Friends of St. John Bosco hold candlelight vigil to pray for the school

Friends of St. John Bosco hold candlelight vigil
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:29 PM CST
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STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Friends of St. John Bosco in Sturgeon Bay holding a candlelight vigil to pray, they say, for the salvation of the school because it has lost its Catholic identity.

This comes after parents and parishioners told WBAY that multiple teachers and board of trustee members recently left with little explanation, only months into the school year, on top of even more key staff members last year.

The community of Sturgeon Bay, as well as parents, students, and staff all want to know why teachers are choosing to leave.

“We really haven’t found out why and being that this school is so important to us and being Catholics, we thought the best way to help our students is to pray,” said John Kruse, a parent.

Parents like Kruse tell us the school lost 4 teachers, a principal, and 2 board of trustees members only two months into the school year.

”We’d like some answers for what’s going on,” Kruse said. ”The fact we’ve lost 4 teachers in the first quarter of the year is pretty scary.”

Parents say that’s on top of 7 teachers and 5 board of trustee members last year.

”It seems the work environment here is toxic,” said Ullman.

We’re told some parents are also deciding to pull their children out of St. John Bosco, seeking an education for their children elsewhere.

”This whole thing going on here is some secret below the cloak we can’t talk about.” Ullman said. “We can’t get answers. It’s like a gag order, if a teacher were to talk to us they could lose their job and not get possible benefits.”

Parents and parishioners say the problems started before this year, and they need to be solved so that the school can still be here for students.

“The school will go away because already the financial support is drying up fast.” Said Brian Woods, a longtime parishioner.

Friends of the school tell Action 2 News the administration has failed to create a work environment that prioritizes Catholic values: kindness, love, and mercy, and they fear that’s come at the expense of the children’s education and faith.

“I want the Diocese to understand this is unacceptable,” Ullman told Action 2 News.

“This is the last Catholic school here in Door County, and we are afraid to lose it.” Kruse said.

WBAY reached out to leaders of St. John Bosco and the Diocese of Green Bay and received a response from the Diocese of Green Bay in regards to the situation at St. John Bosco school.

It says in part: “The Diocesan Office of Catholic Schools and St. John Bosco School are currently collaborating in the hiring process...” and that “Vacant trustee positions are in the process of being filled.”

The Diocese says ” There are no plans to close St. John Bosco School.”