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Drastic Action in School Sex Abuse Scandal
Aired February 7, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go. How could two teachers accused of abusing children continue to teach after grade school students complained? That`s what I want to know.
Then, it`s 2012 and priest still can`t marry but some are having affairs. Should the church have any say about sex?
And caged. Why are young guys beating each other up and loving every second of it?
Let`s get started.
Tonight, two teachers jailed for alleged sexual misconduct with young children at the same elementary school in Los Angeles, more graphic and heart-wrenching information seems to be coming out every day here.
Parents are angry, must be outraged and asking how could this happen with supposedly no one watching. Administration asleep at the wheel. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Was one student at this elementary school victimized by two teachers? Were complaints about the man ignored? Is there a bigger problem that went unchecked? How many alleged victims are there?
These are some of the questions being asked since Mark Berndt and Martin Springer were arrested within days of each other last week. Each is jailed on a number of charges related to sexual abuse of children.
According to published reports, students reported in the 1990-`91 school year that Berndt was masturbating behind his desk. The students were accused by a counselor of making that up. In 1994, police investigated a report that Berndt had touched a girl inappropriately. That case was not pursued.
The father of a second grader who was allegedly abused by both teachers says Berndt took pictures of the girl which the dad took to the principal in August of 2008. She was transferred to Springer`s class in September. Both men continued to teach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Incredible. Was there a cover-up? Was it negligence or something else?
The lawyer for one student allegedly photographed by Mark Berndt thinks other teachers were in fact involved in this unbelievably. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW MCNICHOLAS, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF ALLEGED VICTIM: My client`s daughter was removed from her regular class and escorted over to Mr. Berndt`s class in the middle of the day for Mr. Berndt to carry out all of these sordid activities on these kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Joining me, Dr. Steve Perry, Principal of the Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut. He is a CNN Education Contributor. And Matthew McNicholas, the attorney who represents the family of the young girl allegedly victimized by two teachers.
Matthew, please tell us about the accusation your client has made.
MCNICHOLAS: Well, the accusations at this point are that the parents came forward in 2008 when they saw these pictures. They were disturbed. They didn`t understand why a teacher would be engaging in this conduct with a student, why the teacher would take pictures of it, and then hand them out to the student.
Pictures come home. Parents are disturbed. They go to the principal and they say this is not right. And the principal shrugged them off and said this is probably part of a school project, there`s nothing to worry about. We`re going to keep the kid in class.
PINSKY: And so how do you make sense of that or have you tried to make sense of that? I mean the principal`s response to something so disturbing seems so dismissive. I have talked to students who are in the fourth grade in Berndt`s class back in the days, in the `90s I think she told me, and the students there had made reports.
What do you think was going on with this principal?
MCNICHOLAS: Well, it seems beyond the principal. From what we`re seeing, and the story is unfolding every day, what we`re seeing is that there`s an institutional wide malaise, that people are not trained what to look for. People aren`t paying attention to what`s happening.
You know, when the father went to the principal and the principal was trying to dismiss him, the father insisted that the child be moved from Mr. Berndt`s class, and he kept her out of school for a week until that would happen. Unfortunately, she was moved to Mr. Springer`s class, and certain things continued to happen.
But when a parent comes forward with a photograph or several photographs and a principal doesn`t even look into it, there`s an institutional wide problem that needs to be addressed.
PINSKY: Steve, you`ve sat - and you sit in that principal chair. I want to go out to you. You always help me make sense of these things.
Do you agree with what Mr. McNicholas is saying, that there`s an institution wide problem here, and if so, what would that be in your opinion?
STEVE PERRY, CNN EDUCATION CONTRIBUTOR: It would appear. Very rare is the occasion that a teacher could participate in what`s alleged to have been his behavior for about 30 years and no one know. There`s no point at which a child should be in a classroom and be among other children who have tape put over their mouths or blindfolds put on, there`s nothing anywhere in academia where that`s OK.
And so it goes - it goes beyond the pictures. It goes into a place where the principals, because there may have been more than one in the school over that length of time or the administration, and the colleagues. I always am strangely surprised by the colleagues who have this concern, they know that there`s some sort of creep factor that`s being - that`s in play and they simply don`t say anything.
You know, it`s easy to blame the principal, but I hold the colleagues in the room next door who didn`t ask the question and didn`t bring forward their concerns to the administration and keep going until something got done. Very often -
PINSKY: Steve, let me ask you - I want to ask something else, and that is that, you know, I think sometimes there`s a concern of over accusing teachers, you know, you`re ruining someone`s career because, you know, a child makes an accusation. You know, I understand you. Believe me, I`m not saying it`s OK.
PERRY: Kids rarely lie.
PINSKY: But my question is -
PERRY: Dr. Drew, you and I both know, kids rarely lie - you know, kids rarely make this stuff up.
PINSKY: At least - at least, Steve, where there`s smoke there`s fire, you know what I mean, if somebody should be investigating whenever kids say that. Yes.
But here`s the deal. Is there something - I`m going to ask you a tough question. Is there something in California, is there something where the administration might have been frightened of a suit, is there a union issue, is there something more going on here that paralyzed the administration`s ability to respond that has not yet been uncovered?
PERRY: I can never speak to why a person doesn`t do the right thing when a child is involved. I don`t even want to try and understand that.
But I do know this. That every single one of us has an obligation to keep every single child safe and it`s very, very easy to ask hard questions when you put children first and you put them above adults. You have to ask yourself why is this man taking pictures at all of children, really. It is, you know, a parent -
PINSKY: Oh, trust me, that`s - yes, I think somebody should ask that question, it is bizarre as heck. And I think that`s Matthew`s point.
And Matthew, let me ask you that same question about this administration having been paralyzed by some other issue that we haven`t yet seen.
MCNICHOLAS: You know, Drew, I can`t - as you were asking that question, I was thinking, and in California, teachers and administrators are mandated reporters.
MCNICHOLAS: They must report to authority not what they know to be sexual abuse but what could reasonably be sexual abuse.
And as your other expert is pointing out, there is no reason to take pictures of kids. And, you know, teachers are supposed to act in loco parentis. They are the parents of the children. And I have three children that are under the age of six, and I would never stand by if I was taking care of my children on a day-in and day-out basis in a school and I saw one of my subordinates do this, I wouldn`t act that way if it were my kids, there would an be immediate investigation.
PINSKY: Right. But let me ask - let me ask another tough question which is along these same lines is what if this had been Beverly Hills and not Miramonte?
PERRY: That is the issue, Drew.
PINSKY: Would there be -
PERRY: That`s the issue right there. You hit the nail on the head.
PINSKY: Well, tell me, Steve, what you think. Go.
PERRY: That you hit the nail right on the head.
PINSKY: Go, tell me.
PERRY: These are parents who are indigent in many cases and/or who are immigrants, and they are being treated as such. So because they may not have been as willing to move forward, they haven`t had the megaphone of the community. And that`s really where the issue is.
The issue is you have a group of families who are not being treated quite frankly as American citizens, because had it been Beverly Hills or had it been somewhere elsewhere where these folks were white and/or privileged, I do not believe that this would have been brushed under the rug in the way it has.
For 30 years, you mean this is OK simply because the guy speaks broken Spanish from time to time, it takes kids on trips and goes and buys enchiladas from the nearby truck, that`s not OK, man. That`s not cool.
We know that we`ve treated too many children from historically disadvantaged populations as if they do not matter and that`s the only thing that can make this make sense because there`s no reason why.
You mean to tell me - one of the things I`ve asked my colleagues many times, would you put your own biological child in the classroom of this individual? If the answer is no, if you wouldn`t let your kid go home with this individual, if the answer is no, then why didn`t you tell me? Why would you put me as the principal in the position where I`m the last guy to find out?
PINSKY: I appreciate your comments. Even I - I go into this weird kind of denial, like, no it can`t be. It can`t be that. But you guys are absolutely right. And if it`s that, Matthew, have at it. Gentlemen, thank you again.
Next, are teachers at the school in denial? Is it possible they knew what was going on as we have been discussing? It seems impossible that they would say nothing. We`re going to keep discussing this issue. Stay with us.
PINSKY: We have been talking about the two teachers arrested for alleged lewd activity with students at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Yesterday, the parents protested and kept their kids home. Today and tomorrow, the school is closed as sheriffs, detectives and district officials continue their investigation into these allegations.
Joining us now is Lisa Boesky, a Clinical Psychologist. Lisa, is it possible that no one saw what was happening at this school and for 30 years? I mean, how do we get our head around this?
LISA BOESKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: No, it`s not possible. In public settings for predators to be able to repeatedly offend, people have to collude. And that means either helping him or looking in the other direction when they see the signs, not believing children when they bring it up, or what we see in some schools is moving the teacher to another position.
There`s absolutely no way they couldn`t know. And not only have the kids been victimized, but think about the parents. The kids thought this was a game. The parents now find out that their children have been eating semen, that this man has been feeding them semen. And even if their child has not come forward, all these parents are thinking could that have been my child, and this is just what we know of.
We don`t know what else he has done to people. We don`t know what else he`s done to children. I mean the whole thing is disgusting. And I`m sure there were - that all along the way, there were places that their intervention could have happened and it didn`t.
PINSKY: Now, Lisa, you do deal a lot with children that have been abused. Have you seen anything like this where there seems to be a systemic problem in an institution?
BOESKY: Well, I`ve seen it in schools before. I`ve seen it in after school activities before, and I`ve seen it on sports teams before, so it absolutely happens, and the problem is it happens by people who are usually pillars of society, who are viewed by the parents as good leaders and good to the children. So it absolutely happens.
And I think the hardest part is, you know, parents, they don`t think about this when they think about school. We assume that teachers are screened. We assume that they`re being followed, and so now it really makes parents question who can I trust, if I can`t even trust my own school. I mean, we`ve seen it in churches. So, I mean, really -
PINSKY: Well, Lisa, yes.
BOESKY: There is no safe place.
PINSKY: I mean, listen, and now we`ve got the Sandusky thing we`ve been talking about, it`s all disgusting.
And I think, Lisa, people would like to know from you how a seven- year-old would process all this. What - do they have any idea what`s going on, when the teacher has strange behavior? How does it affect them even if they are directly aware or traumatized per se?
BOESKY: Well, I think we don`t give kids enough credit, even at two or three years old, kids can realize when things don`t feel right, when something is yucky, when someone is creepy, when someone is doing something that is violating them.
And so for this, I think parents are going to have to have very difficult conversations with their kids on a developmental level that their kids can understand. But I think parents are going to have a hard time understanding this themselves in order to have this conversation.
So I think some professionals need to come to that school and do a big debriefing. Because I don`t think most parents are capable or have the skills to do this. I`m a parent and I`m a psychologist and I think I would even have a really hard time with it.
PINSKY: Yes. Steve and Matthew, you`re still with me. I want to talk to you guys a little bit more.
Steve, how - I guess the question would be how do you think this should be managed? I know Matthew has his own ideas. But, Steve, what do you think?
PERRY: Well, there are a couple of things. From the parent`s perspective, I hope those who are watching tonight use this as a teachable moment. The child who was brought forward who have been - to have been potentially offended by at least two - I mean, two of the teachers was clearly trained well because she reported it twice, and that child needs to be lauded because - and the family needs to be lauded, and parents should do that.
The school has to go through with a fine tooth comb, and every single person who knew about it, every single person must lose their job, at least must lose their job. It simply cannot go unpunished. They must lose their job. And if it`s at all possible for them to lose their pension or anything else that went along with it, they must. Because as these children`s futures are impacted, so too must theirs, too.
PINSKY: Matthew, are you on that line of thinking?
MCNICHOLAS: Well, look, I think that one of the greatest benefits of litigation and lawsuits is transparency. It gives these parents leverage where they didn`t have leverage before. I understand law enforcement will do their investigation and that`s good, but now the parents have people like me to stand up for them and to be the megaphone that Steve referred to in your earlier segment, to give them a voice that has credibility and to dig deep into the documents and go back for years, and put this before potentially a jury and a judge and let the community decide.
That was the whole point of having the judiciary as the third branch of government, and having everybody has a seventh amendment right to a trial by jury is that people would not guide our lives in some backroom without us understanding what`s going on.
And at the end of the day, I am most hopeful that we will be able to do what Steve says and get the information so the parents can hold these other people accountable.
PINSKY: And Matthew, A, is there investigation on-going, and B, as people come forward, does this become a class action or still individuals?
MCNICHOLAS: Never a class action. It will always be a direct action. But it will be a mass action, which means many plaintiffs individually named and in a complex matter like this, the cases will be joined together before one judge, and that judge will coordinate, if you will, to streamline the discovery.
But it will happen, just like it happened with the Catholic church, and when road blocks were put up, the lawyers for the victims continued to look for the documents, kept pushing the church and ultimately got the disclosure that the victims and their families deserved.
This is transparency. This is what we see in the political debate in this country right now for the President of the United States where average citizens are entitled to information and to know what`s going on in their lives.
PINSKY: And Steve, what happens to the school in the meantime? Do they send the students somewhere else? Or do they have new administration? How does that work?
PERRY: I think that`s, you know, that`s a really tough question. I think for right now, sadly, I think that there should be some sort of person who`s an overseer from the Central Office or a team of people who go in and protect the children and have regular meetings to let families know that they`re doing what they can. And then a decision needs to be made at that point.
Once you find out who else knew about it, and because there`s no reason why children should have ever been left alone for that amount of time, even in a classroom without an administrator coming through or just doing a walk through, and seeing what`s going on in the classroom. So there`s a lot that needs to happen in this school.
PINSKY: Let me ask you another question. Steve, I`ve got just like 30 seconds left, and this, Matthew, you too on this. Is there a bigger problem at L.A. Unified? I mean, L.A. Unified has not been known for its stellar academic performance over the years. Is there a bigger systemic problem in the whole L.A. Unified system?
PERRY: I don`t know that that`s fair to put all L.A. Unified schools. There are a lot of great educators in L.A. who are working their behinds off to give kids the best, the world class education they deserve. I do think that this school is wrought (ph) with issues and needs to be cleansed.
PINSKY: OK. Thank you, guys. Thank you, Lisa. Thank you, Matthew. Thank you, Steve. as always.
"On Call" is next. And later, boys in cages. Yes, I know it`s not another trauma story. These boys in cages on TV. What`s up with that? They`re fighting, they`re kicking. You have to stay with us to find out about that. We`ll tell you.
PINSKY: Every so often we like to take time away from other topics we`re covering on the show to address the problems affecting you and your family. Many of you have asked us for help over the past several weeks for various topics and we want to tackle some of those issues right now.
Let`s begin with Jennifer in Texas. Go ahead, Jennifer.
JENNIFER, FORT WORTH, TEXAS (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Jennifer.
JENNIFER: I have an interesting story and that I was put on Ativan for nerves about two years ago. I wish the doctor would have told me, or I would have done my homework and found out about the awful withdrawal that accompanies trying to stop bends as cold turkey.
I wound up in the emergency room with fever, sweat, shaking, even brain zaps type sensations in my head and I had no idea I could have a seizure. I think we need to educate ourselves or ask more questions when we`re put on these medications.
Now I`m currently weaning off by slowly lowering dosages and it`s a much better experience.
PINSKY: Well, let me tell you something. There`s a couple of issues. Thank you for that. That`s an interesting point.
Critical you ask questions about whatever medication the doctors are putting you on. But, yes, the Ativan, Librium, Xanax, any benzodiazepine medicines have a very severe withdrawal syndrome associated with them, even for non-addicts.
Basically if you take those medicines more than about two weeks, sleep medicine, Ambien, those kinds of medicines, Restoril also, you can expect withdrawal. There are ways to cross - give you cross tolerance substances or taper you off, as what`s happening with you.
If you have a history of addiction or a family history of addiction, you should be exceedingly cautious with these medicines. And I say never take them more than two weeks if you have that heritage.
Jill on Facebook writes, "My boyfriend has been physically abusive a few times, but I know I love him and he has promised not to hurt me again. Am I right in taking his word?"
My cameraman, my stage manager are laughing at that one. It`s - but it`s not funny because it happens all the time.
Once - the basic efforts (ph) and what I`ll tell you is this. Once a relationship crosses over where people are actually into the realm of physical abuse, there`s no going back, it gets worse, and you must get treatment or you must get away.
Take another call, Sue in Iowa. Go ahead, Sue.
SUE, DUBUQUE, IOWA (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Sue.
SUE: As an alcoholic in recovery and as a baby boomer, I`d love to know if there are any new medications on the horizon for pain management, things that other than those that are addicting or narcotic.
PINSKY: Yes. You ask a very complicated question. It depends what the problem is. I mean there are things - there are patches now like Flector Patches. There`s Xylocaine, Lidocaine patches. Neurontin is used for pain a lot.
But if you are having a history of addiction, I would categorically urge you avoid opiates. It will send you down a path that you wouldn`t believe.
Trey writes, "I chat with other girls online, but my girlfriend considers it cheating. I`m not cheating. I just enjoy talking to other women."
Well, my friend, right in there is one of the big differences between men and women. Women feel like if you`re having any sort of intimate exchange with someone else, you`re cheating.
It bothers them more than if - or it bothers them more than if you`re actually touching somebody. I know if she touched somebody, that would bother you more than she talking to somebody. But right in there is the difference in how men and women think. So, yes, you`re cheating, dude.
Gina writes, "I told my boyfriend that I will leave him if he doesn`t layoff the alcohol. He`s consuming a lot. Am I giving him the right ultimatum?"
Yes, you can - then you`ve got to leave or you can go to a program called Al-Anon. You go regularly, you get a sponsor and your dance with him will change permanently and that actually will have the highest impact on him getting well. I suggest you do that.
Remember, you can always connect with us by going to HLNTV.com. We have a lot more to come in this show today. It`s interesting. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Coming up, sex and religion. Should the church have any say about worshippers, even priests` conduct in their private lives? Should anyone have to decide between love of their faith and love of their lives? Meet a man with the cloak who had an affair and then married the woman and had children.
But first, they kick, they punch, they brutalize each other for fun. Sounds like an MTV show? It is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Welcome back. Tonight, the cast of "Caged," MTV`s new reality show that takes viewers into the world of a group of young gentlemen growing up in a small town in Louisiana who are finding their way in the world. What they find -- as they try to find their way -- what they find is the violent world of amateur MMA fighting.
This is a growing sport where young men, fight, kick, even choke their opponent until one is either knocked out, immobilized, or forced into submission. Watch this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Working, baby keeping me up all night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am fighter ever since I was a kid.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All these people think I`m a mess up. I`m going to show you all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since we`ve been broke up, I`m more independent. I don`t want anything to be handed to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am an average dude. I don`t have talents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to be all right with families and friends around me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody knows my name, and it does put a lot of pressure on me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody takes me seriously.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I plan on proving I can do this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I don`t get in there and do perfect, then I failed. My ex-girlfriend --
PINSKY: Please welcome the stars of "Caged," Matt Schnell, Tony Kelly, and Daniel Payne. Gentlemen, you get a little excited when you watch that intro? It`s pretty exciting, isn`t it?
PINSKY: Why this? Why this?
DANIEL PAYNE, FIGHTER ON MTV`S "CAGED": Why not?
PINSKY: Why not? Go ahead.
TONY KELLY, FIGHTER ON MTV`S "CAGED": Not really good at math or science, man. So --
PINSKY: So, get my head bashed in instead?
PINSKY: Do you ever worry you`re going to get hurt?
KELLY: No, it`s just part of the game, man.
MATT "DANGER" SCHNELL, FIGHTER ON MTV`S "CAGED": It`s absolutely something that`s part of it.
PINSKY: You`re going to get hurt.
SCHNELL: Exactly -- says you go and you move forward with your career and you got to get better every day.
PINSKY: I`ll be honest with you. I watched this stuff a little bit, and I`m friends with Mayhem Miller, and I know you guys know him. He`s a great fighter. And the two things happen to me when I watched it. One is, as a physician, part of me gets really freaked out, like, how could this -- how could we let young people do this to each other, particularly, for getting choked out and stuff. I mean, each of you had that experience of having been choked out?
PINSKY: That`s not a good time, is it?
SCHNELL: It`s actually when you wake up, it`s like waking up from a nice little nap. Fuel rejuvenated. Rejuvenated.
PAYNE: You got to be intelligent enough to tap out before you get choked out, but --
PINSKY: I think that`s a great point.
PAYNE: Yes. Every once in a while it happens and you slip up.
KELLY: Sometimes, it sneaks up on you.
PINSKY: Well, the other thing is, and this is the part that, I think, it keeps me watching it, it`s like a great chess match. That it`s using kinesiology as parts that you moving around. Is that accurate?
PAYNE: Yes. And as we`re advancing the sport, you know, it`s getting less, you know, barbaric and more --
PINSKY: I don`t know about that. I`ve seen pretty barbaric (ph) when I watched that. One of you said you think it`s going to be bigger than the NFL at the time. Who said that?
SCHNELL: I think it -- I think it -- here, seeing in the future that it will --
PINSKY: Bigger than the NFL.
SCHNELL: I wouldn`t say bigger than the NFL, but definitely, in five years (ph), everybody is going to recognize it.
PAYNE: I think it will give us good competition.
PINSKY: And let`s talk about the fact that this is a reality show that you guys are now on, right? So, your personal lives are being explored on this program, is that right? You have girlfriends, baby mama`s -- anybody have a wife?
PAYNE: Just sort of --
PINSKY: Right, girlfriend and baby mamas? OK. And, how does it effect you having reality cameras intrude into your life. Does it change things?
PAYNE: Oh, definitely, definitely. It`s throwing a bunch stuff off.
PINSKY: In the relationships?
PAYNE: I mean, it affects it to a point until if they can get used to it, but usually, it`s always being brought up, you know, kind of makes you a little weird.
KELLY: Everyone is pretty receptive of the cameras. Week one or week two, you know, it`s kind of hectic, but you kind of forget that they`re there, you know, as --
PINSKY: Right. I have done reality shows, too. It`s astonishing. Two things, how intense it is having cameras there, but how you forget that there are actually cameras there.
SCHNELL: It`s one of those things when they (INAUDIBLE) when we sign --
PINSKY: But I`m worried about the other people in your life. I understand you, guys, knew what you`re getting into, but your girlfriends, did they come along for the ride or they feel like you`re dragging them into it?
SCHNELL: Did a little bit of persuading --
PINSKY: And they`re still OK with it now having been in it?
SCHNELL: We`ll see how it plays out.
PINSKY: Right. We`ll see once it actually goes to air. All right. Now, I`ve been asked to describe how someone wins a bout in your cage fighting. So, here it is. When a fighter is taking excessive punishment, you guys talked about submitting or tapping out, so when taking excessive punishment but cannot or will not submit or quit, that`s the referee or the umpire -- what do they call, referees?
PINSKY: Referees will call that. When a fighter submits by tapping the opponent or the mat more than three times as a result from a choke lock, when a fighter has been knocked out cold from a strike or from strikes or from being choked out. Tony, can you tell people how the rules are different from, say, boxing?
KELLY: Well, obviously, in boxing, it`s just the hands, right? So, you have a mixture of elbows, knees, kicks, throws, wrestling take downs. They score it differently, you know? It`s octagon control, it`s pressure, it`s submission attempts, reversals, and things like that.
PINSKY: It`s that strategy playing.
PINSKY: Do each of you have your own specialization, somebody like a traditional wrestler, American-style wrestler, someone is into Jiu-Jitsu, somebody a boxer?
PAYNE: Well, I think it kind of changes all the time, but initially, you know, I box in high school.
PINSKY: I could tell, I was looking at you perform, you were clearly a boxer. That`s your main --
PAYNE: I kind of transferred over once I got into college, and it`s been like a really transformation. I`ve kind of almost transformed into a Jiu-Jitsu guy, almost, but then, it just goes back --
PINSKY: Any kind of Jiu-Jitsu? Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
SCHNELL: In this sport, you know, it`s growing every day, and people are getting better and better.
PINSKY: Yes. It`s bizarre that -- it`s weird an old guy like me knows about it at all. I mean, I really shouldn`t know about it at all, but I`ve got friends in it. like I said, I know Mayhem, a guy broadcast with my radio, Mike Catherwood does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and love -- Joe Rogan, I`ve known over the years. What`s your specialty, Tony?
KELLY: Man, I don`t like to think that I have a specialty. I try to be ready in every aspect of the game.
PINSKY: And Matt, you?
SCHNELL: I`ve worked my entire career to be well-rounded, so --
PINSKY: Are there any stories that we`re going to be surprised by in your personal lives when we watch the show? Things to look forward to? This is your chance to pump your show now. Nice big promo so people want to see what happens, because the interesting part about this is it`s a little town in Louisiana. You guys are big fighting stars, cage fighting stars. What happens?
SCHNELL: Obviously, we can`t give away --
PINSKY: Well, give us a hint. Give me something to follow.
SCHNELL: Great things happen for everybody in the show. We continue to grow as people, and you see it.
PINSKY: Let me give a hint. Daniel has been on emotional love since his first love, Hanna, was actually killed in an automobile accident. So, has something about this whole experience helped you fight through that?
PAYNE: It`s definitely. The show definitely shows me dealing with the process of losing someone so close to me, even though it is a couple years after it happened, it kind of delves into it to where showing me dealing with it and then trying to move on, you know, into future relationships, eventually.
PINSKY: Not easy.
PINSKY: And still have the one, the other love of your life, which is the fighting.
Gentlemen, I want to thank you for being here and for staying in one piece and staying healthy, I appreciate that as well. Remember, "Caged" is on MTV every Monday night at 10:00 p.m. and stay with us. We`ll be right back.
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PAYNE: I`m realizing just the meaning behind this fight and how important it is.
SCHNELL: Hey, boy, six pack! Are you ready?
PAYNE: Yes, I`ve been --
SCHNELL: We will be out there watching and cheering for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Gabino Zavala was an outspoken advocate for immigration, immigration rights, prison reform, and better conditions for the working poor. Yet, this former Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop was forced to resign. Why you say? Well, it was the revelation that he had fathered two children, thus, violating the law of celibacy for priests.
What if the church began to talk about sex? Suppose that priests could marry? Could this be, I don`t know, a cure for what causes people, sometimes, to be critical of the Catholic Church? Joining me is Pastor Ed Young and his wife, Lisa. Ed is the author of "Sexperiment: Seven Days To Lasting Intimacy With Your Spouse."
You may remember Ed and Lisa, because they were on the show during the time they were spending 24 hours in bed together, fully clothed, on top of their church, all to raise awareness about the importance of healthy sex in marriage.
Now, joining me is Steve Rodgers, detective lieutenant of the Nutley, New Jersey Police Department, also known as the officer of god. Also with me, Father Alberto Cutie, an outspoken episcopal priest, a former Catholic priest, and author of "Dilemma."
Now, Father Alberto Cutie, Gabino Zavala took a vow of celibacy. What is your opinion on his resignation and the outrage expressed by the church?
FATHER ALBERTO CUTIE, EPISCOPAL PRIEST: Well, we got to remember, Dr. Drew, that all Roman Catholic priests take this mandatory promise of celibacy. Vows are taken by the religious, by the monks, and the people who belong to religious orders, priest like me and like Bishop Gabino, made a promise of celibacy at the order nation, which is a rule that the church imposed around the 12th century.
So, when you say that all priests have to make this promise, all priests have to say, I`m going to be celibate for life, obviously, it doesn`t fit for everyone. And, there wouldn`t be 120,000 priests in the last 50 years from all over the world who have left to marry. When you ask most priest who have left ministry, the reason is for marriage.
PINSKY: So, father, are you advocating or do you contemplating, at least, that there could be some changes in this ancient practice?
CUTIE: I think there will be. I think there will be return to the beginning, Dr. Drew. You know, the apostles, Peter, the first pope was a married man. Now, we see this in the scriptures. There`s evidence of a wife and a mother-in-law. It`s there in the bible.
I think that we will return to that. It`s more traditional for priests to be married than to be celibate. Celibacy was an imposition of the church centuries later, and it had nothing to do with Jesus and the men that he chose.
PINSKY: Let me put you on the spot a little bit. You`re an Episcopal clergy now. Would you return to the Catholic Church if they changed their ways?
CUTIE: I didn`t leave the Roman Catholic Church just because of the celibacy promise. I mean, I love my wife, and at the time, my secret girlfriend, and that had a lot to do with it, certainly, on my heart. That`s what weighed the heaviest, but there are many norms and impositions that the church has like, you know, the whole idea of artificial contraception being a mortal sin.
You know, if you`re Roman Catholic, you can`t receive communion if you plan your family with artificial contraception. We deny communion for almost anything -- for anything happening in the modern world. And so, there`s many, many things that I think I could never live with in peace.
And I think many Roman Catholics just stayed there because that`s their culture, that`s their practice, but they, too, think that celibacy should be optional. Every statistic says that Roman Catholics want 70 percent or more of them want celibacy to be optional.
PINSKY: Now, Lisa Young, now we`re switching off a Catholicism. You`re -- we`re not specifically talking about the Catholic Church here. You give advice of a sexual nature and have discussions of that sort with church members, is that correct?
LISA YOUNG, WIFE OF PASTOR ED YOUNG: Yes, absolutely.
PINSKY: Tell me about that. I mean, what is your sense of the range of what should be offered by clergy and clergy family?
LISA YOUNG: Well, Ed and I totally believe that the church is the second best place to talk about sex, the home being the first and primary place. And so, for far too long, the church has been silent about a subject that God was not silent about. And so, we feel like in dealing with those who attend our church, that talking about relationships, talking about marriage is something we do regularly because the bible speaks to it, and sex is a part of that.
PINSKY: And Pastor Ed, how does your constituency respond to all this?
PASTOR ED YOUNG, AUTHOR, "SEXPERIMENT": They`re very, very positive. I think that the message is so well received, whenever we talk about it and others do, and we tried to talk about it more and more, because sex is not something we do, Dr. Drew, it`s something we are. And once we unpack that or maybe undress that in the church and talk about it in an open way, I think the results are outstanding.
PINSKY: Father Cutie, it seems like there`s a lot of agreement here between you and Pastor Ed that the church should be a place that`s advocating a -- excuse me -- a healthy sexuality. Is that sort of what we`re agreeing upon here?
CUTIE: There`s no doubt about that, doctor. I think that we have great, great people that are qualified to speak with families. It`s great to see a married couple serving God together. My wife and I do that. We work with the married couples. We talk about these issues. That`s the place.
I mean, if your family and your church can`t talk to you about sex, you know, kids are going to learn about sex, you know what, from Facebook and from Twitter and from everywhere elsewhere where they`re communicating nowadays and at school. I think church should be a safe place where sexuality is honored, where people are welcomed, and you can talk about any type of sexuality, which is another problem we have in churches.
And some churches you can`t even mention homosexuality. They throw you out the door. You know, what are you talking about? The fact is people should be able to be themselves and talk about sexuality openly, and the church should be able to listen and care for people as they are.
PINSKY: Steve, everyone on this panel tonight is talking about allowing the church to be discussing sexuality, maybe relieving priests of their vow of celibacy. What do you think should happen here?
LT. DETECTIVE STEVE ROGERS, NUTLEY, NEW JERSEY POLICE DEPT.: Well, first of all, let`s look at it from another perspective, Dr. Drew. The employer here is the Catholic Church, the employee is the priest. The employer has expectations for the employee to live up to, and if you break that contract, well, you know, you go out and find another job.
I`ve got to tell you that the Catholic Church, I was raised a Catholic and I went to the evangelical church and went back to the Catholic Church because of the stability that the church has there. But when it comes to the sexual issues and sexual education, we know it`s a very personally, deep issue to approach.
However, I find that priests, for example, they may have more time. I`ve learned by comparing ministers and priests, priests that are married may not have the time that they need to devote to their prayers, to their church, and to the flock. The other issue I thought it out over the years, I compared the number of times priests are now transferred out of their parishes, I think it`s every three years now.
I got to tell you, I was in the military, and I`m glad that I was not married when I was in the military, because the strain on your family of being uprooted several times over the course of your career, it can be very damaging to the family. So, just when you look at that, married priests with children, a lot of strain is going to come on that marriage, and eventually, may end the job other than just resigning.
PINSKY: OK. So, Father Cutie, it is really more directed towards you since we are talking about obligations of Catholic priests. So, it brings two issues. One is the frequent moving, does that put excessive strain? Is that unfair to a family? Should priests not be married on that basis?
And secondly, you`re literally no longer married to God and your job and your parish, you got somebody else you`re married to. Does that interfere with your ability to be your job as a priest?
CUTIE: Well, I think that, first of all, if we look at Christian tradition, we`ll see that not just in the Roman Catholic Church but in all of our churches, including Judaism and other faith traditions, you know, the clergy is married. And your family doctor is usually married, and they`re good doctors, and they`re available to you. And when you have a problem and you go into the ER, all those people that are in there, they`re married.
Obviously does it put a strain on your marriage when you have to stress yourself out with time and this and that and the other, of course, but every job in our society today puts a stress on family life if you don`t have your priorities straight. And I think that to say that a celibate priest is, somehow, more available, more accessible, there`s people that would argue, otherwise.
There are people that would say, hey, you know what, they call you at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning to go -- give the last rights to someone and you`re sleeping next to your wife, and your wife will say, hey, guess what, get up and do it, you know, this is what God called you to do.
PINSKY: And by the way, the Catholic Church does really think about things very carefully. And that`s why they`re so slow to change. They`re very careful about those. So, I`m sure they`re actually giving this very, very careful thought.
Something I always admired about the Catholic Church. They don`t shrink away from considering these things, just seems like it takes a long time to arrive at consensus. But, thank you guys. I`ve got to go.
Next, more of your questions and my panel continues when we come back.
PINSKY: Welcome back. And my panel stays with me. Now, the Catholic Church has had a series of scandals, I think, we`re all aware of that, but the Vatican policies remain mostly steadfast.
The question we raise tonight, is it time for the church to change or stay as it is? You the viewers are sounding off on Facebook with questions and comments about this. So, let`s get right to it. Panel, you`re going to joining with me on this one.
Don writes, "Don`t you think the reason sex conversations don`t last very long amongst church leaders is because they just aren`t equipped to talk about something they have little experience in." Lisa and Ed, you`re laughing about that. Go ahead there, Ed.
ED YOUNG: Yes. I think, far too long, the church has just talked about prohibitions. And it`s time to talk about the purpose of it. I think those of us who love the Lord and are Christ followers, we should be the sexperts, because after all, God invented it, and we`re practicing it his way. So, I think, we should be very, very well versed in it and talk about it openly and honestly.
PINSKY: I just read a data today that the California has a 75 percent divorce rate. I mean, we got to do something. If the church can deliver it, I`m all for it.
Anthony writes, "Sorry to be so blunt, but if priests practice celibacy, they`re really neglecting a God-given gift, the gift of sex. Unfortunately, we hear about abuse in the priesthood, and I think that may be directly related to them not living a healthy sexual life." I will ask Steve Rogers about that. What do you think?
ROGERS: Well, you know, as I said before, Dr. Drew, there`s sexual offenders in every profession. I mean, I`ve investigated judges, and lawyers, and doctors, and politicians. I think, to some extent, priests are getting a bad wrap because they`re priests.
ROGERS: And this become a high profile --
PINSKY: That`s interesting.
ROGERS: -- publicized thing. I would say that, look, we`ve all have our problems, but again, going back to what I said, to try to change an institution because of our commitment that people are unable to make. Look, I could never make that commitment, all right? That`s something I realize I can`t. But if you make commitment to the institution, just live up to that. Admit that if you can`t, then walk away.
PINSKY: Finally, Christine here writes, "I believe the priests shouldn`t be held to any higher standards because they`re humans with the same needs as you or I." Father Cutie, what do you say to that one?
CUTIE: I say amen. And I`ll tell you this. One of the things is that we -- for far too long, we told people the vocation to priesthood has to be accompanied by the vocation to celibacy, and that`s just not true. The vocations of priesthood should not require someone to have to accept celibacy as part of the package.
There are many, many good married priests that are serving God. As a matter of fact, there`s a bunch of priests from my church now, the more conservative minded ones, that are becoming Roman Catholic priests. The pope is accepting them, and they can continue being married priests now in Roman Catholic Church.
So, you see, it`s doable. Even the Roman Catholic Church is saying that it`s possible for a priest to be married. So, I think that, sometimes, what happens is we have very kind of ancient rules or we have inflexibility and we have a hard time changing, but change is inevitable.
PINSKY: Reminders, Thursday, tune in for my one-on-one interview with Taylor Armstrong from "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." She has a very revealing look at life after her husband, Russell`s, tragic suicide and the abuse she endured her entire life. And she invited me right on in to her home for the interview. Take a look. Here`s the preview.
TAYLOR ARMSTRONG, REALITY STAR, "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS": If I would have given him one more phone call, if I would have stayed, you know, another two weeks, what could I have done differently, and that`s part of survivor`s guilt, I think. I`m reading out a great book on suicide survivors, and thankfully, I`m seeing that they have a lot of the same questions that I have.
You know, what could I have done differently, but in the end, I think suicide is the choice of the one who commits it, and I don`t know that there is anything I could have done differently.
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PINSKY: That is Thursday night, 9:00 p.m. eastern. In the meantime, thank you all for watching, and I`ll see you next time.