Dear People of Palma:
Over the past several months, there have been allegations that improper behavior occurred between Gerald Funcheon and Palma students in the 1980s. Gerald Funcheon is a former Crosier priest who was Palma’s chaplain during the 1984 ‐85 school year. I’d like to reiterate my anger and disgust about the allegations of Funcheon’s behavior. One of the hallmarks at Palma is trust – trust that our institution will provide a safe environment for our students to grow, mature and become stellar citizens. If this trust was violated at any time, I, on behalf of the Palma Board and administration, deeply apologize.
I can think of nothing more abhorrent than the violation of a child by one who was trusted to be an advocate and guardian for that same child. I wish I had the opportunity to comfort each victim and communicate to him how very sorry I am for what transpired at the hands of someone else so long ago. I pray daily for the victims of abuse; I pray each has the strength to come forward and get assistance. I pray that justice will be available to each and every victim.
As a step that we are taking to ensure reporting of misconduct and to build up trust with alumni, parents, and students, I want to inform you of a tool that is available to report sexual misconduct issues you identify. We have arranged a toll free number that will be available to anyone who would like to report any claims of abuse. The callers will be able to leave a message for a licensed counselor who will, in turn, return the call and make any referrals as may be deemed apprpriate.
I would like to assure you that Palma School is committed to openness and transparency in our dealings with the Palma community and other members of the public. The toll free number is one way we are working toward this goal.
The toll free number where a licensed counselor can be reached is (855) 804-5678. Palma School will continue to strive to provide our young men with a quality college preparatory education in a Roman Catholic environment. Palma School maintains strong policies to protect our student’s physical, mental and spiritual integrity and to protect the safety of the children entrusted to our school. If you have a concern regarding these important issues, we encourage you to utilize the above phone number.
Chairman, Board of Directors