Let me take a moment to say what a wonderful experience my son, my wife and I had at Pilgrim. We will forever be thankful for the gifted teachers and administration at Pilgrim. I was so impressed with the teaching staff and administrators, I took a management position, at Pilgrim, because I wanted to be a part of this great school and church. I noticed right away child safety was much different than at my daughter’s former Catholic school.
Student's were sexually abused at Pilgrim Lutheran School (Green Bay, WI.) by Wayne Makela (link) who was a youth minister, teacher, and coach.
As I reported Wayne to Pilgrim's Senior Pastor and the former Principal, I said something good can come of this. I am extremely proud of Pilgrim’s senior Pastor that he worked thru the fear, guilt and shame and didn’t put Pilgrim’s sexual abuse in a closet.
My biggest challenge was changing hearts and minds at Pilgrim. Pilgrim’s Senior Pastor had also spoken with the Green Bay Diocese’s former safe environment director and I would highly recommend that you all reach out to someone that works in the sexual abuse field.
Pilgrim’s Senior Pastor finally approached me and said, “we get it” and “we see the light” and “we know what you want from us - leadership”. I said “exactly” and “my wife thinks God has put me at Pilgrim”. After that, it was easy. My role of education, vision and drive to start a Proactive Sexual Abuse Prevention Program at Pilgrim was in the very capable hands of Pilgrim’s Senior Pastor and new Principal to implement.
Pilgrim has installed a Well Administered Proactive Lutheran based Sexual Abuse Education, Awareness and Prevention Program (Pilgrim’s Safe Initiative link). Pilgrim has added an automated background checking system, Active shooter policies and training, CPR, a door window policy with daily checks and Manatory reporting training that I believe makes Pilgrim the safest LCMS school and church. My goal of a Well Administered Proactive Lutheran based Proactive Sexual Abuse Awareness, Education and Prevention Program starts its third year, at Pilgrim this school year.
I will be forever thankful for the Leadership and all of the hard work to implement Pilgrim's Safe Initiative, internet background checking system, other safety policies and training to make Pilgrim children safe for now and in the future too. Thank You, Pastor Scott Malme and Principal John Schultz - you are both Amazing.
Here is the problem, we at Pilgrim have a great proactive program to keep children safe to share. We have had this program since 2016 and no other school has copied our program to keep children safe - that I am aware of. Why? Program is too hard - no, too costly -no, have to develop - nope done.
Where are the child molesters at? Where the children are at!
93% of child molesters describe themselves as Religious and the risk of sexual abuse is 9.6% by the time a child finishes 12 grade.
Think about it,
July 3, 2014 Wayne Makela was arrested for sexual abuses of a Pilgrim student
January 16, 2015 Wayne Makela was sentenced to 6 years for sexual abuses to two students
August 24, 2016 Pilgrim’s first day of school starts with Pilgrim as the safest LCMS school and church, in my opinion.
This is truly Amazing! Be Amazing yourself!