FOX19 Investigates: Archdiocese principal could have license revoked for yelling at child with autism

Catie Blum
Catie Blum

(FOX19) - FOX19 Investigates has learned a Tri-State principal, who's still on the job, received notice from the state her license could be revoked.

Mary Blum, who goes by Catie, is the principal at Saint John the Baptist Catholic School in Colerain Township. A letter sent to Blum from the Ohio Board of Education says:

"On or about March 7, 2012, you yelled at Student 1, who you knew was autistic and suffering from anxiety. As a result of your actions, that child was hospitalized for psychiatric treatment."

FOX19 investigative reporter Amy Wagner went to Saint John the Baptist today, where Blum told us she couldn't comment on the case and referred us to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The Archdiocese also declined to comment on camera, but a spokesperson says they are aware of the incident and suspended Blum back in 2012 while they investigated. That spokesperson says the Archdiocese dismissed the complaint, claiming witnesses testimony was inconclusive.

A report from the Hamilton County Developmental Services obtained by FOX19 Investigates states:

"The school witness was on her way to the restroom when she overheard loud and angry yelling.  She observed the principal yelling at (the student) while he was cowering trying to cover his head and arms while saying over and over quote, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I won't do it again."

A snag at the state level regarding Blum's legal name stalled the investigation. Once that was rectified, the state conducted a six-month investigation. In February, state officials sent a letter to Blum notifying her of their findings. It informed her she had 30 days to request a hearing to appeal whether the state will "limit, suspend, revoke or permanently revoke her license."

The family of that 12-year-old autistic child didn't want to talk on camera, but sent us a statement that reads in part:

"Sadly, in the days and weeks and now years since March 7, 2012 every level of internal archdiocesan authority failed our son."

The Archdiocese tells us Blum will testify at the hearing to determine what will happen with her teaching certificate. Blum has been a principal with the Archdiocese for thirteen years.

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