St. Patrick-St. Vincent Football Coach Fired Weeks After Reporting Sexual Hazing

The coach was not involved with the hazing, but the principal said he bears responsibility because he was the person in charge at the time.


After an investigation into recent sexual hazing incidents, five St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School football players were expelled and the coach who reported their activity was fired

That coach -- Chris Cerbone -- was not at all involved with the hazing, but Principal Mary Ellen Ryan said in a statement that he bears responsibility because he was the person in charge when the incidents took place, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald

Let us know if you agree below. 

Cerebone reported the sexual hazing to his supervisor (Ryan) shortly after students told him what had happened. According to a quote in the Times-Herald:

"...On certain Thursdays when the coaches were not around that several varsity players would hold down certain freshman (sic) while the varsity player pulled his own pants down and either made the freshman player stick his face into the naked rear of the varsity player or the varsity player would take his genitalia out and slap the freshman player in the face with it."

Check out the Vallejo Times-Herald story for a detailed report of Cerebone's firing. Share your thoughts below. 

LL January 29, 2013 at 09:44 PM
I know this coach personally and know that without a shadow of a doubt he did not know about the goings on of these kids. He didn't even think of the consequences that he might face (being fired). He reported this at once, and even offered to help investigate. He was told that they did not need his help. Perhaps there is something a bit more sinister going on with the principal and assistant coach then we are being led to believe. Let's hope this gets uncovered and that the kids (almost adults) are disciplined for their behavior. Hopefully the boys who were victimized can move forward knowing they did nothing wrong.
leon johnson January 29, 2013 at 11:00 PM
I don't know the man, however I spoke with two people who know him personally . Both men who coach teenage football had nothing but respect and glowing remarks about this coach . At the same time, both agreed that he had to be fired . I believe that many of the people who posted above did not read The Times article , it's a different perspective from the narrative above . Teenage boys of all cultures act retarded in a shower, locker room in virement unsupervised . A towel fight at the least will break out . If he values his responsibility he knows he must go .
Vandal January 30, 2013 at 03:01 PM
@Scott Burford: These are just back-of-the-envelope calculations, but the data seem to support at least part of what Leon wrote: According to Diocese of Sacramento 2011-2012 School Data Report, graduation rate from Catholic high schools is 99.1%, with 84.7% of grads attending a 4-year college. (No figure given for college in general.) At SPSV 99% of the grads continue to college with 70% at a 4-year. (Sources: http://www.csdsac.org/media/School_Data_Report_11-12_complete.pdf, http://www.spsv.org/pdf/Academics/SPSV_Profile.pdf) In contrast, Jesse Bethel High School for example has a graduation rate below 70%, with college attendance of graduates in the order of 36% (50% at best*). (Source: School Accountability Report Cards, Vallejo City Unified School District, CDE DataQuest) Benicia High's graduation rate is around 90%, with college attendance of graduates 87%. (Source: Benicia Unified School District) Granted, the demographics of the schools are different and Catholic schools have a self-selection bias. But even against similar figures for Benicia High School, a California Distinguished School, SPSV has the edge.
Vandal January 30, 2013 at 03:10 PM
(footnote to my earlier post) * - The different sources report different data over different years, so it's really a rough order-of-magnitude comparison. But I am being generous in making an estimate for Bethel: the total percentage of JBHS students attending any California public community or 4-year college is around 36%, and would be 50% if I VERY optimistically add 14% for private and out-of-state colleges, based on the remaining percentage of students who met the A-G requirements for UC and CSU admission (28%) yet did not attend a UC or CSU, or California JC. In comparison, Benicia High reports 90% graduation rate, 87% of grads college-bound, and 42% meeting A-G requirements. Statewide graduation rate is about 80%, 36% meeting A-G. I don't have A-G data for SPSV at my fingertips. (Sources: NCES and DataQuest data, http://www.beniciaunified.org/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=40)
Scott Burford January 30, 2013 at 03:35 PM
@Vandal, thanks for all of the stats. But as I commented later on another post, I just don't think the claim or statistics to back up the claim are very useful at this point in time. Frankly, I am not surprised at those statistics and I don't doubt their accuracy. Doesn't help us understand what happened at SPSV. Doesn't explain what administrators did or didn't do. Doesn't explain the rumors that this culture has existed for a long time. Doesn't help us understand why at this point, none of the victims of this hazing have stepped forward to file a police report and press charges. But thanks for letting me know that a private school actually has a better graduation rate than its neighboring public schools. When the sun comes up, it gets warmer. I can produce statistics to back up that claim, but I just don't have the time.
leon johnson January 30, 2013 at 09:41 PM
"I just don't have the time" Scott, you can google this information faster than it takes to post hyperbole .
Scott Burford January 30, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Leon, quite frankly, I think hyperbole is quite appropriate when responding to some of the things that you have posted in this discussion. I could post some of your highlights, with hyperbolic commentary, but I just don't have the time.
Babaloo January 31, 2013 at 07:13 AM
@ Vandal...there is NO WAY that ST PAts has any edge over benicia HS. How many kids go to that school ? and how many go to Benicia HS. ? why do students from all over try to get in to Benicia HS ? legally or illegally ? you don't see them running to St PAts. St PAts expells their problems and dumps them on the rest of the other schools. they "Politely" ask students to "leave" or "transfer" before they have to "expell" them. kids with alleged legal issues are summarily asked to "transfer"...skewing their numbers. then there have been other "alleged issues" of similar nature there. hmm...so it's got an "edge" ? really .... oh,,btw,,,i would rather be number 1 out of 600...rather than number 1 out of 200...really doesn't prove much. when the kids transfer to Benicia HS from St Pats they are ahead in 1-2 subjects because of the "order" they teach their classes then, but generally in my opinion...and experience,,,they are "behind" our kids and their stellar education.
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Cerbone was not following the rules, he was asleep at the switch. Cerbone is the security guard that left the front door open to have a cup of coffee. When the store got robbed, you want him to be exhonerated because he reported it. Then you want the store owner to be arrested because he owns the store.
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 03:52 AM
Babaloo, I do not understand your logic. What "right thing?" Cerbone was fired for a failure to keep kids safe through direct supervision. That was his charge of duty. He was the head coach. Are you saying that he was already doing the right thing, by supervising the locker room? And the incident still took place over and over again? If he was supervising and the incident still occurred, he should indeed be fired. And probably charged. My understanding is that he was missing from his own classroom, the locker room.
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 04:09 AM
Ah hah, sinister, yes. Vendetta, good. Perhaps even evil. Some sort of conspiracy, possibly by the entire Sacramento Archdiocese. I too was thinking the about the whole Catholic Church as well as all of the members. Maybe they ALL had ulterior motives, either the same or different. Plus, all on your own, based on your thorough newspaper research, you have concluded that this requires further legal investigation. Hmm, culpability for Ryan. Just saying the word makes it sound so true. You should lead the investigation.
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 04:22 AM
Cerbone was fired for dereliction of duty. He was not supervising the locker room and was fired for a failure to supervise. Ms Pacini, Babaloo, are you suggesting that because he reported it, we should ignore that fact that he was absent from his post and could have prevented the whole thing simply by standing in the right spot? Or do you believe that his FAILURE to provide DIRECT SUPERVISION is the "Right Thing?" His job was supervising the locker room when the kids were there. He was not told to be EVERYWHERE. By his contract, he was told to be watching that room.
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 04:29 AM
I think the magnetic poles reversed in your world when the coach was missing in action and was fired for failing to perform his duty of supervision. He allowed an unsafe condition. In California, students are not allowed to be left alone. He was in responsible charge. Reporting the incident does not absolve him of that responsibility. He had a responsibility to those children, to the parents, the school, and the State of California. It is too bad he cannot be brought up on charges first. I do not want teachers like that providing supervision, or lack thereof, to my children. Or perhaps in your mind, reporting the incident absolves a person of all wrong-doing.
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 04:39 AM
You probably think that every time a subordinate is fired, a manager should be fired too, by the sweeping illogic of "on her watch." The principal was not in responsible charge of the front door. The one who needs to go is the person who failed to implement the proper security meaures. In this case, simply being there would have been enough of a security measure. A single head coach is more than enough security, provided he is doing is job. Cerbone was not doing his job and he was not overpowered by an insurmountable force. He was the one in charge of supervising and was derelict. Ryan provided all the security necessary by hiriing Cerbone and making him responsible for those kids. Are you thinking she should have hired five or six men to do the watching? And by not doing so, she should be fired? Or do you simply like the thought of firing supervisors regardless of wrong doing?
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 04:47 AM
Mary: Cerbone did not get fired for reporting the incident. He was fired for failing to perform his principle duty as a teacher in the State of California, and that is to SUPERVISE. Direct Supervision is the key. He FAILED at that. By the State of California, he is not allowed, by neither his contract nor the law, to allow those children to go unsupervised. He allowed them to go unsupervised. It is HIS responsibility because he was the teacher in charge. He may be new to the school, he may even be new to teaching, but he took an oath to uphold the law and the code of ethics required by teachers in California. He violated that on so many different levels. Or maybe that simply means nothing to you. You are the one who knows nothing of the case because you think he was fired for reporting the incident. You also think that reporting an incident exhonorates a person from wrong doing. The real lack of justice comes from not bringing Cerbone up on charges himself.
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 05:08 AM
The real house cleaning should be done in the public schools. Karl, if you want to talk about perverse activity, how many kids have been beaten, killed, and raped in the local public schools? How many children are intimidated and robbed on a daily basis? How is the gang recruiting going in the public schools? Pretty good, I hear. I was in high school when one of my public school teachers was dating an under-age student. Police units were assigned as far down as junior high. In public schools, perverse activity starts in elementary school. You are definitely oblivious to what goes on in your precious public institutions. Your suspicion of a culture of perversity is laughable when the public school culture of perversity is a matter of public record.
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 05:12 AM
What about a failure to provide supervision to minors as required by the teaching profession in the State of California, and as a result of that failure, someone was sexually assulted? Is that also considered wrongful termination?
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 05:16 AM
I say let the coach go. Let him supervise kids in the public school. Let him watch over your kids and keep them safe. Parents in private school would rather have a responsible adult.
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 05:24 AM
It would be inappropriate to allow anyone to investigate his own possible involvement. Would we allow him to also make decisions on whether he deserved to be fired? Would we allow him to accuse others of wrong-doing? What if his own investigation found himself innocent on every count? In our system of justice, he must allow others to uncover the truth to find him not guilty. We would suspect something much more sinister if we allowed Cerbone to find himself innocent.
DeeperThinking February 01, 2013 at 05:42 AM
Right. There is a concept that is taught in private school called percentages. In this case, public schools have the advantage in sheer numbers. Private schools have the advantage in percentages. In this case, I would rather have the better percentages, which supports Leon's position.
leon johnson February 02, 2013 at 02:02 AM
"Capitalism can not last long term, because the masses are too ignorant to choose their own leaders" . Karl Marx . Most of these people have posted without reading The Times article .What's ironic ,they have done to the principal precisely what they have wrongly accused her of doing to the coach . The fact that he waited several days to report the incident is a firing offense in itself .
Scott Burford February 02, 2013 at 03:09 AM
“He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” ― George Bernard Shaw
Karl Voigt February 03, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Yes, people like "Superficial Thinking" just love those "traditions".....like priests bum punching little boys all over the globe. What's the ratio of bum bandits in Catholic schools vs Public schools ?...a real tradition for hundreds of years all over the world which Catholic schools can be truly proud of. Firing the coach sends a punitive chilling message. The message is clearly, "shut up and stay with the traditional program". That's what the asst. coach did and he's still got his job.
Karl Voigt February 03, 2013 at 02:03 AM
How long did it take Ms. Ryan to notify authorities??? Other than Church "authorities".
leon johnson February 03, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Karl; where in the Times article ,does it say the specific assistant coach you are referring to even still works there ??? The fact is, there is no reference to any specific assistant coach being reinstated. Football teams carry many assistant coaches , it's likely the individual you are referring to had already left the school . Are your reading skils a example of a good public school education??
Scott Burford February 03, 2013 at 04:20 AM
Leon, how do you assume that any of the assistant coaches, presumably the one(s) who filed to act on knowledge in this affair, had left? That's a complete assumption on your part, based on what? Do you have personal knowledge of that? Here's a clue that maybe your assumption is wrong: the freshman players commented to Cerbone that they were hesitant about playing next season (on JV). That comment should lead you to believe that one or more of the JV coaches that had knowledge and failed to protect them were STILL THERE. Otherwise, why would the freshman players have a problem? If the problem coach(es) had left, then the freshman players should react with relief, not despair. So why then are you trying to assume they are gone? Are you trying to help the school cover this up and move on? You probably think that the investigation that Principal Ryan conducted was completely 100% "independent and fair" to everyone involved, don't you? Let's see what the police are able to come up with in their investigation.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" February 03, 2013 at 04:43 AM
The bottom line is a democratic and diversed society should practice what they preach and have democracy an diversity. Had their been diversity in this particular department, this would not have happen. Just like our Government has checks and balances; we need checks and balances in our jobs. Had their not been homogenity in this particular area at this school those kids would have had a better chance of being watched over and protected from this "Hazing"!!! Please Benicia, Solano County, start practicing fairness in this great and wonderful society that we have been blessed to have inherited. OUR KIDS DEPEND ON IT!!!
leon johnson February 03, 2013 at 05:29 AM
Scott ,when myself Vandal or D/thinking hit you with facts and numbers, you trivialize ,make fun and change the subject . You ask me a question above and I gave you numbers ,do you ever recognize or are you always right ?? you're entitled to hate the Catholic Church , however you are not entitled to your own fax . Do you read our posts ? I gave you numbers on inner city students attending Catholic schools , you replied with some "select" their students stuff . The reason I assume the assistant coach is no longer with the school , is because I read literature other than the Patch . Therefore I am awear that it is criminal for an adult to become aware of a situation like this at a school and not report it . Why would the students be afraid of a coach , remember on Thursdays there was none . what days sir did these crimes take place ? share your posts with someone you trust , maybe they can enlighten you .
Scott Burford February 03, 2013 at 05:59 AM
Leon, I do not hate the Catholic church, and I'm offended that you would make that insinuation. Shame on you! Most of my immediate family is Catholic. This is my final post on this article.
leon johnson February 03, 2013 at 06:10 AM
some of my best friends are black . sorry I couldn't help it .


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