Dear Athena Project Community,
In our last communication to you, we shared that we endorsed the choice of Debevoise & Plimpton to lead the investigation into faculty and staff misconduct at Sonoma Academy and the administration’s handling of any and all misconduct.
We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our endorsement of the investigation.
Nearly all of the women of the Athena Project have met with the investigators at this point, and we are pleased to report they have been empathetic, professional, and thoughtful in their handling of this painful material. We have also heard from other alumni who have met with the investigators; they report similarly positive experiences. Finally, we have reviewed previous reports produced by the Debevoise team and are impressed with their work.
If you experienced, witnessed, or were aware of staff or faculty conduct that was troubling, inappropriate, or harmful, we encourage you to participate in this investigation. The investigation includes any and all faculty or staff misconduct, not just Marco Morrone’s behavior. The Debevoise team is also investigating the administration’s handling of staff and faculty misconduct or reports of misconduct. You do not have to have first-hand experience of misconduct in order to participate in the investigation.
If you wish to participate in the investigation, you should proactively reach out to the Debevoise team at SAInvestigation@debevoise.com. The investigators will interview everyone who has potentially relevant information. However, they may not approach a victim/survivor of abuse or misconduct if they believe that person has already been made aware of the investigation and is choosing not to participate.
Here are three things you should know about the investigation:
- Your privacy will be protected. Documents you share with the investigators will not be shared with SA or with anyone else, and your name will not be revealed by the investigators to any third party. In order to guarantee transparency, the final report produced by the investigators will be released publicly, but victims/survivors will not be named. In addition, the report will refer to victims’/survivors’ experiences at a high enough level of generality that individuals will not be identifiable.
It is possible that the investigators could receive a subpoena for documents in connection with a potential future court proceeding. If so, they would contest that subpoena. The investigators always let interviewees know that this is a remote possibility, and they are willing to answer more questions about this before any interview.
- You can have a friend join you for your interview. If you are uncomfortable speaking with the investigators alone, you can have a friend, family member, attorney, or other trusted person with you during your interview.
- The investigation will examine the administration’s handling of faculty and staff misconduct, as well as, potentially, the administration’s handling of severe student-to-student misconduct. This includes how previous reports of misconduct were received and responded to by SA faculty or staff.
We have worked hard for over a year to bring about this investigation. We hope that everyone with relevant information will participate if they are comfortable doing so.
If you have questions about the investigation or would like to participate, you can reach out to Mary Beth Hogan and her team at SAInvestigation@debevoise.com.
If you have questions about our experiences participating in the investigation, we would be happy to talk with you. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your ongoing support,
Savannah, Grace, Emma, Linnet, Miranda, Clio, and Morgan