With allegations swirling for a year that the Central Bucks School District nurtured an anti-LGBT culture, the report on April 20 by law firm Duane Morris detailing its investigative findings into those accusations was one of the key moments of the controversy.

However, the presentation by attorney Michael Rinaldi before the board lasted was an hour and a half, and the written report was over 170 pages long.

To make the key findings and takeaways more digestible to the average citizen without having to watch all 90 minutes, Broad + Liberty has culled the most important pieces of evidence presented from that meeting.

Although the investigation examined four separate questions, we have culled the elements of the report that respond to the two broad allegations — that the district retaliated teacher Andrew Burgess for providing a student and his mother information on how to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, and that the district was indifferent to LGBT students, and ignored those students and their concerns as a result of that indifference.

This “evidence summary” is not comprehensive, as any “summary” generally leaves out minor information. Anyone wanting the comprehensive information presented should read the written report and also watch Rinaldi’s full presentation to the board. If time and resources allow, Broad + Liberty hopes to offer similar summaries on the remaining allegations not addressed in this article.

The full complaint from the ACLU in October is available here, and the personal suit by Burgess against the district (with the ACLU lawyers representing him) is available here.

All quotes below are attributed to Mr. Rinaldi from his presentation, unless otherwise noted.

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INVESTIGATION CLAIM:  “During our investigation, we found that in the spring of 2022, Mr. Burgess failed to report allegations by a student who we will call throughout this presentation and who is referred to in our report as ‘“Student One’” who was then a student at Lenape Middle School, that Student One had been physically assaulted, threatened and subjected to a variety of slurs. Instead, Mr. Burgess directed Student One to report these allegations only to him and not to others in the school district, including guidance counselors or administrators. Mr. Burgess convinced Student One that guidance counselors and administrators at Lenape would not help Student One and that only he would help Student One. Rather than reporting this alleged harassment of Student One to the principal of Lenape Middle School, Mr. Burgess actively concealed it from the school district administration.”

Burgess was placed on administrative leave on May 6, 2022.


On March 3, 2022, Student One sent an email to Burgess with a subject line, “Other things that have happened.” The email described nearly a dozen alleged incidents of bullying or harassment.

Burgess acknowledged the email, but did not offer any concrete steps he would take, or that Student One should take.

Burgess used information from the original email to create a “dossier” of harassment against Student One. Rinaldi said the dossier was four pages long.

One of the incidents on the dossier happened in another teacher’s class. Rinaldi said he they interviewed that teacher, and “this teacher told us that she corrected the situation and addressed it at the time.”

Investigators interviewed Burgess under oath and asked him if he reported any of this information to school administrators. “No, I did not,” Burgess answered. 

INVESTIGATION CLAIM: Burgess had a thorough knowledge of documenting and reporting behavioral problems for disciplinary purposes. When confronted with student misbehavior, a teacher is supposed to submit a “behavior data report,” or “BDR” to the school administration.


An email from Burgess on March 7, 2022, shows Burgess taking disciplinary action in the form of a BDR against a student for leaving a their laptop open during class, against class rules.

In another case, on March 10, 2022 (one week after receiving the full list of bullying and harassment incidents from Student One), Burgess filed a BDR against a different student for sharing energy drinks with classmates, against school policy. 

Other communications Burgess made in a chat system for the teachers showed he occasionally was an aggressive filer of BDRs.

In Burgess’s personal lawsuit against the district, he appeared to respond preemptively to this criticism. 

His lawsuit states, “Burgess told [Student One] he would like to report these instances through the BDR reporting system. However, [Student One] was not comfortable with that approach — going so far as to physically back away from Burgess when Burgess suggested reporting the incidents in this way. [Student 1] told Burgess that he did not want to submit a report through the BDR system because it does not permit anonymous reports and would notify the bullies’ parents. [Student One] was afraid of possible retaliation against him.” 

His suit also said, “adopting best practices and providing staff training to help ensure a safe, healthy, and supportive environment for LBGTQ+ students would not have required knowing the identities of those who had been bullied.”

INVESTIGATION CLAIM: School administrators were proactive in their concerns for Student One, but Burgess did not cooperate with these potential solutions because he desired a controversy.


On March 11, 2022, roughly one week after Student One submitted his list of harassment and bullying claims to Burgess, Lenape Principal Geanine Saullo sent an email to the several teachers who had Student One in class. The email acknowledged Student One had a difficult time earlier in the year, and Saullo wanted to know “if you have seen anything lately or if things have improved.”

Burgess responded to that email, telling Saullo things “do not seem to have improved. Thinking ahead to next year, [Student One] seems to be very friendly with these students if they can be placed together in classes if possible[.]”

That email from Burgess did not acknowledge he had knowledge of the specific incidents Student One described to him.

Rinaldi said, “Remember I told you to keep in mind that March 3rd date, because this is March 11th, not too much later, the information should be fresh in Mr. Burgess’s mind.”

Saullo replied on Monday, March 14, “Please encourage [Student One] to bring things to our attention. I would hate to see suffering in silence.”

Burgess said, “Will do and thank you!”

INVESTIGATIVE CLAIM: Burgess’s complaint, via the ACLU, falsely alleged the district and district administrators were more or less indifferent to accusations of LGBT bullying. 


When a different student, Student 2, also detailed some harassment allegations to Burgess, the student also said that they had informed the school’s vice principal, Lauren Dowd.

Burgess replied in an email, “I am sure Mrs. Dowd will be taking it from here so no further elaboration is necessary.” 

The investigation also uncovered chat messages from Burgess in 2021 to other teachers in which he praised Vice Principal Dowd’s responsiveness to BDRs.

Rinaldi also pointed to the previously mentioned email in which Saullo was following up on Student One’s well being as evidence the district proactively cared for LGBT students, especially those known to be experiencing difficulties.

INVESTIGATIVE CLAIM: Burgess and the ACLU have falsely claimed that there was no administrative policy that compelled Burgess to report allegations or incidents of bullying.

EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF CLAIM: Board Policy 218 requires administrative involvement for “repeated bullying.” 

Board Policy 104 states, “The Board encourages students, employees, and third parties who believe they or others have been subject to Title IX sexual harassment, other discrimination or retaliation to promptly report such incidents to the building principal, even if some elements of the related incident took place or originated away from school grounds, school activities or school conveyances.”

INVESTIGATIVE CLAIM: Burgess knew he had an obligation to report incidences of bullying.

EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF CLAIM: Burgess admitted in his sworn testimony that he had an obligation to report.

[Interviewer Q]: And you said that you knew you were under an obligation to report instances of bullying, discrimination, harassment, to the extent that you couldn’t resolve them in the classroom, correct?

Burgess: Right.

Q: And you agreed with me that the ones involving [Student One], you were not able to resolve in your classroom, correct?

Burgess: Yeah.

Q: So it stands to reason that those are ones that you would have to report to the administration, correct?

Burgess: Yes.

INVESTIGATIVE CLAIM: Burgess discouraged Student One and Mother One from reporting.

EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF CLAIM: Burgess said in sworn testimony that he did encourage the student and mother to report.

Burgess: I had concern that the District may not, based on my experience of being in the District for 14 years, but I – – I did encourage them to do so.

Q: But you told them that you had concerns and the District wouldn’t do anything about it, right? 

Burgess: I did.

Q: Right. You’re telling this parent that you have concerns the District won’t do anything about him being called a f*****, him being called a t*****?

Burgess: Right.

Rinaldi said later at the presentation meeting: “His answer, right now, telling a 14-year-old and his mother that you have concerns that the district won’t do anything about all of those things on that dossier is tantamount to telling them not to report it to the administration.”

INVESTIGATIVE CLAIM: Burgess and the ACLU incorrectly asserted that no one from the district ever reached out to Student One or Mother One.


Contemporary work notes from Principal Saullo show that she did reach out to and speak with Mother One on March 16, about two weeks after the dossier was begun.

On the same day Saullo created those notes, emails show she reached out to a school counselor to inform the counselor of her concerns about Student One, and to make plans to follow up on Student One’s well being.

In her email to the counselor, Saullo writes, “I think [Student One] may have been confiding in a teacher…and nothing makes its way here.”

INVESTIGATIVE CLAIM: Contrary to the assertions of Burgess and the ACLU, the school actively worked to protect LGBT students.

EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF CLAIM: Apart from the other pieces of evidence already displayed, another electronic communication shows that a student (name kept anonymous in the report) was written up on a BDR for harassing LGBT students in the lunch room, and that the harassment was “related especially to their gender and/or sexuality.”

A follow up communication on the same day shows that the student on the receiving end of the BDR had cafeteria privileges suspended for an unspecified length of time. Furthermore, a teacher wrote to the vice principal, “When [the offending student] does earn cafeteria privileges back, could you inform the cafeteria duty aides of this, and perhaps have them station themselves closer to the table of students in our LGBTQ community?”

Broad + Liberty is a nonprofit media endeavor dedicated to sharing voices and stories that are shut out of other media outlets. @broadandliberty

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