May 17, 2016
Dear Members of the Loomis Chaffee Community,
For the past century, we have educated students to be their best selves and to serve the common good. We have a proud legacy, which is the reason that this letter is particularly painful to write. You may have seen recent stories in the Boston Globe on sexual misconduct at independent schools. These stories have become all too common, and I wish I could report to you that there have been no such incidents at Loomis Chaffee. Unfortunately, we know that is not the case. In addition, there may be cases of which we are not aware and consequently there may be alumni suffering in silence.
As a school, we have a responsibility to our current and former students—as well, of course, to future students—to embrace our mission to be our best self and to serve the common good, which includes a commitment to be supportive of victims of abuse, to ensure that their concerns are heard, and to acknowledge the hurt caused. Accordingly, the school has hired the law firm of Cowdery & Murphy to review those cases of which we are aware, as well as to investigate any new allegations that may come to light. We encourage anyone who may wish to report an incident of sexual misconduct, regardless of when the incident occurred, to contact me directly at 860.687.6215 or firstname.lastname@example.org or our investigator at Cowdery & Murphy at 860.922.5362 or email@example.com. The school has also engaged Nancy Rankin (860.687.6216; firstname.lastname@example.org) our counseling consultant, to provide advice for any victims of sexual abuse at the school. It can be difficult to raise such issues, but I promise that if you reach out to us, you will have our full support. I expect this process to take several months, and I will report back once it is complete.
The decision to undertake this investigation was not made in haste. After much discussion, we concluded that while the school complies with all federal, state, and local laws with respect to prevention, reporting, and investigation of sexual misconduct, we have an obligation to find and address instances or allegations of sexual misconduct at Loomis that may have gone unreported to us or were never fully addressed. We join with many of our peer schools and others in welcoming increased public attention to such matters so as to hold individuals and institutions accountable where needed and to help prevent such behavior here and elsewhere.
In the May 8 Globe article, St. George’s alumna Anne Scott stated, “There’s an important opportunity for independent schools right now. It is not about protecting the image. It’s about using this as an opportunity to transform how we talk about and deal upfront with something that all these years we’ve buried.” She is right; we must examine our past and confront any incidents of abuse. I thank you in advance for your help with this investigation; I know that we will become a stronger community as a result.
Head of School