Tag Archives: UN

ASIJ Petition: St. Mary’s International School’s Twin Case of Abuse and Unaccountability

[UPDATE: on May 12, 2014, The Japan Times followed up the ASIJ case with a story on the school’s active alumni and alumnae’s petition to make admin accountable to the sexual abuse cases it has swept under the rug.  SMIS–you’re next!  Happy to say, we blogged it first!  But the more press, the merrier.  Click on picture to read:]

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We, from the St. Mary’s International School community past and present, want to take this opportunity to support the petition that ASIJ alumni, family and former staff have organized.  Many of us are / have been involved in both schools.  Please sign!

http://www.change.org/petitions/asij-board-of-directors-we-are-calling-for-an-independent-third-party-investigation

Share the short link: chn.ge/1iqeH52

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Such action and activism is the exact vigilance we admire!  When we supported a teacher with this blog, she had started out with a petition!  The alumni and alumnae of ASIJ want answers and redress from the admin of the school, which failed to protect them from sexual abuse over many years.  They want to know how many victims had come forward and were ignored.  Who ignored them?  What other bullshit had the admin swept under the rug?  The current admin’s no-further-comment about the sexual abuse cases since the story came out last month shows that they think they have no obligation to the past children who suffered under the school’s care.  What are the alumni supposed to do–continue to uphold the school’s reputation?  This scenario would be unacceptable in any other business: today’s GM CEO, Mary Barra, for example, has had to answer for the deaths due to malfunctions in the cars (now recalled), which were covered up in the years before she took office.  But girlfriend is cleaning up the mess of her predecessors Like a Boss.  Dare we ask for leadership from these admin?

Just a suggestion: ASIJ alumni and family: you need to CC a copy of this petition to the Ministry of Education in Japan, and the UN and the school certification associations–to encourage reaction.

How else can we help?  How can our story help reveal a deeper problem of jurisdictionally-gray-area international schools in Japan?

St. Mary’s community: how many brothers / instructors were sexual abusers?  Our count is four: Lawrence, Paradis, Marcel and Lessard.  We’ve learned, since Headmaster Kagei’s letter, that the school for years was a hunting ground for these predatory headmasters, teachers and VPs.  Who, in the school corporation, covered up these crimes?  How many sexual abuse victims have been paid off by the Archdiocese to keep quiet?

Let’s let the Ministry of Education and the UN know what havoc these potentially criminally unaccountable schools have been doing in Japan.  Let’s share what’s going on, on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  This blog is: bit.ly/1fOekqp.  Let’s let every new family and new teacher searching for an international school in Japan know exactly what kind of admin they are dealing with before they entrust their career, minds and tuition to them.  [Our family has withdrawn our sons–so our personal advice is to vote with your wallet].

The good reputation of a school is not an abstract legacy to be protected unquestioningly at all costs by all who attended–it should be an ongoing hard-earned privilege by stewards accountable to the people they represent, past and present.  

For six years running, we are proud to have shown up as a top, first page Google search for “St. Mary’s International School” and now for the ASIJ issue.  The site from Canada which blogs about sexual abuse within the Catholic church, has now even topped us with their reports on SMIS, because of us 🙂

Good on you, ASIJ alumni and alumnae.

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Be vigilant: if they are anything like the #$%^&* admin at SMIS, they will keep slipping back into the slime.  Also, ask the right questions.

 

 

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The End of a Culture of Silence?

This message reached the school community yesterday:

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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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