they simply stayed away in droves, and the deacons finally had to raid the building fund for severance pay to get rid of him because otherwise the church would have gone under. I met the man and he was a good and honorable man, a true Christian. But that’s not what congregations want from their preachers today. They want preachers who tell them what they want to hear — that they can be evil during 6 days a week and be cleared of all their sins by bending the knee on Sunday and “accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior”, that they don’t have to do Christian charity, they don’t have to help others, etc. etc. etc. It’s sad and pathetic, and it’s what passes for “Christianity” today in the Southern Baptist Church :(.

– Badtux the Multi-Religious Penguin

9 Kryten42 { 07.26.09 at 2:41 am }

They literally believe that if they bend their knee at church on Sunday and “accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior”, all their sins will be “washed away in the blood of the Lamb” and it doesn’t matter what they do the other six days of the week because they can just do it again on Sunday and have THOSE sins forgiven too.

yup. We call those “Sunday Christians”. They blissfully ignore the parts of the Bible warning them that they will be judged far harsher than any others. 😉 I sincerely hope when I die that I am there to witness their Judgment. I wonder if I can get the popcorn concession? LOL

The way I see it, On Sunday they might be considered a *good* person, they other six days they should all be locked up because you KNOW they are going to be evil. Would solve a lot of problems IMHO. 😉

10 SSG { 07.26.09 at 3:07 am }

@Kryten42-What would solve a lot of problems (and I know I’ve mentioned this before, sorry for the re-run, Bryan) is putting birth control in the water and making people get a license to breed. This world would be a much nicer (and less crowded!) place in about 80-some years.

Maybe that sounds harsh, but, geez, there are WAY too many idiots running around loose. This school thing is just one more example of that.

11 Bryan { 07.26.09 at 4:31 pm }

It’s the Catholic Church response to clergy abuse in miniature. Protecting the institution is more important than people. It is also about greed. The school charges premium prices for an education that is free in public schools, and Okaloosa County has some of the best in the state.

As for the religious side, if you drive by one of the local schools in the morning you will see the lawns littered with “prayer circles” as the students make sure everyone knows what good Christians they are [so people will be surprised when they do all the things that teenagers always do, because they are hormone-crazed humans].

The state exercises almost no control over these schools, so they have no one to blame but themselves.

12 Kryten42 { 07.26.09 at 11:04 pm }

LOL @ SSG. Yeah… I think I may have mentioned that solution once or twice. But I came to realise that what is needed is to stop the hypocritical greedy SOB’s from reproducing, but creating an environment where the decent people can and will reproduce and hopefully crowd out the ‘bad apple’ genes. Unfortunately, mother nature can be unpredictable and capricious when it’s suits, and she has her own agenda which she doesn’t bother to allow us mere mortal humans, quite understandably, to know anything about (if I were in her place, I’d do the same). 😉

I’m just thankful that the avg human lifespan is so short. I seriously do not think anyone sane can survive more than 80-100 years of this. 🙂

Ehh… what the hey… Here’s a couple quotes:

“Think of how many religions attempt to validate themselves with prophecy. Think of how many people rely on these prophecies, however vague, however unfulfilled, to support or prop up their beliefs. Yet has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science?” — Carl Sagan

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. ” — Albert Einstien

“Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” — Richard P. Feynman

“One of the greatest gifts science has brought to the world is continuing elimination of the supernatural, and it was a lesson that my father passed on to me, that knowledge liberates mankind from superstition. We can live our lives without the constant fear that we have offended this or that deity who must be placated by incantation or sacrifice, or that we are at the mercy of devils or the Fates. With increasing knowledge, the intellectual darkness that surrounds us is illuminated and we learn more of the beauty and wonder of the natural world.” — James D. Watson

Amen to that!

13 Bryan { 07.27.09 at 12:44 am }

We already have so many chemicals in the water supply that I doubt hormones would have a chance. The people buying bottled water are just substituting chemicals, because the bottles leech BPA into the contents.

I have often wondered when being stupid became a political asset in the US, but it’s fairly apparent that it has, and not just among Republicans. HL Mencken was writing about it the trend in the 1920s and 30s so it wasn’t all that recent a change.

“As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

He was a “nice” person, because he too often told the truth. He lived through the last “Great Awakening” of evangelicals in this country, and was thoroughly disgusted with it.

14 Badtux { 07.27.09 at 3:48 pm }

Bryan, a slight correction: The PE plastic used for bottled water has never had BPA in it. The only bottles that leached BPA into the water were the hard plastic Lexan and polycarbonate ones such as baby bottles. There’s a lot of incorrect information going around here, such as “never refill plastic water bottles” (there is actual research showing that there’s no problem with doing so, indeed, WHO recommends use of refilled plastic water bottles placed into direct sunlight as a water treatment method in locations where there is no other water treatment available), which is based on hysteria rather than on real information.
.-= ´s last blog ..Should Bernanke be reappointed? =-.

15 Bryan { 07.27.09 at 4:20 pm }

I personally use a military canteen with a canvas/felt carrier and a larger stainless steel job with a wool cover and shoulder strap. There should be a couple of canvas water bags in a box somewhere, if someone didn’t borrow them and forget to return them.

I have infinite confidence that every piece of packaging we have devised in the last 50 years will eventually be demonstrated to be killing us, but thanks for the facts on the BPA.

BTW, I was really annoyed when they discovered that crystal decanters would leech out lead when used for alcoholic beverages, but I still can’t convince reenactors that drinking water from replica tin canteens that were soldered is a bad idea.

16 Badtux { 07.27.09 at 6:12 pm }

Depends on the solder, Bryan. The latest solders are lead-free, they replaced the lead in the lead-tin amalgam with silver.
.-= ´s last blog ..Should Bernanke be reappointed? =-.

17 Bryan { 07.27.09 at 8:05 pm }

I know that all of the current plumbing solder is lead free, but these things are manufactured “using only traditional early 18th century techniques to ensure accuracy”, and there is an overwhelming amount of lead in use. The belt buckles and insignia are stamped brass sheeting filled with lead. I wouldn’t doubt they used mercury to make the hat felts, as that is how it was once done [the origin of “mad as a hatter”, being a reference to the common mercury poisoning in the industry].

I’ve repaired a couple of them and replaced the lead with modern plumbing solder and listened to the complaints about not being authentic. I call it solder, but it is usually straight lead, and I have to collect it for disposal. They aren’t hiding it as all this stuff comes with standard hazardous waste warnings when you buy it.