Petition for Renewed Investigation of Sexual Misconduct at PEA

September 20, 2018

Dear Fellow Phillips Exeter Academy Alumni and greater Exeter community,

Phillips Exeter Alumni for Truth and Healing (PATH, see Mission Statement) is an action group comprised of both survivors of sexual abuse at PEA and their supporters in the alumni community.  Our aim is to encourage true transparency and accountability for PEA’s handling – and mishandling – of allegations of sexual misconduct.  PEA taught us to give back to our community through active engagement.  After more than two years of waiting, we are stepping forward to hold PEA’s leadership to a higher standard.

On August 24, 2018, PEA released three documents and a cover letter related to PEA’s ongoing work on historical sexual misconduct at the Academy: (1) the overview of the Holland and Knight (H&K) investigations; (2) the review of prior investigations of adult sexual abuse by Nixon Peabody (NP); and (3) Supplemental Information, including information on mishandling of allegations of student misconduct.

PEA’s apology and acknowledgement of harm in these documents is new and appreciated. The included cases in the H&K Report are well-documented and the listed improvements on campus are encouraging. However, much known misconduct is missing from these materials or only addressed in summary fashion. This letter seeks to address these omissions, suggest appropriate actions, and ask for your support.

We have also included an Appendix to this letter with our summary and analysis of the three documents provided by PEA, with supplementation from the over 900 pages of investigation files released by the Rockingham County attorney’s office in redacted form. Because we understand that the details of sexual abuse and misconduct set forth in these documents are painful and traumatizing to read for many, we have put this section at the end of this letter so that you can choose whether to read through this difficult material.

Adult-to-Student Harm

In March 2017, PEA shared its Principles of Disclosure that purports to define which cases were disclosed with the names of the perpetrators in the summaries of the investigations by H&K and NP. Our review of a redacted New Hampshire State Police Report from the investigation files indicates several credible allegations of sexual abuse of students by PEA employees are missing from both the H&K and NP summaries. Additionally, PEA’s assertion that H&K did an independent investigation is questionable in that the H&K overview states that PEA and its defense counsel were gatekeepers for H&K’s access to the information needed to investigate.

Recommendation: All relevant allegations and evidence concerning abuse of PEA students by adults at PEA, without restriction or qualification, should be turned over to a mutually agreed-upon (by PEA and PATH) and truly independent investigator for a comprehensive investigation and report covering all such allegations known to the Academy at any time and by any means. We also call for PEA to waive attorney-client privilege to the extent that it was used to shield important information from H&K or law enforcement. Once completed, this report should be released in full, with names and dates redacted as necessary, to the entire PEA community. Other schools have done this and it is unfortunate that PEA has not. 

Peer-to-Peer Harm

As a preliminary matter, we cannot stress enough that PEA never announced the existence of an investigation into sexual abuse of students by other students (“peer-to-peer”), nor did it invite the participation of alumni and students.  Any assertion that NP or PEA performed a comprehensive peer-to-peer investigation is simply false. In the Supplemental Information document, PEA states that there were 20 reported incidents. By contrast, a small reporting site built by alumni survivors has 69 misconduct reports to date, 38 of which are peer-to-peer. Moreover, to the extent NP failed to communicate its role in defending PEA from legal liability to the 20 victims it interviewed, its communications were improper and unethical.

Recommendation: Same as adult cases and with the same agreed upon independent investigator for continuity. Of note here, we do not believe that alleged perpetrators who were students should be named in a report except for in cases of legally proven criminal or civil liability.

Secondary Harm

Many of those harmed by sexual misconduct at PEA were further injured by the lack of reception, understanding, and in some cases, silencing they experienced after reporting assaults to faculty and administration. Some of these employees are identified in the footnotes of the H&K overview, but it is clear from the NHSP report that this accounting is not cumulative and remains incomplete. Moreover, the faculty and administrators who mishandled reports of peer-to-peer abuse have not been identified. Several of them remain in positions of authority in the PEA administration or have moved on to other secondary schools.

Recommendation: PEA must not implicitly condone this behavior and must disclose and hold accountable administrators and faculty who mishandled allegations of abuse. Administrators who caused secondary harm by mishandling reports should be removed from their positions, and faculty and administrators should have reports on their mishandling included in their personnel files. These situations should be clearly disclosed to prospective employers in any recommendations for these personnel.

Institutional Errors

The H&K Summary discusses PEA’s misleading “dual record keeping” system, in which reports of adult sexual misconduct against students were kept out of personnel files and maintained instead in “confidential” files held by the Principal or Dean of Faculty (and in the students’ files, surprisingly).  Crucially, the overview does not say whether this is still a practice at PEA, or whether these confidential files regarding sexual misconduct have been integrated into the regular personnel files.

There is also no mention of the pre-2017 Memo of Understanding between PEA and EPD in which mandatory reporting procedures are defined for sexual and nonsexual assault. This earlier MOU established a reporting protocol contrary to New Hampshire state law. Reports were given to “unapproachable” Deans (page 560), who often downgraded “assaults” to “harassments”. The reports were then passed to the Principal, who was the only person who could report to authorities. We believe this illegal and difficult-to-navigate protocol greatly contributed to secondary harm and created a culture of covering up abuse and invalidating victims.

Recommendation: Clarify that PEA now includes all adult sexual misconduct reports in the alleged perpetrator’s regular personnel files and makes every effort to contact all institutions where adult perpetrators went after leaving PEA.  Additionally, PEA must disclose and address how it mishandled and failed to report allegations of abuse, fully address the ramifications to survivors, and provide evidence that the new MOU is being enforced.  Given the complicity of past administrators in the mishandling and concealment of sexual abuse, former principals and deans should no longer be honored or in attendance at student and alumni gatherings.

Nude Photos

We would like to see the Academy acknowledge and address the decades-long practice of taking nude photographs of students. Recent social media discussions among alumni have established that this happened and PEA should not hide behind a purported lack of institutional memory.  This should be included in the new independent investigation, and on request, affected alumni should be informed of the location of their pictures, and how to go about removing remaining copies and/or negatives.

What now?

If you agree with our recommendations, we ask that you lend your support by signing this petition and sharing it electronically in your class groups and other PEA forums. If you would like to take additional action, please email Academy leadership (email addresses below) informing them that your future donations are contingent on a meaningful resolution of PEA’s history of sexual misconduct and mishandling of allegations of abuse.

Exeter’s stated values, including that of non sibi, mandate that PEA finally acknowledge its history of both sexual misconduct and the mishandling of student allegations. A truly independent, transparent and accountable report is essential to not only reconcile past failures, but also to assure current and future parents that PEA deserves their in loco parentis trust.

Sincerely,
Members of Phillips Exeter Alumni for Truth and Healing
Appendix: Summary & Analysis of PEA August 2018 Summaries
Academy and PATH emails

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Total number of signatures:  416

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  1. Elizabeth Ann Malabre ‘81
  2. Julia Gray ’97
  3. Valerie Wagner ‘83
  4. Susannah Morrison Curtis ’90
  5. Hannah Sessler ‘15
  6. Amanda Garfinkle 2005
  7. susan lerner ’85
  8. Manette Pottle ‘83
  9. Helen Brumley ‘11
  10. Alessandra Phillips ‘92
  11. Katherine Duff Smith ‘94
  12. Carl Lindemann ’79
  13. Elizabeth Bates, class of 1987
  14. Kirsten Trainer Mallik ‘95
  15. Jason Goodenough 1997
  16. Leah Kotok ’97
  17. Arielle Lui ‘18
  18. R. Vincent Taylor ‘77
  19. Charles Richard Pedersen, Jr., 1971
  20. Nicholas F. Daum ’92
  21. Sean Davis ‘92
  22. Andrew Kim 1983
  23. Geoff Howell ’84
  24. Pio Poblete ‘84
  25. Katherine Dolan ‘18
  26. Stephen Lange Ranzini ‘82
  27. M Jonathan Garzillo ‘83
  28. Daniel K. Haley ‘92
  29. Douglas G Haxall ’83
  30. Stephanie Lane ‘12
  31. Tom Cronin ’78
  32. Supat Jumbala ‘76
  33. Sharon-Lee Brinkman-Young, class of 1976
  34. Sarah Appleby 1997 Graduation
  35. Nicholas J. Lynn ’81
  36. Katherine W Sher Class of ‘79
  37. Erica Meisenheimer 97
  38. Ramsey Haddad ’79
  39. Shannon Flynn ’79
  40. Yoshiko Nagao, 1992
  41. Leslie Morrison ’79
  42. Elizabeth Gardner 1983
  43. Rajanya Shah Petersson ‘92
  44. Roger Gettig, 1981
  45. Kirsten P Kerr 1995
  46. Eileen Mary Kane, ’90
  47. Stephanie Shapiro Gamse ‘92
  48. Todd B Stevens ‘93
  49. Chloë Atkins, 1982
  50. Rich Stenberg ’97
  51. Heidi J. Ellrich ‘76
  52. Moira Marquis 1997
  53. Paul Kang ’91
  54. Rachel Carpenter ’85
  55. Michael Miller ‘83
  56. William Bayer ‘56
  57. Rebecca Sanborn Stone ‘97
  58. Beth McAvoy
  59. Meghan Riordan jarvis class 92
  60. Emily Hutson – Class of 1992
  61. Katherine McGlade Class of ’79
  62. Trip Eggert ’11
  63. David A. Knopf ’79
  64. Beth T. Whiten 1992
  65. Sunshine Evans Selby ‘96
  66. Justin Connolly class of 1980
  67. Ben Moroze ‘87
  68. Abby Ridge Anderson ’97
  69. Oliver Larkin ‘11
  70. Cicely Wedgeworth, 1993
  71. Kimberly Stanley ‘92
  72. Ginna Sulcer Marston ’76
  73. Jennifer (Meyer) Nelan ’92
  74. Martha Newman 1976
  75. Malcolm Fearey Dyer, ’81
  76. Megan Blocker, 1997
  77. Alexander Wyeth Ruthven 1992
  78. Jane T. Feldman, 1974
  79. Hillary Weis Coustan ’93
  80. W. Reed Moran 1969
  81. Stuart T Weinberg ’77
  82. William Tuthill ‘79
  83. Garrett Sadler ’79
  84. Leanore Barth ’80
  85. Susan Peterson + 1993 (graduation)
  86. Tricia MacKay Monheim ’81
  87. Aari Ludvigsen 1980
  88. Laura Hines Laufer ‘97
  89. Sarah Behnke, ’97
  90. Sage T. Orr 1997
  91. Corey Bennett Lewis ‘98
  92. Kevin Doane ’98
  93. Heather Rae, 1979
  94. Elizabeth Russo Blanc ‘98
  95. Susan Ordway ’82
  96. Charles E Wechsler ‘84
  97. Stasha Marie Wyskiel ‘85
  98. William M. Flevares ‘84
  99. Léonie Glen ‘80, P ‘12.
  100. Arnol Ward ’82
  101. Matthew Snow ’84
  102. Kevin MacLean ‘85
  103. Andrew Roberts McFarland ‘86
  104. Susan Schuster PEA 93
  105. Wendy Salomon ’85
  106. William Nielsen Brandt ’88
  107. Lynnley Browning ’83
  108. Victoria Chandler Silver 1983
  109. Nicholas Volkman ’67
  110. Chet Bashari Anekwe ‘83
  111. John Zwolinski 1982
  112. Christian T. Metcalfe PEA ‘93
  113. Lisa Hertz Robinson 1983
  114. Mark Bradford ’82
  115. Urban Larson ‘81(graduate)
  116. Erika Groff ‘97
  117. Jeffrey Drummond ‘68
  118. Ana Gordan ’93
  119. Deborah Lustig ’82
  120. Ann Zhang ’15
  121. Claire Fisher 1997
  122. Nikhil Shah 1997 Graduation
  123. Helen Holland Bronston 1981 (Graduate)
  124. Mary C Glasser ‘83
  125. Robert Marcel Clyne, ’83
  126. Elizabeth Nathan 1995
  127. Katherine Wood Baldwin ‘83
  128. Kathleen James-Chakraborty ’78
  129. Jennifer McClain Irving, ’81
  130. Samantha Simpson 1986
  131. Nathaniel Hurd Barber, 1982
  132. Sunil Narayan ‘97
  133. Rachel Luo 2017
  134. Evan Berenson ‘97
  135. Marc Chabot ‘81
  136. Margaret E. Touborg ‘81
  137. Melanie Tyler 1981
  138. Joseph Platte 2015
  139. Cosy Sheridan 1983
  140. Charles Ludington ’83
  141. James Clinton Pittman, 1983 (Alumnus)
  142. Annapurna K. Duleep ’94
  143. Aaron A Levy ‘95
  144. Rebecca Blouin ’90
  145. Sarah Kelley 1985
  146. Jeffrey Craig Schilling ‘94
  147. Jon Kiger PEA ’81, P 2014
  148. Claudia Putnam 81
  149. Nicole M. Daphnis ’14
  150. Deborah Randolph ,parent class of 1983
  151. Jamie Chase ’94
  152. Mark Bellermann ’83
  153. Susan Kashaf, ‘89
  154. Amy Laura Cahn ’91
  155. Jessica Rutherford ‘90
  156. Jeremy Bromberg ’76
  157. Lincoln D Paine, jr., 1977
  158. Anne S Wise ’77
  159. Kathleen C. Engel ’77 graduate
  160. Heidi Howkins Lockwood, P’10, P’21
  161. Thayer Fisher ‘97
  162. Michael L. Henning ‘87
  163. Paul D Henning, ’76
  164. H Whitwell Wales III ‘77
  165. Alice Ruby ‘87
  166. Aparna Kumar, Class of ‘94
  167. Stephanie Chen ’15
  168. Erik Passoja ’87
  169. Melissa Whitney ‘87
  170. Robert Nagato-Needleman 1984
  171. Katherine Dauge-Roth, class of 1987, parent 2017
  172. Alexandre E. Dauge-Roth, parent 2017
  173. Ann Chiou-Williams ‘88
  174. Kurt Mortensen 1983
  175. Phebe Williams ‘96
  176. Ann Chiou-Williams ‘88
  177. Ann McDonald ’81
  178. Kendra Noyes Miller ’97
  179. Charlotte Greenhalgh ’76
  180. Maya Kim ‘18
  181. Emily Green ‘18
  182. Emilio Karakey ‘18
  183. Clara Lee ‘18
  184. Diana Davidson ‘18
  185. Abigail Clyde, Class of 2018
  186. Charlotte Polk ‘18
  187. Thaddeus Joseph Scott ‘18
  188. Lynnaya Hamby ‘18
  189. Gabrielle Brainard, ’97
  190. Savannah Roth ’18
  191. ciara cagney 2018
  192. Kristin Breiseth ’85
  193. Ifechi Ilozor ’18
  194. Alexander M Agnew ‘76
  195. Lilly Carden ‘18
  196. Cary Tamura 1992
  197. Mauricio Huertas ’12
  198. Emmett Shell ’18
  199. Punit Matta ’10
  200. Khanna Bredstein ’18
  201. Benjamin Hogoboom ‘15
  202. Tashi Sangpo Bista 2016
  203. Caeli Cavanagh ’10
  204. Anna Clark, ’18
  205. Cristina Gonzalez ’18
  206. Maria Bowen ‘02
  207. Francis B. (Jake) Horner 1976
  208. Warren Charleston ’15
  209. Milena DeGuere ’18
  210. Timothy Moulton Farnham, class of 1992
  211. Peter Gray ‘00
  212. Matthew Alburn ’18
  213. Courtney Henrich ’15
  214. Emily Boudreau ’08
  215. Allison Morse Henson ’89
  216. Amy Park Class of 1992
  217. John W Polk. ’76
  218. Daphne Dor-Ner ’97
  219. Alex Halperin 1997
  220. John Crimaldi ’83
  221. Triada Samaras Class of 1976
  222. Susan (Chie) Chang ‘97
  223. Melissa Duclos 1997
  224. Violet Davis ‘14
  225. Caroline del Real ‘16
  226. Erin Waters ‘97
  227. Eve Flegenheimer Sheedy 1976
  228. Sacharja Cunningham ‘19
  229. Geoffrey Safford ’12
  230. Alexander Coleman ’14
  231. Katherine Aanensen ’12
  232. Sarah Johnson ’13
  233. Margaux Morris ‘16
  234. Margaret Anne Collins ‘15
  235. Dash Elhauge ‘12
  236. Aymes Bragdon ’83
  237. J. Byron H. McCaffree ’97
  238. David Whitney ’10
  239. Melissa Schmechel Motzkin ’00
  240. André Landau-Remy ’90
  241. Peter Durwood ’82
  242. Rex Bone ’16
  243. Alexandra Baer Chan (2016)
  244. Katherine Lee Steininger ‘12
  245. Lauren Wilson ’17
  246. Manuel A P Davila ‘13
  247. Christopher Sandeman ‘96
  248. Paula Gaither ‘13
  249. Phebe P. R. du Pont ’15
  250. Mairead McCarthy graduated 2014
  251. kristina muten 1976
  252. Andrea Conde ‘14
  253. Jenna Robertson Bly ‘97
  254. Courtney Smith ’15
  255. Larry Bouchie 1979
  256. Rachel Baxter ’15
  257. Aya Peters ‘11
  258. Zoe Meyer, ‘15
  259. Tom Maull 04
  260. Dr Peter Swartz, Parent 1997
  261. Haley Stokas 2014
  262. Elias Robinson ’14
  263. Eliott Robertson 1968
  264. Louise Grace Lewis P-83
  265. Isabel Mattson ’12
  266. Franca Redivo ‘79
  267. Charlotte Sununu ‘17
  268. Paul Outlaw ’74
  269. Hannah Najar ’11
  270. Kiele Raymond ’05
  271. Zachary Waterman 2013
  272. Christine Margerum Harlen ’82
  273. Nicole Bouchie, Daughter of Larry Bouchie (76-79)
  274. Lucy Hammarton ’15
  275. Kelly Dermody ’85
  276. Emily Rittershaus ‘05
  277. Elizabeth Curry-Logan ’05
  278. Casey Roe + 2005
  279. James Klugman 2005
  280. Aaron Gadson ’05
  281. Dante L Taylor, Class of 2006
  282. Madison Firkey ’14
  283. Marilyn Vaccaro, ‘13
  284. Tommy Song ’16
  285. Win Mixter, 2005
  286. Michael Whitfield Jones’75
  287. Elizabeth Treacy ’11
  288. Drake McHugh 1972
  289. Judith Dry 2005
  290. Vennela Vellanki 2016
  291. Lori Sue Natt Huguelet ‘83
  292. William Ford ’09
  293. Devi Lockwood ‘10
  294. Leslie Moclock ’05
  295. Christina Minicucci ‘92
  296. Samantha Carpenter ’05
  297. Rebecca Carpenter ’10
  298. Timothy Han ‘18
  299. Larisa Sharifi ’96
  300. Cornelia Smith ‘15
  301. Peter Wetherbee 1981
  302. Ryan McCarthy ’06
  303. Sarah M. Chappell ’05
  304. Tricia Yoo Matuszak ‘90
  305. Brooks Saltonstall 2015
  306. Brent Henry 2020
  307. Michaella Henry ’16
  308. Andrea Henry, (Parent) ’16
  309. Andrew Henry (Sibling) ’16
  310. Michelle Henry, (Sibling) ’16
  311. Eric A. Rennie, 1965 (Graduation)
  312. Zadie Ross, ‘14
  313. Francelis Morillo Suarez ’17
  314. Michelle Henry, (Sibling) ’16
  315. Alma Delia Robles ’92
  316. Amy Azubuike ’16
  317. Claire Houston, parent 2021
  318. Savannah Sachs ’04
  319. Eric Hassett ’05
  320. Pooja Jayaprakash ’11
  321. Oluwatomi Ogundayo ’11
  322. Anastasia A Kurochkina’16
  323. Samantha Pellegrino ‘11
  324. Margaret Zhu ’15
  325. Gregory Edwards ’92
  326. Kara Sowles, Alumna, Class of 2006
  327. Hye-Young Chung, ’97
  328. Mei-An Nolan, 2016 graduate
  329. Jill Shulman ’84
  330. David Tilton ’05
  331. Elisabeth Farnum, ’81
  332. Robert Andrew Jurado, Class of 1989
  333. Madison Hillyard ’16
  334. Rachel Moberg ’18
  335. Valerie Jackman
  336. Elizabeth Ward ‘16
  337. Rachel Sluder ‘09
  338. Sarah Heussler Mayper ’82
  339. Yuan Yao ’17
  340. Jessie Yeung, Alumna 2015
  341. Margaret Cohen ’15
  342. Samantha Gove ’19
  343. Alex Brant-Zawadzki ’99
  344. Michael Tuchler ’15
  345. Ingrid Gutierrez ‘13
  346. Suzannah Glennon ‘13
  347. Lucy Knox ’16
  348. Shannon Brien ’11
  349. Priyanka Boddu ’14
  350. Charles Lynn ‘16
  351. Katie Sullivan ‘11
  352. Hannah Robinson Herklotz, ‘05
  353. Emma Cushing ’11
  354. Meredith Sopher ’10
  355. Isabella Savell ‘18
  356. Mahesh Kumar 2016
  357. Alyssa Nering Lorch 1988
  358. Adelaide Fuller, Class of 2005
  359. Jordan Cynewski ‘15
  360. Martin G Widmayer 1963
  361. Hannah Joan Cherenfant ’16
  362. Kari Viken `80
  363. Charles Russ 2016
  364. Courtney Gibeley ‘16
  365. Julian Burns 2015
  366. Rachel Rhoades ‘04
  367. Michelle Lee ’17
  368. Amy Vyas 1998
  369. Michelle Okeke ’17
  370. Linda Van Arsdale 1993
  371. Cail Daley ‘14
  372. Philip Lee Andreasen ‘93
  373. Caitlyn Iovanni, 2005
  374. Matt Dubois ’82
  375. Tierra McClain ’16
  376. Jamie Rogers ’05
  377. Emily Scire ‘13
  378. Madison Stern ’18
  379. Susannah McAndrew Chen ’92
  380. Virginia McMahon ’11
  381. Dominique Rouge ’12
  382. Kara Lessin, 2011
  383. Will Parker ‘11
  384. Remy Tabano ’11
  385. Xavier Gomez-Maqueo ’11
  386. Julia Sanders, 2005
  387. Katherine Wing Lilly 2005
  388. Aiyana G Brough ‘18
  389. Barbara Jenny ’84
  390. Erika Perez 2005
  391. Sophie Byrne ’16
  392. Kyra Citron ’16
  393. Ellen Blackwell ‘18
  394. Junji Takeshita ’80
  395. Valerie Kosheleff ‘95
  396. Alisson Kolodner 1997
  397. Angelica Clayton ’13
  398. Emma Norton 2021
  399. Daisy Tichenor ‘18
  400. Andra Pligavko ‘92
  401. Megan Smith ’16
  402. Robyn Stewart 2017
  403. Will Edwards ’15
  404. Sekhar Raja Paladugu ‘08
  405. Susan Haddad MacPhail ’77
  406. Harita Koya ’12
  407. Aspen Reese ’08
  408. George Matouk ‘87
  409. Eloise Bridgers ’17
  410. Julie Ensiki ‘98
  411. Maria Heeter 2018
  412. Beth McAvoy 1985
  413. Antigone Clark 2017
  414. Emily Cardenas ‘18
  415. Maya Kim ’18
  416. Justin Connolly ’80

 

 

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