The End of a Culture of Silence?

This message reached the school community yesterday:

Picture 25

Needless to say, we are all shocked.  While this is not related to the purpose of the blog, in our course of contributing to it over the years, we have encountered several alumni who have followed these court cases, who have expressed regret over not having said more about transgressions they felt occurred during their time at the school.  While we can’t help them, we can’t imagine anyone keeping such a horrible secret for so long.  We at least hoped to demonstrate that bringing things to light can happen.  If you are an alumnus, please share this blog post in the case it may reach a person who really needs to know.  The shortlink is: http://wp.me/pn26e-9L

The implications of this letter are terrible, but at least they have opened the door for a victim or more victims to speak out about one of the hardest things to talk about.  As well, other (past, dispersed) members of the community may feel urgency and occasion to express concern, outrage, or sadness.  We wanted to help and offer the Forum page (at the top of the homepage) for people to write what they think about this matter.  In the past month, we’ve seen a sudden surge of readership and realized that many people concerned about the school community are sharing this blog on Facebook.  We will publish any comment except for profanity and personal attacks.  You can contribute anonymously.  Unfortunately, we cannot help with unfounded accusations.  If you are a victim of a crime, then we encourage you to speak to the police like this one did and cite this case (they have English interpreters).

While we applaud the full-disclosure and proactive response of the current Head Master, waiting for information when it’s clear that many of our children have been under the care and leadership of the alleged perpetrator, in recent times, is an unsettling prospect.  We personally do not feel the school counselors are qualified nor adequate in numbers to deal with a case of this gravity and potentially this many concerns.    There is nothing more important than the safety of the students.  We agree: no need to be alarmist until the facts are in.  But, if such a letter is going to be issued, then let’s talk about it!  The school would be wise to offer a school-wide dialogue about this.  Full knowledge of the extent of this allegation will come in time, but what a bomb to drop in the meantime, Mr. Head Master (!)  Thank you (?)

[Update: upon reading the letter to parents again, it looks like Br. L is prohibited from making any contact with the kids, but it doesn’t say that he was removed from campus, where he lives.  (So, it’s as if he has a cold.)  It’s also been suggested that Br. Michel actually learned that a boy was seriously sexually assaulted in the past, in August of 2013 when he handed the reins to Mr. Kagei, making this January 2014 announcement by the school administration disingenuous: “recent days”.  It also doesn’t make sense that the Archdiocese would be allowed to interfere with a police, criminal investigation.  This makes us doubt that there is one. ]

Some timely headlines: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26044852

UN to Vatican

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “The End of a Culture of Silence?

  1. concerned alumnus

    This is too sad. I applaud Saburo Kagei for his professional manner in handling the matter. However, Br. Lawrence was a nice man; I just did not agree with his philosophy of how the school is supposed to be run. This is one matter that is too sad. I am too upset to say much more at this time.

  2. concerned alumnus

    I can now see why Mr. Scripko (former Br. Robert) once said, “Saburo Kagei will do well as Headmaster. I always had high hopes for, and much confidence in, my former star student.” Mr. Scripko is one of the superb teachers from the school’s golden years.

  3. concerned

    Oh my. I spent 8 years at St. Mary’s. If true, this is terrible. I hope it’s not. I know some nasty stuff has happened at that school….won’t get into the details….

  4. alumni92

    Fucho prison is where foreigners are held, look at the US Embassy site in Tokyo it is far from pleasant. Very strict discipline for example solitary confinement for looking at guards in the eye!! .

    But if you did the crime Bro Lawrence you WILL do the time

  5. Pingback: Update on Defamation Case Against Gregory Strong | St. Mary's International School Labor Dispute

  6. Mrs L

    Silence continues. Despite the letter to parents no one at SMIS will comment further.

  7. Babeling Brook

    Mrs. L

    The administration I am sure are reading the updates here as well as many teachers, and parents.

    Mr. Kagei, by putting out the letter was letting it be known to the public, that the school does care, will protect its students from harm, and wants to keep up a good reputation.

    With Ms. Wayne leaving, I am sure there will be a lot more proactive parents as they will not be intimidated. Every friend of mine there that is a parent cares about the school and want to be part of the decision making process.

    Give the school a chance and let its reputation come back, and show the world that the students of SMIS go on to bigger and better things.

  8. Raymond Sassoon - Class '72

    I wish it were not true ! As a student from 60-72, knew Bro. Lawrence well. Wish the best for all student(s), parents, affected ones, teachers, staff and the future of St. Mary’s

  9. Simon Scott

    Hi! I am my name is Simon Scott and I am a Tokyo-based freelance journalist who is a regular contributor to the Japan Times. I am also the Japan correspondent for the New Zealand Herald. Many of the stories I have published are up on the web, so Google: Simon Scott + Japan Time etc., if you want to check out previous stuff I have written.

    I am currently researching a story about sexual abuse at St. Mary’s International School for the Japan Times and want to communicate with anyone who has any relevant information. I would like to talk with not just the victims of the abuse, but also anyone who may have information they feel could help with my story or who may be able to put me in contact with someone who does. I fully understand this is a sensitive topic and be rest assured that I won’t disclose the identity of any sources who wish to remain anonymous.

    Please email me at my personal email address: rotty007@gmail.com

    Regards,
    Simon Scott.

  10. Japan Natonal Police contact.wanted

    Does any one have any idea as to which Police Station are investigating.

    Kagei will be unlikely to advise the one he reported it to in January 2014.

    The local Koban near the school drew a blank as did JNP Headquarters.

    Maybe it was never reported..

    • JNP seeker

      You don’t honestly believe Saburo Kagei reported a criminal event before (or even) after Br Lawrence left Japan do you ? I don’t.

      Other bloggers last year had the same issue. No record of an SMIS sex crime being reported.

      Don’t forget that the Archbishop’s inquiry and investigation was a lie too, there was clearly none. But maybe the Archbishop wasn’t told at the time, albeit he would know now after Simon’s Japan Times exposure. But he appears not to have issued a pastoral message of sympathy to victims, another heartless priest.

  11. Alumni '72

    St. mary’s is nothing but a den of perverts. Liars ! Kagei was taught how to lie by those perverted creepy Brothers. The Brothers who did not abuse, turned a blind eye and enabled the likes of Lessard, Julian, John to abuse for decades. SMIS laundered money at the hands of Bro. Francis since the early 60’s. It was never about education, it is/was all about money, greed at the expense of innocent children. Was Bro. Francis drowning at Lake Inawashiro really a drowning accident ?

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