Mercy High School sends out letter to parents amid former coach’s Child Abuse charges
BALTIMORE, MD – Mercy High School officials sent out a letter to parents following news of its former athletic coach being charged with child sexual abuse.
The statement says “we continue to be deeply upset as we learn additional information from media reports about our former part-time coach Ernest Jackson. The details of the charges against Mr. Jackson revealed in local news coverage early this evening are very disturbing to our entire community—our students, parents, faculty and staff, board, alumnae and friends.”
Officials say that Ernest Jackson was a part-time coach for indoor track, outdoor track and soccer. He coached at the school on a seasonal basis, beginning in November 2015 until last month. He is no longer a coach and he was reportedly banned from campus when the school learned of a report of abuse before Thanksgiving.
Jackson has reportedly been released on bail. School officials say “Student safety has been and always will be of paramount importance to us. I want you to know that in our hiring process we comply with all federal, state and local employment laws. All candidates for employment are interviewed, and their references are carefully checked. Candidates also undergo a fingerprint criminal background check through the FBI’s Criminal Justice Identification Services (C.J.I.S) Division.
The C.J.I.S. system provides automatic updates to the school if employees are subsequently charged with crimes flagged by the C.J.I.S system. The results of background checks are carefully reviewed. The school regularly provides safe environments training for child and youth protection to employees.
Our first responsibility is to the safety and privacy of our girls. We must balance transparency with student privacy, and I thank you for understanding and respecting this. In addition, because there is an ongoing criminal investigation that involves child sexual abuse, we are limited in what we can share, as we respect the legal process and must not interfere with an ongoing criminal case.”
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Baltimore Police’s Child Abuse Unit at 443-984-7378 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.