Sexual misconduct claim reported at Cranbrook
By Lisa Brody
In an act of transparency, the Cranbrook Education Community (CEC) sent out an email to alumni on Tuesday, April 12, communicating that a Cranbrook graduate had informed the schools that he had experienced sexual misconduct while a student by a former faculty member, who worked at the schools from 1946-1961.
CEC Board of Trustees Chair Mark Reuss, President AimeClaire Roche and Director of Schools Jeff Suzik jointly sent out the email, noting that “Although the reported incident occurred more than 60 years ago and does not involve any current faculty, administrators, staff or students, we take all disclosures of this kind very seriously.”
The letter noted that the former faculty member who is accused of the sexual misconduct is now deceased.
“We commend the graduate for having the courage to share his experience with us all these years later, and we thank him for contacting us.”
Upon learning of the allegation, they said they immediately reviewed the situation in accordance with their established protocols, noting “awareness of sexual misconduct in schools has grown over the last decade.” The board and administration has engaged the services of Linda Burwell, in independent investigator, a nationally-recognized employment law expert and owner of National Investigation Counsel, PLLC, a national niche law firm which partners with law firms and in-house counsel, primarily in high-level independent workplace investigations.
Burwell recently informed the school that her investigation, while ongoing, has identified additional alumni from this time period reporting sexual impropriety by this same former faculty member. Reuss, Roche and Suzik urged anyone with information about an incident or situation during the time period of 1946-1961 involving sexual misconduct by any faculty or staff member at Cranbrook. In order to preserve confidentiality, individuals are being asked to contact Burwell directly at a special 800 number for this investigation, 1.800.964.1766, or email her at email@example.com.
“Please know that Cranbrook is deeply committed to creating and maintaining a learning environment that affirms and supports the safety, health and well-being of all student,” the email continued.
They noted Cranbrook takes many steps to safeguard against incidents of sexual misconduct, including training faculty and staff, and they investigate issues of sexual misconduct with dedicated resources. Further, they emphasized that protocols are continually updated and strengthened, and routinely circulated with students and families. “We abide by our roles as reporters and work collaboratively with local authorities whenever it is appropriate or necessary to protect our students.”