Retired Horace Mann math teacher and administrator Joan Bowen, who was much loved by many students, wrote the following email to Joseph Cumming of the Survivors’ Group. She gave us permission to post her email both here and in the HM-related Facebook groups.
As I have mentioned before, I do not know how to use Facebook. When I try to post a comment it does not show up and when I think I am sending an individual e mail it appears on the whole site. I am concerned that some alums are disquieted by the silence of teachers.
My feelings are strong on the abuse subject The few retired faculty with whom I am in contact share my views. The others may dislike Facebook as I do. Alums should not assume a lack of support for the victims or support for the School’s silence on the matter from their silence on Facebook. How could anyone not be outraged by the deeds of evil teachers and the ensuing cover-ups?
I am ashamed that the institution at which I taught for some 34 years has maintained silence on the subject and not led the way in investigating what happened, apologizing not only to the abused but also to the rest of the school community, and providing help to those who have suffered. One of my great concerns is that the current sex abuse education given to students does not stress the fact that pedophiles make their prey feel “special” and that it all has to be kept “secret”. Teenagers generally do not like to confide in their parents; this is part of growing up. I cherish my memories of Horace Mann. The students who were so bright and eager to learn, and the faculty who inspired them made the place a really great school. No student ever came to me to report abuse and I never heard of cover-ups in all those years. Every day I expect an announcement of investigation, acknowledgment, apology, and assistance to those abused by employees of Horace Mann. But none has been forthcoming. I hope the Board will soon take action.
You may post any, all, or none of the above as you see fit. Bless you for all your good work.