January 29, 2005

Educator under fire resigns

Herald Tribune


MANATEE COUNTY -- Assistant Principal Joseph Gilpin remained in the Manatee schools despite several accusations of inappropriate behavior with students, including one in November where he reportedly patted a boy's bottom and made indecent remarks to two others.

Gilpin denied doing anything wrong, was never charged with a crime and kept his job at Haile Middle School in East Manatee.

But on Friday, Gilpin resigned, two days after the school district learned of allegations he raped two boys in the late 1960s while studying to be a priest in the Northeast.

In his resignation, Gilpin, 60, said he was sorry for "the notoriety that this situation has brought upon you, my colleagues and the school board."

Gilpin had been suspended since Wednesday, when an advocacy group informed the district of the 1960s abuse allegations. He had worked in Manatee schools since 1971. Gilpin did not return calls seeking comment, but has denied the molestation allegations in the past.

Manatee school officials said Thursday they did not know about the allegations against Gilpin until the group told them.

Posted by kshaw at January 29, 2005 07:05 AM