September 1, 2019
By Erik Hanson
Stories of sexual abuse and its mismanagement at schools and religious organizations have become routine. But what might a Quaker response to abuse allegations look like?
Stories of sexual abuse and its mismanagement at schools and religious organizations have become routine. But what might a Quaker response to abuse allegations look like? Carolina Friends School (CFS), a pre‐kindergarten to twelfth‐grade school in Durham, North Carolina, offers an example.
We are writing today to share some difficult news from our past. Several students who attended Carolina Friends School between 1969 and 1975 have told us that a former principal sexually abused them during their lower and middle school years. One of those students has also shared sexual abuse by a former Middle School teacher in the spring of 1976.
So began the letter signed by principal Mike Hanas and clerk of the board Marsha Green that appeared on the front page of the Carolina Friends School website on June 11, 2014. The letter went on to acknowledge the courage of the former students who shared their stories of abuse, apologize to them on behalf of the school community, and name the alleged perpetrators. The letter was emailed to every former student, current and former parent, current and former staff member, current and former trustee, and to local media.
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