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Canisius High School responds to house party incident

In my last blog post and today's story, I indicated that none of the private high schools responded to The News' request for comment regarding the house party on Dec. 27 that left a Parkside home trashed. But I came into work today and found an email waiting for me from Fr. Joseph Costantino, president of Cansius High School. He sent me a lengthy email at 10 p.m. Wednesday because he said he'd been booked from morning to night with various events. So I followed up with him today.

He said the high school's dean of students is heading up Canisius's own internal investigation today regarding students who may have participated in the destructive house party that caused thousands of dollars in damage. According to police last week, there were six students from Canisius who were at the party. Fr. Joe said the school is working with police to determine if that's an accurate number, identify who the students are, and determine appropriate disciplinary action.

"If there are any kids, we want to see that that behavior is stopped," he said. "Throughout history, there’s always been some kids you can’t control. Parents have the problem, too."

Disciplinary outcomes for Canisius students could be wide ranging, he said, from community service to suspension and expulsion, depending on the extent to which the school determines the students may have been involved in wrongdoing. He agreed that private schools like Canisius, Nardin and St. Joseph's have more flexibility in issuing student sanctions for their involvement in the house party than a public school like City Honors.

"Private schools have a lot more options because it’s a privilege to come to any of the high schools that are private," he said.

He added, however, that Canisius High School will make disciplinary determinations in keeping with the Catholic school's pastoral philosophy.

"It’s got to be justice and mercy because you’ve got to look at to what extent were they involved," he said. "This is the great thing about the church. There are laws and rules, but you always apply them circumstantially and pastorally."

-- Sandra Tan

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | [email protected]


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | [email protected]


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | [email protected]


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | [email protected]

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