October 2, 2016

 

Dear Members of the Choate Rosemary Hall Community,

 

We are writing to let you know that the Boston Globe published an article today focusing on past educator sexual misconduct in independent schools. The article includes a report from an alumna that a former faculty member-who left Choate in the early 1990s-had an improper relationship with her.  

 

Choate Rosemary Hall is deeply saddened that this former teacher not only failed in his responsibility to guide, nurture, and protect but also caused harm to a student in his care.  He took advantage of his role as a teacher and acted in ways that are-and always have been-unacceptable and wrong.

 

The School has been working with our former student through her counsel.  We commend her strength and courage and remain committed to supporting her needs. We apologize on behalf of Choate Rosemary Hall that such misconduct has occurred at our school. 

 

The School is actively examining these allegations, as well as the School's response.  As the Boston Globe article reports, Choate has found a recommendation on file for the former teacher, but the Kent School, where the teacher was employed both before and after leaving Choate, did not have a copy of that recommendation in its personnel files.  This issue is very important to Choate, and we remain committed to fully investigating all aspects of this matter.

 

We have recently received a very thoughtful letter from many members of the graduating class of the affected alumna, and we have responded to the signatories of that letter.  The School had already been actively considering and pursuing many of the actions they requested, which are designed to investigate reports of sexual misconduct, support this alumna and any others that may have been affected, and ensure that the School's policies and practices related to both preventing and addressing misconduct are clear, strong, and effective. 

 

As we move forward, we will build on important work we have already undertaken over the last three years with the Board, the administration, faculty, and students on the topic of healthy boundaries in both student-student and adult-student relationships, reaffirming a zero tolerance policy for improper conduct by adult members of our community.  This ongoing work has involved significant education and training and reflects the values articulated in both the School's Statement of Expectations and 2013 Strategic Plan, which prioritizes "a culture defined by integrity, honor, ethical behavior, and good decision-making." Rest assured that, as we shared previously in January 2014 and April 2016, care for and attention to our community members-alongside the safety and wellbeing of all students, past, present, and future-are of paramount importance to us.  

 

We will write again very shortly when we are ready to share our comprehensive plans and commitments. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and support as we continue to strengthen Choate today for tomorrow.

 

Sincerely,

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Michael J. Carr '76

Chair, Board of Trustees

 
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Alex Curtis

Headmaster

CHOATE ROSEMARY HALL
333 Christian Street
Wallingford, CT 06492

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