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Catholic educators suspended for allegedly drinking in front of students

By Devon Dolan | Posted - Mar 4th, 2013 @ 10:48pm

TOOELE — The principal and a priest at a Catholic school in Tooele have allegedly been suspended, accused of drinking margaritas during school, in front of students.

On Mar. 1, St. Marguerite Catholic School, located at 15 S. 7th Street, and the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City released a statement to parents saying only: "Several individuals have been suspended pending a thorough investigation of the alleged incident."

Parents of students at the school said one of the individuals is Principal Marcella Burdden, and another is Father Samuel Dinsdale, a priest at the school.

One parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said she's had problems with the Burdden the past. In fact, she said she took her daughter out of the school because Burdden was "rough" with the girl and other students.

"There were times (my daughter would) say she felt bad for this student because (Burdden) did this to them — she embarrassed them," the woman said.

The woman also said she's personally heard Burdden yell at staff members and that some of them have since left the school.

Janet Barbiero, who founded St. Marguerite School more than 30 years ago, said she is appalled and disappointed at the news.

"Things like this come about and give you a bad reputation. It's just unacceptable," Barbiero said. "I just hope it doesn't make the parents pull their students out, because it's not the fault if the other teachers for what happened."

KSL News put in several calls to the school and the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake, but neither institution responded Monday night. We also attempted to contact both Marcella Burdden and Father Dinsdale, but have not heard back from either.

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