To Our Cathedral Close Community,
Nothing is more important to our community on the Cathedral Close than the protection and well-being of our children. At Washington National Cathedral, Beauvoir, National Cathedral School and St. Albans, the safety of the children entrusted to our care is our moral responsibility. It is, and always will be, our highest priority.
Although we are confident that the protections in place today provide a safe environment for all children on the Close, whether students, choristers, acolytes or visitors, we acknowledge instances of sexual abuse in our past that must continue to drive us to review our policies and procedures. Similar to the approach being taken by other institutions throughout the nation, and to ensure that we have the best standards for safeguarding children, all four Close institutions are undertaking a comprehensive and independent investigation of any reports of past cases of sexual misconduct between adults and children at our institutions. Let us be clear: This initiative has not been prompted by reports of any current problem or misconduct involving adults and children at any of our schools or Washington National Cathedral.
To ensure an independent process, we have enlisted the help of Debevoise & Plimpton, experienced investigators who began work with St. Albans (as described in a letter to the St. Albans community) after the school received reports from alumni about past misconduct by former employees. The thoroughness of the Debevoise independent investigation depends, in part, on your help. If you or anyone you know has information about past adult-child sexual misconduct at any of our institutions, please contact the lead Debevoise investigator, Mary Beth Hogan, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 909-6996. As experts in this field, Ms. Hogan and her team will make every effort to protect your privacy and maintain confidentiality of information shared.
Currently, the employees in our institutions undergo regular child-protection training on maintaining healthy and appropriate boundaries with children, identifying signs of child abuse, and immediate steps to take when abuse is suspected. Our current policies also require a background check for every new hire, followed up with repeat background checks every five years. Through this investigation, we hope to learn whether additional protections should be implemented to maintain the safety of our children, ensuring consistency across all institutions on the Close.
Debevoise will be reporting its findings to us and the Close leadership, and we expect to update the community by this summer.
We thank you in advance for your support and patience through this process. We pray for God’s guidance and wisdom as we engage in this important work ahead.
The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith Andrew C. Florance
Dean, Washington National Cathedral Chair, Cathedral Chapter
Cindi Gibbs-Wilborn William J. Kappaz
Head of School, Beauvoir Chair, Beauvoir Governing Board
Kathleen O’Neill Jamieson Alice Hill
Head of School, National Cathedral School Chair, NCS Governing Board
Jason Robinson Robert Musslewhite
Headmaster, St. Albans School Chair, St. Albans Governing Board