A teacher in Exeter has been punished for sexual misconduct. The student says that never happened.
In its report, Holland & Knight raised a “systemic concern” with a “lack of an established and clear protocol for students, faculty and staff to formulate complaints and training for AEP administrators on how to address concerns about misconduct by teachers or staff impacting students. Over the past five years, Exeter has stated on its website: preventing sexual misconduct and clear policies and procedures for responding to reports of misconduct when they occur.
“There is no higher priority for the Academy than providing a safe and inclusive environment for all of our students, an environment free from sexual abuse and harassment in all its forms,” the school said.
When i called Principal Rawson a few days after speaking with Christina Palmer, I imagined that given the recent problems in Exeter, he would be relieved to learn that there was nothing in this anonymous allegation about David Weber and me. I wanted Rawson to hear it firsthand, so that there was no confusion on this point: that there was no reason to go ahead with an investigation of Weber, at least not. regarding this false allegation.
I was still very upset about my call with Palmer when I called Rawson; in fact, several times when I spoke with him, I was so suffocated that I was unable to speak; I started to cry as I explained that my level of emotion was due to the fact that Palmer’s interrogation had elicited feelings around my past experience of sexual assault that had nothing to do with Exeter or Weber.
Rawson listened patiently, allowing me to complain about Palmer’s manner on his call, for which he apologized for any “damage” he may have caused (prejudice was a word he used a lot). I asked him who made this allegation about Weber and me. Rawson said he couldn’t say because those allegations had to be kept anonymous in order to protect the identity of the accusers so that they felt “safe” to come forward.
I asked if maybe the allegation was an old one that the academy was grappling with now? Because in 2016 I explained that amid all the media attention around Exeter that year, a classmate emailed me information on how to report sexual misconduct. from teachers. It was the first time I learned that apparently there had been rumors about Weber and me among some of my peers. Maybe it was because Weber and I had been so close? I asked myself. Or maybe it was because at the time other children were known to be involved with teachers? I told Rawson that there was no basis for these rumors, however, that I had also let my classmate know at the time.
Rawson said no, the accuser was not the person whose name I shared. Then I didn’t know who it could be, I said, saying that it all upset me because Weber had been a great teacher and my friend. Rawson just listened and whispered in his sympathetic way.
Then he said he was sorry to have to inform me, but I was going to hear from the Exeter Police, to whom the academy is obligated to report any allegations of sexual misconduct. I later learned this was due to the ‘memorandum of understanding’ between the school and the Exeter Police Department that the academy revised in 2017 following revelations about its past failure to report crimes. on campus to local authorities and to the New Division of Hampshire for children, youth and families. “The MOU describes the duty of all adults,” the 2017 document reads, “and underscores the PEA’s commitment to immediately report any act of sexual assault, regardless of the possible legal qualification of it. act or the time at which the act was committed.
I told Rawson that in fact I had been contacted by an Exeter Police Detective, who emailed me the same day. Rawson again apologized for the inconvenience and “harm” that might be inflicted on me through this experience, and said he would forward my complaints to Palmer, who had previously emailed me for s. ‘apologize for our conversation. “I am deeply sorry for the harm I have caused,” she wrote, “and I hope you were able to find comfort from someone… We appreciate how much hearing from an allegation can be shocking, ”she added.
When I called the detective back I left him a voicemail saying that if it was an allegation about me and a teacher in Exeter such an allegation was false and I had nothing to report. I haven’t heard from her anymore. I thought the case was closed.
Later in the Fall 2020, I remember reading in the news that a former math teacher from Exeter, Szczesny Jerzy Kaminski, 60, was accused of sexually assaulting a student between 2013 and 2015. The alumni Facebook page ‘Exeter “Exonians” has flared up again with people expressing concern. “The broader context of this case,” commented Cynthia Fuguet Mare, promotion of 83, is “how the Academy, after having been confronted in recent years with evidence of sexual abuse of minors in its care … how , through police investigations and arrests, legal proceedings, studies, committees, policies and training, mea culpas to the entire PEA community… can ALWAYS fail to protect students.
At the end of October 2020, I had another call with Rawson. Something had been pestering me – I didn’t know why, but I felt like this thing with Weber and Exeter wasn’t over, and I wanted to make sure it really was. But during our conversation, Rawson gave me no indication that the Weber investigation had continued. We chatted, talked about how things were at school. He said maybe in the spring, if the pandemic allows, I should come and talk to the kids about social media.
I didn’t hear from Rawson until almost four months later, on February 13, 2021. He asked to speak this weekend: “I have to update you on developments regarding a faculty member here who we have. already discussed.
I said I was available. “I hope all is well,” I wrote.
Rawson replied, “We have a confession that compels us to take action against him. I need to explain. I’m so sorry to have to bring this to your attention, in addition to the miscommunication previously.
” A confession ? ” I answered. “Something about me ??? Now I am very curious. Can you call me now? “
“Yes,” Rawson wrote. “I’ll call in a few minutes. “
While waiting for the phone to ring, I thought I was going to throw up. I started to feel dizzy, like I was going to fall, so I sat on the sofa. I now remembered how, after being raped at the University of Miami, I came home and lay on the bathroom floor for a long time; I remembered how soothing the cold tiles on the floor were and tried to focus on just that. One of the elements of the trauma that I had buried for so long was my feeling that I had been deprived of my consent. I didn’t want what the boy had done to happen to me, but it had happened despite my refusal, and the shock and rage I felt was more than I could take for many years.