Monday, December 7, 2015

Teachers - new epiphany

Epiphany 12.7.15
After a full day of not sure of anything.....I was laying in bed in an attempt of sleep.  Drifting in and out of sleep a thought occurred to me.  Why do I have such a hard time with teachers? 
So many people think of teachers as hero's.  Teachers are our "friends".  Teachers aren't paid enough.  Teachers are the un-sung hero's. 

For those of you who are my family and friends who are teachers, this is not about you. 

From the time my son, Michael, was three, I had  a really hard time with teachers.  I bucked the system.  I didn't trust them. I fought hard to defend my children.  I didn't listen to the problems my children were having, I always listened to my children and never trusted the teachers.  I believed everything my children told me, never did I trust the teachers, much to my children's detriment.

I remember a conversation with the director of the child care center my oldest son, Michael and my daughter, Kelli attended.  She was explaining the problems she was having with Michael then 4 or 5   or 6.  And I always defended him.  Was I right?  Not necessarily but now I understand why I was that way.  Michael was a strong willed child.  But I always defended him.  No matter what. 
I now understand why.  It wasn't until tonight that I realized that as a child, nobody defended me.  I was left in a cruel old fashioned world that adults were always right and children had to obey. Well,  look what that got me.  Sexually abused at eleven through thirteen.  Destitute for failure. 

This is something that should be shouted from the roof tops.  For all you great teachers out there, I am thankful.  But, there is something that has to be said and must be said.  Not all teachers are saints. 
I've seen many bumper stickers that say , "not all priests are bad".  Well, I think that there may be an equal bumper sticker that says, "not all teachers are saints." 

Parents,  it is your responsibility to stand up for your child(ren).  It is your responsibility to go to the school administration if the teacher is not teaching your child.  If your child doesn't fit the "box" then speak out about it.  Be involved.  Find out what is going on with your child.  Be his/her advocate.  Trust your instinct.  If something doesn't seem right then ask, investigate, pull your child from doing something that feels wrong.  Do it.  Protect your child!  Trust me.  You may be saving your child from death. 















Sunday, November 29, 2015

Going Back to Japan

One of the greatest things the new board of directors offered was to bring us back to Japan and have us "retake" the school.  

In March and April of 2016, several of us will be traveling to Japan.  We are officially visiting ASIJ the week of April 3rd right after Spring Break. 

I am so excited.  Because of the final closure on this chapter of my life I'm finally able to embrace the Japanese in me.  I've started relearning the language and actually have a room that I'm redoing in Japanese motif.  

Am I scared?  Absolutely.  My husband wants to go to Miyake.  Several of us are planning to travel to Miyake.  I'm sure it will be an extremely emotional trip but one necessary to rid us of the evil that perpetrated our young bodies.  

We hope to address the school including teachers, counselors, students and parents.  It's doubtful that Ed Ladd will be anywhere around since he announced his resignation as of the end of this year.  He was very wise to do that.  In fact, it's probably the wisest thing he has ever done his entire life.  Isn't it amazing what our legacy can do to us?  Pride goeth before the fall.  I pray to God that he protect me from my own pride.  

What happens from here?  Well, several of us have been in contact with Lili Bernard one of Bill Crosby's victims.  Did you know that Lili went to ASIJ and had Jack Moyer as her teacher?  No, she wasn't a victim of Jack's.  She and several of the other Bill Cosby victims and several of us are planning to communicate in December.  It is our hope that we can help to change the Statute of Limitations for children who were sexually abused.  In most cases, child sexual abuse victims aren't able to come out in the open until years later.  The current Statute of Limitations vary in each state but they are not long enough.  For example in Louisiana: General discovery rule provides suit must be brought one year from date of discovery. But in Maine: Civil or criminal actions may be brought at any time.  

So in my case, because I contacted the reunion committee in 1990 and told them then, I had no case and therefore was not entitled to any compensation. 

For more information about statute of limitations go here:
http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/state-civil-statutes-of-limitations-in-child-sexua.aspx 

I am really going to try to keep my blog updated through-out this next year.  It has been helpful to me to go back and re-read everything.  What a whirlwind this year has been.  

After we left Portland in June I returned to my job and my family in Louisiana.  In July, we visited Destin and stayed in the home of one of my board members.  It was so peaceful and resting.  My daughter and son-in-law were not able to join us but it was a very nice peaceful vacation.  Our friend Tim's daughter joined us for a short time.  Her father committed suicide in 2014 and we have been able to connect with her and gain another daughter.  

In late July I received a call from my sister-in-law asking me to consider taking my mother in law, Susan,  in because my niece Fiona, their daughter, just had an MRI and they weren't sure but thought her cancer had returned.  She was 27.  The MRI showed three spots in her lungs.  I contacted my mother-in-law and told her we needed her to get down to Baton Rouge ASAP. We finally got her on a train from Greenville, SC on August 26th.  She arrived in Slidell, LA that evening and got to the house around 9:30 p.m.  On Thursday, August 27th my sister Cherryl came to Baton Rouge and picked up Mims (my grand-daughter) and me and we drove to Daddy's in Mississippi.  We were planning to take my dad to Dallas for a week. Mims and I were to fly back on Monday from Dallas.  

That night or early the next morning my phone rang.  Middle of the night phone calls are never a good thing.  It was Chuck, my husband, telling me that Fiona had died. She had a pulmonary embolism that ultimately killed her.  Because Cherryl came to pick me up I had no vehicle.  Chuck was planning to drive up and get Mims and me when I thought that I could use Daddy's car knowing that the next weekend Cherryl would be driving him back from Dallas and I could drive back up and see them the next weekend.  It's only a two hour drive for me.   

Mims and I drove back at 3:30 a.m. Friday, August 28th.  I took Mims back home and Chuck, Susan and I got on the road to South Carolina.  We drove to Atlanta and stayed on the north side of Atlanta and proceeded to Moore, South Carolina the next day.  That morning I got a call from Cherryl telling me that Daddy had gone into the hospital that night with pneumonia.  She and Nancy were there with him. I didn't want to take any thing away from the grief my brother and sister-in-law and Fiona's siblings were experiencing so I chose not to let them know about Daddy.  

Fiona was buried on Tuesday and we proceeded back to Baton Rouge that afternoon. We got to Baton Rouge on Wednesday and I left Thursday morning to drive to Dallas.  That night Cherryl stayed with Daddy at the hospital so  I could get some rest.  At 4:00 a.m. the next morning she called and said "as soon as you are up please come to the hospital."  They had given my dad some kind of medicine that caused him to go psychotic.  It took three nurses/orderlies to subdue him and put him in restraints.  We thought we needed to get hospice to come in.  The nurses suggested that it might be a good idea.  However, the doctors kept on insisting that he was strong.  (I've subsequently started calling him a cat because he has definitely had multiple lives. God isn't ready to take him home yet.) The following Wednesday I had a flight out of Dallas (I left Daddy's car in Dallas) and Cherryl and Nancy moved Daddy to CC Young - a long term skilled nursing facility.  

As a family we began trying to figure out what we needed to do with Daddy because clearly he couldn't stay by himself any longer.  He is 92 and has lived alone after my mom and his second wife died.   Up until August 27 he was driving.  

My sister Nancy decided that she would be the person to come stay with him in his home in Mississippi so she began changing her plans, moving out of her apartment, getting her oldest settled and begin a new life in Mississippi.  I know all of my siblings and I are so thankful that she agreed to take care of him.  

We are here finishing out a great Thanksgiving week with all of us visiting Mississippi during the course of the last two weekends (week).  

I'm heading back to Baton Rouge to a heavy work schedule to finish out this amazingly difficult year.  There have been so many blessings and so many tragedies and it's hard to know how to figure everything out.  

My mother-in-law is still with us which proves to be a challenge in and of itself.  But we have learned to persevere and live together.  It is certainly not perfect but for now it works.  

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a blessed Christmas.  Catch you on the other side.  






Friday, November 20, 2015

Closure

Well it has been quite some time since I've updated my blog.  Lots of things have happened both personally and professionally to cause me to be delayed in updating this blog.  In an attempt to update what has happened over the last year I will try to methodically go through as much as I can recall with as much detail that I see fit to share.

My recollections may be a bit foggy because so much has happened and it's hard to bring it all together.  I'm sure most can relate.

Last spring after much communications with ASIJ and the Japan Times, a group of women, thirteen to be exact, hired the law firm of O'Donnell Clark and Crew (now Crew Janci) out of Portland, Oregon.  These incredibly competent and compassionate lawyers agreed to take our case without really knowing much about Japanese law and our case.   They were willing to take a risk on us.  And that they did.

In September, 2014, twelve of us traveled to Portland (the thirteenth was unable to join us) and we shared our stories with attorneys from Ropes and Gray (the firm ASIJ hired to conduct an "independent investigation" of the 50 year sexual abuse case beginning in the 1960's and finally acknowledged by the school.)  ASIJ announced that they hired Ropes and Gray to conduct the "independent" investigation during the spring of 2014.  The problem with the "independent" investigation was that Ropes and Gray never contacted anyone. They waited for students, faculty members and administrators to contact them.  There was never anything "independent" about the investigation.  It was highly biased and if I were to hire a firm to represent me, it surely wouldn't be Ropes and Gray. Their competency is questionable.

After a year long battle with the board with some unbelievable things that happened (which I hope to come back and share later) we finally got some closure.

http://asijsurvivors.org

I will attempt to come back and flesh this out at a later date but long story condensed, we finally settled with the school for an undisclosed amount.  During 2014 and subsequently in 2015, the ASIJ board split and my understanding is that one side out ruled the other, upset the apple cart and basically fired those who were in opposition to us.

We found the new board to be very compassionate and willing to listen.  Three representatives from the new board traveled to Portland and listened to our stories.  We then spent a week in negotiations with the incredible mediator Paul Finn.

http://asijsurvivors.org/about/

You can read all about the outcome on the above linked site.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Change.org Petition

https://www.change.org/p/asij-board-of-directors-take-responsibility-for-the-sexual-abuse-of-children-at-asij 

asijsurvivors.org 

Resources for Sexual Abuse Victims and Survivors


Resources


If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, know that you are not alone, and there are many wonderful organizations, articles and publications that can help you on your path to healing. If you are the family member, friend, or loved one of person who has experienced sexual abuse, thank you for supporting them.
This page is dedicated to identifying resources for survivors and loved ones seeking information and resources about preventing, identifying and dealing with the trauma of sexual violence.

Victim Service Organizations

National
RAINN provides services, resources, and information aimed at addressing the needs of sexual abuse survivors. Their website includes information regarding the prevalence and occurrence of sexual violence, advice for loved ones seeking to support a friend or family member, and articles for victims on how to cope with the trauma of sexual assault.
RAINN also operates the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline, which allows victims to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. The hotline may be accessed by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673).  In addition, RAINN offers an online hotline, in which survivors can chat one-on-one with a trained RAINN support specialist to help seek services like counseling and mental health treatment.
Darkness to Light provides crisis intervention and referral services to people affected by sexual abuse of children, either as survivors seeking resources or individual seeking information to help a loved one. Calls to the Darkness to Light Hotline are automatically routed to a local call center. Their Hotline phone number is 866-FOR-LIGHT (367-5444).
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children operates a Cyber Tipline , which can be used to communicate information to law enforcement about child pornography or child sex trafficking. You may reach their 24-hour Hotline number by dialing 800-THE-LOST (843-5678).
The National Child Abuse Hotline number is 800-4-A-CHILD (422-2253). The hotline can provide local referrals for victims of childhood sexual abuse seeking services in their area. Their centralized call center allows the caller to speak with a counselor, and the hotline also features a language line that can provide services in over 140 languages.
NCADV works to raise awareness about domestic violence, educate and create programming and technical assistance materials, and assists survivors and other persons impacted by domestic violence. The website provides links to domestic violence programs in your area, and also has information regarding the National Domestic Violence Hotline, accessible at 800-799-SAFE (7233).
Pandora’s Project provides a list of crisis support and resources for survivors of rape and sexual abuse. The website also provides links to articles and essays about sexual assault victimization and prevalence.
OVC operates the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services, a searchable database dedicated to helping crime victims identify service providers and agencies in the United States and abroad.  In addition, CrimeVictims.gov provides referrals for crime victim services and victim assistance programs for survivors seeking assistance.
International
The Center provides services to Americans in civilian and military populations overseas who are suffering from domestic violence. In addition to providing advocacy, safety planning and case management, the center assists victims with relocation, emergency funds for housing and childcare, and funds for payment of legal fees.
The Department of Defense (DOD) operates the Safe Helpline, which is a groundbreaking crisis support service for members of the DOD community affected by sexual assault. The hotline provides live, one-on-one support and information to the worldwide DOD community. The service is completely confidential, anonymous and available worldwide, 24/7, by click, call or text. The Hotline number is 877-995-5247.
This website provides an inventory of hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centers and women’s organizations, searchable by country, in addition to an index of domestic violence resources in over 70 languages.
TELL is dedicated to providing effective support and counseling services to Japan’s international community. Services include free phone counseling, professional face-to-face evaluations and therapy, and community-wide programs.
The Tokyo Rape Crisis Center was established in 1983 to provide telephone counseling services to victims of sexual violence. The Center also provides medical referral information as needed. The center has a webpage in English [http://www.tokyo-rcc.org/center-hp-english.htm] as well as one in Japanese [http://www.tokyo-rcc.org/].
The Bureau of Consular affairs has a section of their webpage dedicating to helping United States citizen victims of crime overseas. The site lists resources, referral information and services for victims of crime abroad, coordinated through the office of Overseas Citizens Services.
Other Informational Resources
The CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention offers informational links, articles, sample policies and procedures designed to prevent child sexual abuse within youth-serving organizations.
Established by Congress in 2000, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) brings a singular and comprehensive focus to childhood trauma. NCTSN is dedicated to improving access to care, treatment and services for children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events. The website’s Sexual Abuse page provides information on ways to identify sexual abuse, policies for creating safe places for children, and the benefits of trauma-focused therapy for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
NSVRC seeks to provide leadership in preventing and responding to sexual violence through collaboration, research and promoting resources. NSVRC’s “Resources” page provides links to publications, news outlets, and articles regarding sexual assault victimization.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs operates the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC). OVC offers information and resources for individuals seeking research, technical assistance and publications relating to victims of crime.
The World Health Organization provides publications, research, information and studies pertaining to sexual violence internationally, including the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), a consortium established to promote research on sexual violence and generate empirical data ensuring that sexual violence is recognized as a priority public health program.

Suggested Books

Letters to Survivors: Words of Comfort for Women Recovering from Rape compiles letters from survivors around the world who want to share their personal message of hope after rape. Each woman’s letter addresses a different aspect of recovery from rape, such as recovering trust, coping with depression and suicidal thoughts, self-injury, spirituality/God, how to find support, how to recognize toxic so-called “helpers,” how to work effectively with your therapist, how to handle discouragement, and how to find hope again.
The Courage to Heal is a critically acclaimed guide for women survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The book offers a hope and a map of the healing journey from victim to survivor. Weaving together personal experience with professional knowledge, the authors provide clear explanations, practical suggestions, and support throughout the healing process.
Bass and Davis also offer other books on sexual violence, including Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child , which was designed to provide practical advice to loved ones trying to support the survivors in their lives while tending to their own needs along the way, and Beginning to Heal: A First Book for Men and Women Who Were Sexually Abused as Children, which offers hope and guidance to all survivors starting the healing journey.
This comprehensive handbook offers readers emotional support and practical guidance in overcoming the trauma of rape. The book seeks to help readers learn the most effective ways of dealing with their feelings immediately following an assault, during the subsequent months, and years beyond.
Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse was the first book written specifically for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The resource combines practical advice as well as personal stories from male survivors in order to explore strategies for survival and healing.
The Rape Recovery Handbook: A Step By Step Help for Survivors of Sexual Assault provides victims with an effective framework by which they may begin their healing process, and offers insight into how sexual assault can affect many different areas of a person’s life.
The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms was written by psychologists and trauma experts Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula. In the book, the authors identify techniques and interventions used by PTSD experts around the world to offer trauma survivors – including victims of rape and childhood sexual abuse – effective tools to help conquer their most distressing trauma related symptoms.

Links to News about ASIJ


News About ASIJ


The Japan Times
The Oregonian
The English Language Gazette

BULLSHIT response full of lies and inaccuracies.

BULLSHIT response full of lies and inaccuracies.


April 2, 2015 Letter from ASIJ Regarding Investigation Status


April 2, 2015
Dear ASIJ Parents, Trustees, Alumni, Faculty and Members of the ASIJ Community,
We write to update you on the status of our investigation into reports of sexual abuse at ASIJ by Jack Moyer, a teacher and consultant affiliated with the school from 1963-2000.
As you are aware, after hearing of the deeply troubling allegations, the current Board of Directors took action last June to retain an independent law firm to conduct a thorough investigation. The investigation, involving extensive interviews in multiple countries, is nearing conclusion.
While we had anticipated concluding the investigation sooner, it is important to note that, shortly after announcing our process, we received a demand letter from a law firm that has been retained in the U.S. by a number of victims. The firm made significant financial and other demands on the school, which we have been working through. In December, we and the law firm hired by the victims mutually agreed to engage a respected mediator with relevant experience to help find a responsible way forward. Those discussions are ongoing.
We recognize that everyone in our community is eager for a resolution to this dark chapter in ASIJ’s history. We want to assure you that we continue to work diligently to get the facts and to do all we can to achieve a fair resolution consistent with our obligations to the victims, for whom we have great sympathy, as well as our school, including current and future students.
We appreciate your continued patience and support.
Sincerely,
The Board of Directors
The American School in Japan

March 2014 Letter from ASIJ Admitting Jack Moyer's Abuse


March 2014 Letter from ASIJ Admitting Jack Moyer’s Abuse of ASIJ Students

March 17, 2014
Dear ASIJ Alumni and ASIJ Community,
This past November, we received a letter from a former ASIJ
student detailing sexual abuse by a former ASIJ teacher, Jack
Moyer. Moyer was employed as a middle school teacher from
1963 – 84. Based on other information we have been able to
gather, as well as an acknowledgement made by Moyer to
another affected student prior to his death in 2004, we believe
he engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with students
during his teaching tenure at ASIJ. Following his retirement
from teaching at ASIJ in 1984, Moyer continued as a
consultant for ASLFs off-campus marine science programs
until 2000.
The current Board of Directors and leadership team take these
circumstances very seriously and recognize the disturbing
implication for our students and families, past and present. By
openly acknowledging this sad part of our history and by
offering our sincere sympathy to those who were impacted by
these events, we hope to assist in the healing process. We
encourage anyone who desires to share his or her experience
with us to reach out. Please contact Board Chair, Mrs.
Stephanie Howe Toppino by either calling the school directly
(0422-34-5300 ext 201) or via email at stoppino@asij.ac.jp.
We also take this opportunity to assure our community that
ASIJ is a school committed to sustaining an environment that
does not permit or condone any form of sexual abuse, sexual
harassment, or any abuse of children by adults. To this end,
we will continue to review policies and practices as they
relate to the protection of students. Currently our counseling
programs at each division address with our students about
their responsibility to treat others with respect, their parallel
right to be treated with respect and be safe in their person and
how to report inappropriate behavior. Counselors at each
division will continue to reinforce these messages.
We would like to also announce an ASIJ donation to TELL
Counseling. TELL offers counseling services throughout
Japan as well as a Lifeline School Awareness Program and
the Child Protection Awareness Program. All of these worthy
programs address the needs and rights of children in Japan.
We encourage those in the community who would like to join
us in our pledge to do so by contacting TELL directly at
http://www.tellip.com/index.php7/how to donate/
One of our core stated values at ASIJ is to provide for the
social, physical, and emotional well being of our students. We
believe that a culture of trust and respect is the very
foundation on which all of our educational efforts as a
community are based. As we look forward, the school will
work to continually ensure that this foundation remains
strong.
A recent visitor to ASIJ remarked that our students look out
for one another and are gentle in their interactions with each
other. We are proud of this observation and will continue to
ensure that this culture endures and is the standard by which
we judge our success.
In this day when social media is so prevalent and concerns
with cyber-bullying so paramount, we ask you to be
especially sensitive to the impact your words and posts (and
those of your children) can have on our community.
To ensure that any communications are both accurate and
respect the privacy of our community, we ask that you refer
any inquiries you may receive directly to either of us, rather
than responding yourself.
ASIJ, its leadership team, and its Board of Directors, thank
you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.
Sincerely,
Stephanie H. Toppino
Chair, Board of Directors
Edwin V. Ladd
Head of School

April 2014 Letter from Alumni to ASIJ Calling for Investigation


April 2014 Letter from Alumni to ASIJ Calling for Investigation


April 6, 2014
Mr. Ed Ladd, Head of School
Ms. Stephanie Toppino, Board Chair, Board of Directors
The American School in Japan
1-1-1 Nomizu, Chofu-shi,
Tokyo, 182-0031, Japan
Dear Mr. Ladd & Ms. Toppino:
We are writing in response to your communication of March 2014 regarding Jack Moyer. To say that we are broken-hearted at this terrible news is a monumental understatement. It is almost impossible for us to believe. Many of us spent our entire formative years at ASIJ. The school, the relationships we forged there, and the memories we made are as beloved to us as our own families. It is shocking and heartbreaking to us that such evil could have befallen any of our classmates and friends. That the evil acts were not only known to the administration of the school but appear to have been sanctioned by it (through continuing to associate with the perpetrator for years after the knowledge of his deeds was brought to the attention of the school) is entirely beyond our comprehension. It is, in a word, outrageous.
As a result, respectfully, as a class, we are not satisfied with your letter. As alumni of the school, many of us have made significant financial contributions to ASIJ over the 27 years since our graduation, and in some cases have sent our own children to become students at the school. We respectfully, but firmly, ask for answers to the following questions:
1. What actions have been and will be taken to protect future students from befalling a similar fate?
2. What specific actions have been taken to understand how this could have happened under the watch of prior administrations, and why nothing was done when the allegations were initially brought forth?
3. Are there any current administration/board members who were present during the years Jack Moyer was associated with the school during and after employment? If so, are they being asked for a full accounting of what might have been known?
4. What plans does ASIJ have to support Jack Moyer’s victims, a number that may well exceed several dozen?
As we know you are aware, one of the overriding purposes of any institution that is entrusted, as ASIJ was and continues to be, with the welfare of children, is to protect those within its care. The unfortunate impression we are left with after reading your letter is that ASIJ cares more about ‘circling the wagons’ than fulfilling the trust bestowed upon it by parents. We are certain that this is not your intent.
A full airing of the past, including who knew what and when they knew it, is the only way forward. If ASIJ chooses to be proactive in allowing 3sunshine2 to prevail, our community will have a far better chance of healing, as Penn State recently learned (and the parallels with Penn State here are deeply troubling, both in terms of the likely number of victims and the culpability of former administrators who looked the other way).
We send this letter in the spirit of caring deeply for ASIJ, and look forward to your response.
Signed: Members of the Class of 1987

ASIJ June 2014 Letter Announcing Ropes and Gray Investigation

June 2014 Letter from ASIJ Announcing Ropes & Gray Investigation

June 4, 2014
Dear ASIJ Parents, Trustees, Alumni, Faculty and Members of the ASIJ Community,
Since ASIJ publicly acknowledged in March the allegations of abuse on the part of JackMoyer, a teacher and consultant affiliated with the school from 1963-2000, the Board of Directors and the administration have engaged with students, parents, trustees, alumni, and our regulatory authorities as well as affected former students. We appreciate the many expressions of support, as well as constructive input from a number of you in our broader community.
The loss of a child’s innocence in a school setting is inexcusable, and the Board has received these allegations with humility, sympathy and the utmost seriousness. It is in that spirit, and after extensive work on this matter, that we have concluded the need for an independent investigation into the facts of this case. We see this as an essential step toward continuing to minimize or eliminate the risks that something of this nature would ever happen to current or future students. We also hope this will help provide a measure of closure for those who have been directly affected.
We write today to let you know the Board’s Statutory Auditors have engaged the respected law firm of Ropes & Gray to lead the independent investigation. Based in Boston, but with offices in Tokyo, Ropes & Gray has no prior involvement with ASIJ and has extensive experience with similar investigations, involving schools in the U.S. and internationally. Ropes & Gray is tasked with ensuring the investigation is thorough, fair and appropriate with respect to all concerned.
The investigation, which we expect to be completed by sometime this fall, will be completely independent. The school’s Statutory Auditors, Katherine Hall and Fred Morgenstern, identified Ropes & Gray, set the terms of engagement, and will oversee all matters regarding the progress of the investigation. Their oversight will be based on the standards set out under the school’s governance procedures and Japanese law, which requires ASIJ to appoint independent Statutory Auditors to monitor the Board as non-Directors.
The investigation will examine all school records regarding Jack Moyer. It will involve
interviews with former students who elect to come forward, as well as current and former
board members, administrators, faculty, alumni, parents and others who may have relevant information. It will address the allegations against Moyer, and assess how ASJI faculty, staff and administrators responded. It will also examine any other allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior at ASIJ that might surface as part of this investigation. It will cover the period from Moyer’s employment up to and including today.
Anyone wishing to come forward with information that may be pertinent to this independent investigation may do so under full confidentiality at 617-235-4397 in the US, and 03-6259-3566 in Japan.  Those who wish to contact the Firm via email may do so at:
ASIJReportline@ropesgray.com.
Ropes & Gray will present its report and findings to the Board once the review has been
completed.  A summary of the report and its conclusions will be made public thereafter, taking into consideration victim privacy and Japanese privacy laws.
While we wait for the report and its recommendations, we want you to know that we have
already moved forward with a number of initiatives to protect students. Criminal background checks are now mandated for all employees, both new and existing. ASIJ is also studying best practices at other schools and we are working with the organization Keeping Children Safe to devise and introduce new measures that will go even further in addressing the needs of our students.  Further information on these steps will be shared in due course.
We thank you for your continued support, and encourage participation in the Ropes & Gray
investigation if you have information to share.
Sincerely,
The Board of Directors
The American School in Japan

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Survivors Letter to ASIJ April 8, 2015

http://asijsurvivors.org/april-2-2015-letter-from-asij-regarding-investigation-status/  Read this first and then read our response below.

April 8, 2015
Dear ASIJ Community:
We are thirteen ASIJ alumni, just like you. We are thirteen women who are your friends, family members, former classmates, acquaintances, colleagues, sisters, wives, and daughters. We write to you today because we
are also thirteen victims of Jack Moyer's abuse – and ASIJ's complicity in that abuse – who are deeply hurt and
saddened by ASIJ’s April 2, 2015 “update” to the alumni community.
Last June, in response to the outrage which swept through the ASIJ community following ASIJ’s “recent”
realization of Moyer’s decades-long history of abuse, ASIJ was shamed into announcing an independent,
“thorough, fair and appropriate” investigation into this dark chapter of the school’s history. This investigation
was to have been released in the fall of 2014. Now, community uproar has again pressured ASIJ to provide an
explanation as to why, a year later, no report has surfaced.
According to ASIJ’s most recent “update,” the reason for this delay is, apparently, the victims’ fault – our fault –
because we retained counsel to ensure we had a voice in this process after being ignored for decades. This
deeply hurts and offends us.
In June of 2014, our lawyers wrote a demand letter to ASIJ in which they conveyed our requests for
transparency, a full and complete investigation, changes in policy, fair compensation for what we suffered,
and an apology for the role the school played in our abuse. These requests – that the school take steps to honor
its purported commitment to community, integrity, honesty, and accountability – are ostensibly what the
Board’s recent “update” refers to as “significant financial and other demands on the school.”
Every step of the way, we and our lawyers have fully cooperated with Ropes & Gray (the law firm ASIJ hired
to conduct an independent investigation into Moyer’s abuse). Many former ASIJ faculty, staff and alumni have
reached out to our lawyers and provided them with information, which – with consent from the individual – our
lawyers have dutifully provided to both ASIJ and to Ropes & Gray to aid in their investigation. We participated
in the Ropes & Gray interviews, revealed and relived our abuse before complete strangers, and shared our
personal and painful stories. We did this because we, too, want the report to be as thorough and complete as
possible. ASIJ’s implication that we or our lawyers somehow caused the delay in completion of the report is
simply not true.
Over the past year, we and our advocates – the law firm of O’Donnell Clark & Crew, in Portland, Oregon – have
been conducting our own investigation into this dark chapter of the school’s history. During the course of our
investigation, we have uncovered concrete evidence (and provided this evidence to ASIJ and Ropes & Gray) of
the following:
• ASIJ learned of Moyer’s inappropriate behavior with young female students by at least 1968 and yet
denied any knowledge of such for decades, extending as recently as its March 17, 2014 community
announcement.
• In the years that followed, ASIJ leaders – including but not limited to former Headmasters William
Ricketson, Ray Downs, Peter Cooper, and Tim Carr, as well as former Principals Jack Collins, James
Juergensen, and Robert Winer – received more than four dozen reports of Moyer’s ongoing sexual
misconduct and abuse of ASIJ students.
• Moyer confessed in writing to sexually abusing ASIJ students and specifically identified seven of us
by name among the ranks of his victims.
• ASIJ leaders concealed Moyer’s sexual abuse for more than forty years, and even after repeated
warnings, did not take steps to remove Moyer or safeguard ASIJ students.
2
Please understand that this is not an exhaustive list. Leaders at the school had knowledge of Jack Moyer’s
sexual abuse of ASIJ students for decades. We know this because many of us (and our parents, friends and
family members) summoned up the courage to go tell ASIJ administrators and faculty about Jack Moyer’s
sexual abuse during the time he was abusing us, in the 1970s and 1980s. We believed the school when they
told us they would do something, and that it would never happen again. Each of us believed we were the only
one, for we thought that had our beloved school known – and certainly, once it knew – of Moyer’s sexual abuse
of ASIJ students, it would have taken steps to ensure there would be no others. We shared our pain and
humiliation because we wanted to protect then-current and future students from suffering as we suffered.
Imagine how we felt when, in March of 2014, the school announced that it only “recently” learned of Moyer’s
decades-long abuse. Imagine how we felt when we learned that our school knew of Jack Moyer’s misconduct
as early as 1968 – long before any of us were ever abused – and that many more children were made to suffer
needlessly, all because the school failed to live up to its promises and did not do anything to protect future
victims – including many of us.
The abuse Jack Moyer committed against us included forcible rape, sodomy, and extensive, repeated sexual
abuse. In some cases, the abuse began when we were 11- and 12-year old children; in others, it spanned across
years of our lives. Decades later, we still feel that pain. But Jack Moyer was not the only one who hurt us and
betrayed our trust – ASIJ did, too. High level ASIJ personnel have even admitted to the role they played in
failing to stop the abuse.
For example, in an April 4, 2014 email exchange between former ASIJ High School Principal Dr. James
Juergensen and one victim’s family member, Dr. J spoke of the actions he took in the late 1970s after receiving
detailed, formal reports of Jack Moyer’s abuse of two of us in 1977 and again in 1979. In that April 2014 email,
Dr. J stated:
“[I] went to Bill Ricketson [Headmaster, 1970 – 1977] and then Ray Downs [Headmaster, 1977 –
1991], who told me they were going to investigate further, and take action. … I thought those two Head
guys would follow up, I was too na├»ve. They must have thought that ASIJ’s reputation was a higher
calling somehow. Boy did that backfire on all of us!!!”
When we, the victims, reached out to ASIJ one year ago, we made our goals very clear: truth about the past,
justice for the victims, and changes to ensure the safety of all current and future students. ASIJ says it has
“great sympathy” for us. But actions speak louder than words. For the last year, ASIJ has not focused on what
happened to us, nor worked with us to develop a process to encourage a fair and reasonable resolution to this
terrible chapter of our collective history.
Despite all of this, however, we remain hopeful that ASIJ will rise to meet our demands. But, to achieve that,
ASIJ needs to show us, not just tell us, that it will honor its core values: community, honesty, integrity, respect
and accountability. ASIJ needs to take responsibility, release the full and complete Ropes & Gray report, and
put an end to the victim blaming. Put simply, ASIJ needs to do the right thing. The truth must come out, for
only then can we – the entire ASIJ community – begin to heal.
We are thirteen of the untold number of survivors of Jack Moyer’s sexual abuse, and of ASIJ’s role in that
abuse. We are thirteen alumni who are deeply and endlessly grateful for the ASIJ Community’s continued
support, and who hope that our school will live up to the honorable goals it promised to embody. Together, we
are ASIJ.
With Hope,
Thirteen ASIJ Sisters

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Quick Update

For current and previous readers, I'm hoping to update the information in the next few days.  There is a lot that has happened in the last year and hopefully, I will find time to share with you all some of what has been going on.  Stay tuned........