Today, I read with great sadness the news reports arising from a situation at a highly-regarded boarding school for high school students in the Northeast. It seems that allegations of sexual assault by a freshman female student against a senior male student have led to revelations about the existence of a student and school culture that tolerates and encourages sexual adventurism and scoring of encounters. A court trial is about to begin; I expect other articles to follow.
Several administrators and I have had conversations throughout the day today on this subject. We have recalled and discussed the steps taken here at the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge—just in the last two years--to work toward healthy relationships between our male and female students. Some of those steps include:
In our conversations today, the partnership between Episcopal and parents of Episcopal students that exists naturally in our day school has been identified as a great asset. Sexual assault is like a few other major plagues on our society which defy absolute guarantees that they cannot happen “here.” We all know that adults through the ages have not found a way – absolutely – to stop a segment of adolescents from engaging in unhealthy risk taking and illegal behavior. We are committed --- and after today’s conversations recommitting --- to striving toward an even healthier community where sexual assault and related harmful activities, along with the attitudes that underlie them, are clearly neither encouraged nor tolerated.
The Upper and Middle School Division Heads, Counselors, Dean of Students, and I will be in touch in the first half of this semester to let this community know what additional steps are being taken in this Episcopal community to keep us strong and healthy.
Head of School