IL--SNAP responds: U of C Prof accused of sexual harassment
For immediate release Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Statement by Barbara Blaine, President and Founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 312 399 4747
In the awful sexual harassment case of a recently-resigned and now disgraced University of Chicago Professor Jason Leib, two people deserve praise.
Lieb is accused of sexually harassing students and taking sexual advantage of one who was too drunk to consent.
We applaud Joe Thornton, a faculty member in the biology department who raised objections before the vote to hire Leib. Thornton rightly criticized the “standard” used in the hiring process, which sets up an artificially high bar by which sexual misconduct charges are judged.
“It may be a legal standard, but we should be capable of making more nuanced judgments about the environment we’re creating,” Thornton said.
We also applaud Representative Jackie Speier, Democrat of California, who “is considering introducing legislation to compel schools to disclose any sexual harassment record of faculty members when they are changing jobs,” according to the New York Times.
This is a long-overdue, common sense step toward making college students and staff safer from predators.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.