School's ex-chaplain says trustees should fire headmaster
[The following letter-to-the-editor appeared in
Berkshire Eagle on Wednesday, January 23, 2002. It is reproduced
on this Web site without permission.]
Berkshire School must act now
To the Editor of THE EAGLE:-
Two stories of abuse of power and alleged sexual harassment, intimidation
and assault have been in the news this past week. One appeared on the front
page of The Eagle this past Tuesday regarding Berkshire School.
One [alleged sexual abuse of children by former Boston-area priest
J. Geoghan] happened over 30 years ago and involved over 100 boys;
the other [at Berkshire School] is currently unfolding and so far
involves over 20 women (and some men) and an unknown number of children.
Do we have to wait 30 years for the Berkshire School case against its
head of school to be resolved? Do we have to wait until Berkshire
students come forward on their own in the year 2030, after the emotional
damage has taken its toll?
The board of trustees of Berkshire School ought to take note that Cardinal
Bernard F. Law expressed regret that he did not act sooner and more
definitively in the Geoghan case.
Berkshire School officials and trustees have had plenty of time, since
their "independent investigation" to take appropriate action in response
to the allegations made by Ms. [Laura duPont] Smith
and the more than 20 other women. Instead, they have chosen to minimize
and ignore what is clearly ample evidence to indicate a major problem.
For the sake of the students, as well as all those who care about the
future of Berkshire School, now is the time to resolve this problem by
removing the head of the school so the healing process can begin.
REV. ART KAUFMAN
Sheffield, January 18, 2002
The author is minister-teacher at Old Parish Church UCC and former
chaplain of Berkshire School.
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(The above letter to The Berkshire Eagle is
reproduced on this Web site without permission.)