April 27, 2017
Dear Pingry Survivors,
We, members of the graduating class of 1992, write to express our support for your efforts to seek recognition, healing and justice for the abuse you experienced as Pingry students.
We are deeply saddened and angered to know that Pingry teachers perpetuated such horrific acts against children, and that others turned a blind eye to the abuse. We remember well the trust that we as Pingry students placed in the school and its faculty, and we hold accountable any member of the Pingry community, past or present, who breached that trust on such a profound level. Some of us are aware that members of our class experienced the vestiges of the culture that allowed the abuse you experienced, including acts of physical and verbal abuse by faculty–at least some of which were known to the administration.
We honor your courage and are grateful to you for sharing your experiences and for raising awareness about the impact of child sexual abuse. You have exposed the ugly reality of what can happen, even in the most prestigious of educational environments, when children’s rights to dignity and safety are not prioritized above all other considerations. We are concerned that there are other Pingry alumni who suffered such abuse and have not yet come forward. We truly hope that your actions will encourage them to feel safe enough to share their stories.
We call upon the Pingry Board of Trustees to take steps to ensure that no Pingry student is harmed by faculty/staff in the future. We especially request assurances that (1) faculty and staff undergo training addressing their legal and ethical obligations to report abusive behavior of any kind, whether it be sexual, physical or verbal, and (2) Pingry students are given age-appropriate education about how to recognize, respond to, and report abusive conduct and (3) Pingry parents are provided with clear guidance about reporting procedures should they have concerns about faculty or staff conduct. We also ask Pingry leadership to change the name of the Annual Spring Concert and a room in the Academic Arts Center at the Basking Ridge Campus that were named after former teacher Tony duBourg, as the recently issued “Report to the Pingry Community” by T&M made clear his predatory and abusive behavior.
During the year of our 25th Reunion, we join you in demanding that all future Pingry students are ensured a safe school environment. Our reunion celebration will be tempered by the knowledge that the same school that gave so much to many of us, also took away so much from others. In solidarity with your efforts, some members of our class will wear teal ribbons at our reunion. We welcome Pingry faculty and fellow alumni from other classes who are in attendance to join in this action of solidarity with you.
Please reach out to us if there are other ways we can join your efforts. Know that we are here to support you in any way that we are able. We call upon the entire Pingry community to do the same.
Standing with you, Christa M. Tinari ’92 and Emily Goldberg ’92 and
The following individual members of The Pingry School’s graduating class of 1992:
Karie Tseng DeVita
Priscilla Stack Elms
Stephanie Sciubba Jacobson
Tanya Nisha Waran Lalin
Rose K. Maguire
Alison Heathwood McCormack
G. Peter Neumann
Katie Weinberg Schumacher
Elizabeth Moore Valdes
Saskia van Bergen
cc: Headmaster Nathaniel E. Conard
Members of the Pingry School Board of Trustees