Band director guest on 'Between the Lines'

Sandusky Register Staff
Jan 19, 2014

Former Sandusky Central Catholic band and choir director Brian Panetta was our guest today on Between the Lines.

Click HERE to read more about Panetta's termination from the school

Panetta lost his job after nearly five years when he announced his engagement to Nathan David, a man he's been dating for about as long as he was employed with the school. The decision to let Panetta go created a firestorm in the community, with many St. Mary families supporting both Panetta and the school in a difficult circumstance. 

Register education reporter Alissa Widman was also a guest. 

The program, and previous "Between the Lines" segments, are always available HERE

Watch the program in the player below



SMCC knew of the relationship and it seemed to be acceptable until Mr. Panetta's announcement of wedding plans.
If the church had cleaned up their act after the revelations of the pediphile priests instead of simply moving them to other churches, perhaps this wouldn't appear so hypocritical.


How about Pannetta cleaning up HIS ACT! Its HIS lifestyle that is in sin. Bet Matt doesn't consider the teachings of the Church and the Bible, its obvious over the years that he's a progressive with no absolutes.


It's also obvious that you are someone who can label others and spit out Bible verses, but have little or no compassion for fellow human beings. What would Jesus do?


WWJD = fire him.

John Harville

Even the Church does not call homosexuality a sin.

His lifestyle is loving and committing to another human being.

The ONLY reason the Church is opposed to it is because the Church wants sex to produce baby Catholics - even more desperately needed now that so many millions of Catholics are leaving the Church.
As for teachings of the Church and the Bible - Catholics and 'Christians' commenting on here.


I don't disagree with your last statement, but obviously the church cannot abandon all of its belief's in order to satisfy you because of mistakes made by some in the past. As you see it, they have no ground to take a moral stand on ANY issue. That is not realistic.

It appears they had a don't ask/don't tell type of unwritten policy - if you live a lifestyle outside of our teaching, you are welcome here as long as you keep it to yourself. From the interview Brian seemed to understand this. He is a good person, and I wish him well.


Mr. Panetta telling his superior of his engagement put her in a difficult position.

IMO, she had little alternative but to 'kick it up' the chain of command.

He may have wanted to take a hypothetical approach, i.e. tell without 'really' telling.

Politics is the art of deception.

John Harville

INHO All evidence presented indicates Mrs. Curtis acted unilaterally virtually within minutes or hours. Certainly such action required more time and should have involved legal consultation with the Diocese which would face the possible federal lawsuit.

There is no indication of a Board meeting, of a meeting with the religious leaders, or even following their own written policy for terminating a contract - at most he should have been put on paid leave until all the Ts and Is had been crossed and dotted.

Knowing the people on the Board, I assure you if one of the staff came to Melody and said he had donated sperm, or assisted a female relative in getting an abortion (or a female employee had aborted) or had been discovered cohabiting, the action would have followed the prescribed protocol.

IMHO - and in research I've conducted - Mrs. Curtis has a record of acting without forethought or with a kneejerk.


I would like to see a case like this go to the Supreme Court to be decided. Federal laws versus church law.


It was not church law it was the contract he signed

John Harville

WHAT? You've never heard of 'contract law'?

He was told specifically it was a violation of Church law.

The contract is an agreement legally binding on both parties.

John Harville

dearme really! the contract is explained by the school and the Diocese as 'church law' - whence came the language in the contract.


First of all with a name like holy see it goes without saying that you are the exception ! Lol
Dr I , you're right its the "I'll just keep sinning and ask for forgivness is ALOT of peoples issues.
Sugar, your right, it is the complete inconsistency which is a huge part of this situation. St. Marys stepped up and said "this is unacceptable" so they have really put themselves in a bind to where yes, if there are other gay teachers, admin, or any other person employed by them to resign, if there is a nun, or priest, resign... If any boyfriend/girlfriends living together, design, what ever the catholic rules or contract say, their gone, weather they have been there for 2 days or 30 years. St Marys cannot allow this to continue as they have, they opened a big can of worms and need to clean this mess up and start fresh. Won't be easy won't be popular, but if it would be done today then starting tomorrow things would be on the right path looking up, and these students would have this behind them and be looking and living forward. Everyday this drags on and the higher ups are all hush hush, this school, the students and the catholic community are going to suffer, and will continue dividing.


So the simple thing would have been to keep it to himself until the end of the school year, as he was moving anyway. And then write his farewell / marriage announcement letter to his students when he decided to move on.

Would that not have made more common sense?


Let me open with - I don't know this young man. But after the 100's of comments etc., it appears that he has chosen to be open regarding every aspect of his life, and would have bothered him to not be forthright out of the gate. Of course I could be completely off-track.

Don't get me wrong - Your thought crossed my mind. But Sister Doleratta always said - "Sins of Omission are sins just the same."


I think nowadays teachers are too open about their personal lives. They are trying to be friends to their students instead of teachers. I never wanted to know that much about my teachers when I was in school. FYI: I don't know this man, either.

There again, things were different back then.

Pirate Mom

How many teachers' classrooms are you in? My kids have been out of school for 4+ years and I don't remember them knowing intimate details about their teachers. I guess in public schools teachers have to be more careful. :)


I used past tense. Back when I was in school I didn't know about my teachers' personal stuff. Nor did I want to. I had two gay teachers ( we all knew ) it was one of those open secret , they weren't a couple but both good teachers, But it isn't as though they were letting it all hang out ( pun intended).

FYI: Class of '83, meaning 30 years ago. Times were way different then.

Now, it's just texted all over twitter or FB or other social media.

People sure don't have to worry about Big Brother when they put every little personal detail out there.

John Harville

More common sense, yes.
But obviously he is the ONLY person of integrity in all this.
They had not kept the relationship a secret for five years. Why would they keep silent the future plans? There was no reason to believe she would react as she did.
Melody's reaction was not required of her, certainly was not hers alone to make (She's president, not Queen).
Like many, she made a misguided interpretation of Catholic doctrine, completely ignored the Church's position on counseling, compassion, care for the faithful - and especially care for the students from pre-school through graduation.
Now the students, school, Diocese and parishes will be left to pick up the pieces.

But maybe you're right... he should have lived a lie.

Julie R.

Sin all week ..... confess to the priest on Sunday ..... and then go back to sinning on Monday. Isn't that a hypocrite?

I also never could understand why Catholics feel the need to confess to a priest. A priest isn't God, so what's the point?


This is not intended to be sarcastic, but maybe you, along with a lot of other people who comment about the Catholic religion need to take a study course in this faith. A lot of what some people THINK, is not the case at all. A lot is the "I heard" type of information.I would never presume to comment on another religion that I knew nothing about.

John Harville

I TEACH the Catholic religion.
People raise legitimate questions - questions Catholics raise because they don't know why the do some of the things they do - and the Priest no longer is fearsome and to be obeyed without question.

"I heard" the Church is in a crisis because of people like Melody Curtis and you. When did YOU last "take a study course"? Confirmation? High school? Mass.

I was amazed on the SCCS website to learn that students only attend Mass at 'special' times. "back when grandma was a girl" MASS was the first stop EVERY morning. Students practiced their religion. Even when my kids were in school Mass was twice a week - grade-level mass M-T and all=school once on Friday.

When I teach, focus is on FAITH... because you cannot practice 'religion' until you know within yourself the 'why' that we call faith.

So get the log out of your own eye.

John Harville

According to the Church's Sacrament of Holy Orders, a priest is Christ on Earth. In Matt 16:19 and 18:18 Jesus told Peter and the Disciples "I will give you the keys to the Kingdom... whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven."
In its great wisdom as the FIRST and ORDAINED Church, THE CHURCH placed within priests the power to forgive or not forgive sins. The Church took it farther by sometimes demanding payments called indulgences.
Then 'confession' was changed to 'reconciliation' to indicate the real purpose was to reconcile to God. But Confession used to last all Saturday afternoon. Now it's seldom more than a half hour and no one waits.
All of my Catholic friends and relatives - the ones still here as well as the runaways - believe we can go directly to the source - Jesus - and don't need a go-between - and that no sinful mortal can tell us we are forgiven.


"Sin all week ..... confess to the priest on Sunday ..... and then go back to sinning on Monday. Isn't that a hypocrite?"

So that is the reason for that "closet" in the church. (I am only joking). I wonder how many corrupt Catholic OHIO judges, prosecutors, witnesses and others responsible for sending innocent people to prison go to confession and think that all is well and swell while the innocent people in prison continue their sentences? Saying 10 Our Fathers and 10 Hail Marys doesn't mean that all is well and swell with God.

Brick Hamland

I would strongly suggest Mr. Westerhold take some classes or write down his questions because the way he conducts interviews is poor at best. Stumbling over questions... University of Virginia? Absolutely no flow to the interview and at one point asking for help with questions. Around the 10 minute mark it gets brutal...
Nonetheless, I am sad to see Mr. Paneta leave the school as it is my understanding that he was real good at what he does. I hope he has a great career. My opinion is that it wasn't the school that made this move but the folks in the diocese.


HOLY COW BRICK!!!I just listened to a part of that interview and you are dead on !! How in the world can you think the university of Virginia is in North Carolina ??? Yeah I go to THEE Ohio state university, but its in Idaho.. I had to stop listening ! I commend you for being able to listen past the 10 minute mark

Kottage Kat

I always heard, sow your wild oats on Friday and confess on Saturday. Forgiven by Sunday.
The priest issue bothers me, as hypocrisy to the Max. Everyone avoids that like the plaugue (sp) it is.God is God and I am not.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Libel and defamation.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Libel and defamation.


pisan, it is not a sin for a catholic to be divorced without an annulment. It is a sin to get remarried if you are divorced and not getting an annulment from the previous marriage.