Private school Choate Rosemary Hall, in Wallingford, CT, has uncovered sexual abuse by 12 faculty members. According to a report commissioned by the board of trustees, abuse going back to the 1960s was mishandled:
"Sexual misconduct matters were handled internally and quietly. Even when a teacher was terminated or resigned in the middle of the school year because he or she had engaged in sexual misconduct with a student, the rest of the faculty was told little and sometimes nothing about the teacher's departure and, when told, was cautioned to say nothing about the situation if asked."
Some faculty were given recommendations to transfer to other schools.
In a "Message to the Choate Rosemary Hall Community," posted on the website, the board chair and headmaster review the facts, thank the victims for coming forward, apologize, and promise action. The school hired Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) to review its policies and make recommendations. One conclusion in the letter follows:
RAINN has noted the strength of Choate's current confidentiality, amnesty, retaliation, and mandatory reporting policies; progressive training and education for students; and faculty and staff who are caring, empathetic, and supportive while preventing and responding to sexual misconduct on campus. Their recommendations call for continued codification of policies and procedures for reporting and investigating incidents, further review and refinement of adjudication processes, and additional training for faculty and staff who respond to incidents of sexual misconduct. We believe a commitment to constantly improving standards will provide more understanding and protection for our students.
- I'm skeptical reading the excerpt above. So, your policies are great? You just need to follow them? And of course, you need to do training, which everyone seems to say in these situation. Read the entire letter and form your own opinion. Am I too harsh?
- Should Choate have this letter prominently on its website? I followed a link from The New York Times, but I don't see any reference to the statement. What are the arguments for and against posted something, say, on the home page?