Board decides in teacher’s favor in bitter Bishop Hendricken termination case

Photo Credit: Bishop Hendricken High School

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A state labor board decided against Bishop Hendricken High School in a termination case involving a former teacher who claims he was fired for blowing the whistle on another teacher.

The Department of Labor and Training Board of Review made the ruling after a hearing last week involving the Warwick private school and theology teacher David Marsocci, who was terminated in May.

In its decision, the board stated the school does not have a policy in place to support terminating Marsocci for insubordination and conduct not becoming a teacher, which is why he was fired according to the termination letter.

“In the absence of a written policy there is no evidence the claimant knowingly violated a known and reasonable policy,” the board of review referee wrote.

The school has 15 days to appeal the decision or it would be final, allowing Marsocci to collect unemployment benefits.

According to school president John Jackson, Bishop Hendricken has not decided whether or not to appeal.

“We will have no further comment until that decision is made,” Jackson said

Marsocci, who taught at the school for almost 29 years, told Target 12 he went to school administrators several times over the past three years, telling them about what he claimed were another teacher’s inappropriate emails that Marsocci said were sent on a school computer and on school time.

But while Marsocci said students had access to the computer, Jackson – in a written statement given to Target 12 after last Tuesday’s hearing – denied students were in danger.

“Investigations have found these claims to be wholly without merit, and never involved current or former students,” Jackson said.

Marsocci said after nothing was done about his allegations, he put up a webpage with password-protected content that included emails and secretly recorded videos of administrators to inform parents about his allegations.

In one of the website statements that can be seen without a password, the school administration was accused of having “full knowledge of several on-campus incidents involving the faculty member in question.”

In his statement, Jackson said, “we have serious reasons to believe that the supposed evidence” has been completely fabricated by Marsocci. The statement goes on to say Marsocci wanted to “advance his smear campaign” against the school.

According to the termination letter and the DLT decision, Marsocci refused to answer questions about the website.

But the referee wrote, “it may be the opinion that [Marsocci’s] refusal to discuss his personal nonpublic website is unbecoming conduct but it does not support misconduct.”

Neither Marsocci nor his attorney Robert Savage would comment on the decision or whether a civil lawsuit is planned.

A DLT official said the appeal process includes one more step within the board of review system, but could then be appealed to a district court judge by either party. If a full run of appeals is cast, the final decision could take months according to the DLT.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau