NY- Victims blast prominent Manhattan school regarding abuse
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Shame on officials at the International Preschools in Midtown Manhattan who refused to call police when confronted with allegations and suspicions of child sex crimes. Top school officials should be fired for opting to “investigate” internally no matter how the charges against teacher Malthe Thomsen get resolved. And police should investigate whether any school officials might be criminally charged with failure to report suspected child sex crimes.
No institution can police itself. Every allegation of child sexual abuse should be reported promptly to law enforcement. It's just that simple.
We're also skeptical of the claim by school officials that they fired an alleged “whistleblower” because she didn't share evidence of Thomsen's alleged crimes with them. And we are skeptical that police somehow tricked or coerced Thomsen into a confession.
But again, no matter what happens to Thomsen, school officials – smart individuals who profess to care about kids – deliberately chose to keep abuse suspicions from law enforcement. They should be severely punished for doing so.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have 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.