June 10, 2015 Statement Regarding Cathedral School and the Investigation of Former Teacher and Coach, Brett Hinson

Media Contact:     Maureen Smith
Director of Communications, Diocese of Jackson
(601) 969-3581 — maureen.smith@jacksondiocese.org

Cathedral School and the Catholic Diocese of Jackson take the safety of students very seriously.  Last week, Cathedral School and the Diocese of Jackson became aware of allegations of sexual misconduct by a former teacher and coach, Brett Hinson, involving a student at the school. Cathedral School no longer employs Mr. Hinson. Cathedral School and the Diocese of Jackson will continue to cooperate with authorities in the investigation of the charges levied against Mr. Hinson.  The administration of Cathedral School visited with the parents of the student and offered counseling for the student and her family.

Before the allegations were levied against Mr. Hinson, Cathedral School administrators were unaware of any alleged improper conduct. Beginning in 1985, the Diocese of Jackson implemented a written policy and procedure regarding reporting and handling of sexual misconduct claims against lay and church personnel. Sexual misconduct by school or church personnel violates human dignity and the mission of the Church. Cathedral School and the Diocese of Jackson are committed to ensuring that children being served by the school are not at risk of sexual abuse.  The spiritual well-being of all victims, their families, and others in the community is of particular concern to the Church. For more information about these policies and the procedures, visit the diocesan website at www.jacksondiocese.org and click on “Protection of Children.”

We encourage all parents and students to contact school administrators to report any allegations of misconduct. In addition to the availability of school counselors, the Diocese of Jackson has appointed a Victim’s Assistance Coordinator, Valerie McClellan.  Her contact information is also available on the diocesan website.