Dear Athena Project Community,
It has been two weeks since Tucker first shared the reason for Marco’s termination with the Sonoma Academy community. A lot has happened since then. The Press Democrat has published thirteen articles on the subject, including new coverage on how Marco subjected male students to excessive physical violence. We launched The Athena Project website and Instagram account and have to date received nearly 1,000 signatures on our statement of solidarity. On June 15th, nearly a year after we brought Marco's behavior to the attention of current Sonoma Academy leadership, Sonoma Academy announced they would conduct an independent investigation into “the full extent and breadth of Marco Morrone’s inappropriate behavior and misconduct as well as the circumstances that allowed his actions and detrimental impact to continue for as long as it did.”
For us, the women of the Athena Project, the last two weeks have been full of relief, joy, anger, fear, anxiety, and very little sleep. We have received dozens of emails, texts, DMs, and phone calls—mostly containing messages of support and empathy. But we have also heard from alumni sharing their own painful experiences with Marco.
These communications galvanize us and break our hearts.
Like many within the Sonoma Academy community, we are reeling from the last two weeks. While we have made tremendous progress since the days when Marco’s behavior went unchecked, we are still in the midst of a crisis and we have a long way to go.
We are encouraged that Sonoma Academy will conduct a full investigation into Marco’s misconduct and Sonoma Academy’s failures. We endorse the choice of Debevoise & Plimpton to conduct the investigation. And we are optimistic that we can work collaboratively with Sonoma Academy to ensure that the investigation is maximally transparent, thorough, and free from interference. In particular, it is critical that the report resulting from the investigation is made fully public, as were the recent reports from the Thacher School and Branson School investigations.
In the coming weeks, we will continue to work with Sonoma Academy to ensure victims who wish to be known are identified and paid restitution for the harm that befell them, per our statement of solidarity. It is our hope that Sonoma Academy will continue to work collaboratively with the Athena Project to make amends to victims of Marco’s misconduct and set a new standard for how secondary schools address histories of harassment and sexual misconduct involving faculty and staff.
We do not yet know when or how we will conclude our work. But your support and encouragement has fortified us and we are more committed than ever to seeing this project through to its completion.
Emma, Linnet, Grace, Clio, Miranda, Savannah, and Morgan
P.S. If you have friends or family who have not yet seen our statement of solidarity, we invite you to share it with them.