An apology from acting supt. builds trust and healing

BRATTLEBORO — I want to thank Acting Superintendent Mark Speno, Oak Grove School Principal Mary Kaufmann, and several members of the Windham Southeast School District and Windham Southeast Supervisory Union boards for acknowledging the harm that has been done in the wake of revelations of sexual abuse of a former Brattleboro Union High School teacher perpetrated against students [“No more secrecy,” Viewpoint, Aug. 11].

In the weeks following Mindy Haskins Rogers' article, others and I have been fierce advocates for a survivor-centered and robust response. The Aug. 24 board meeting did not instill confidence this would be the case. We recognize that Mark and many others have inherited a painful legacy.

At the Board meeting on Sept. 14, Mark offered a very sincere apology to the victim/survivors on behalf of the district. He also spoke as a father and community member, not just the superintendent. This was really impactful, and I deeply appreciate his humanity and compassion.

I can't underscore enough how important this act is toward building trust and healing. The road ahead is long, but the steps the board committed to during that meeting, as well as additional personal statements of commitment by several board members, gave this group of advocates hope that the way forward will be toward institutional change and thorough accountability.

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