Rhode Island:
Catholic school principal resigns for disparaging Jews, blacks

Rhode Island school principal: 'I wish there was a way that you could know that in my heart, I am not a racist, I am not an anti-Semite.'

Mordechai Sones - JTA,

Resignation
Resignation
iStock

The principal of a Catholic high school in Rhode Island resigned after a short video surfaced showing him slurring Jews and blacks.

Jay Brennan, the longtime principal of Bishop Hendricken High School, resigned Friday over the video.

The all-boys school is 13% minority, WPRI TV reported, citing statistics released by a board member.

The six-second video that was secretly recorded in the principal’s office comprises one sentence that is disparaging of both Jews and blacks, according to the report.

Brennan said in an apology released on Friday: “I first apologize to our Hendricken families and in particular our young men who I have hurt. I love all the Hendricken students and tried to show that every day when I entered the school. I would never intend to hurt any of our young men, of any race, color or creed. I am so sorry for the hurt for which I am responsible. I wish there was a way that you could know that in my heart, I am not a racist, I am not an anti-Semite and that I truly care for each member of the Hendricken community.”

Brennan has worked at the school for 40 years.

The full text of his apology follows:

January 19th, 2018

Dear Alumni,

I am writing this apology, asking for forgiveness for my words which were hurtful, ignorant, and contrary to every Christian belief.

I first apologize to our Hendricken families and in particular our young men who I have hurt. I love all the Hendricken students and tried to show that everyday when I entered the school. I would never intend to hurt any of our young men, of any race, color or creed. I am so sorry for the hurt for which I am responsible. I wish there was a way that you could know that in my heart, I am not a racist, I am not an antisemite and that I truly care for each member of the Hendricken community.

I apologize to our parents who have entrusted their sons to our school. My words are not what is expected from our parents and our entire community. You expected a role model, and with those words, I failed and I am ashamed of my words. You expected more from me and I let you down and for that I am so sorry.

I apologize to the great teachers, staff, and administration at Hendricken. As a leader, I have failed to display the example a leader needs to show. My behavior should have been a good example for all, and I have not done that. I have hurt you and our entire school. I am sure that your greatness will help restore our school to a place of harmony.

I also ask forgiveness to the Hendricken alumni, the Long Green and Gold Line which is made up of tens of thousands of graduates. I have tarnished the great legacy of Bishop Hendricken High School, and for that I am sorry and ask for your forgiveness.

I also ask the entire population on the region who has been exposed to my words for forgiveness. Hendricken is a tremendous school with dedicated teachers and staff and the greatest students. I have been proud to serve the school and the students for over forty years. My heart is broken that I have caused division, controversy and anger. For my entire career, I have tried to bring people together and in a few seconds of terrible use of words, I have created hatred and anger.

Everything I have written is from my heart and the truth.

Joseph T. Brennan, Jr.




top