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Berkshire School's ex-chaplain says trustees should fire headmaster

[The following letter-to-the-editor appeared in The 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 John 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.


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 
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