Hold an open forum on the sex abuse at Poly Prep
Dear Trustees and Headmaster Harman:
Last winter Poly’s administrators settled a lawsuit with 12 sexual abuse victims of former football coach Philip Foglietta. This was certainly a step towards restoring the integrity of the school. It is now time for the entire Poly community to continue that process together.
We request that Headmaster Harman and the Board of Trustees help the larger Poly community understand what specific steps they have taken to prevent future abuse and to ensure that there are adequate safeguards to protect those who might report such abuse.
To that end we would like the administration to schedule an open forum to both discuss these measures and to share with the entire Poly family any actions, beyond the settlement, that the current administration has taken to convey to the victims its sincerest apologies and regret for any suffering that took place, and for any mistakes that were made in the school’s responses over many years.
The lack of a structured, accountable system allowed Foglietta to continue abusing Poly students for more than two decades. Students who reported him were called troublemakers. Administrators rallied behind Foglietta rather than his victims. And so the abuse continued, year after year, destroying the lives of our friends and colleagues in the Poly family. The abuse by one individual was compounded by the reaction of the institution and many feel that Poly must fully acknowledge this.
During the litigation, administrators were unable to talk to us about the abuse and the school’s response to it. Now is the time to have this conversation -- both as a live face-to-face dialogue and also through written communication to the larger alumni family. In this way, the entire Poly community will be more assured that the administration is unequivocally committed to placing the welfare of its students far above any other concerns, regardless of any possible “public relations” fallout or staff dismissals that might result from such an ironclad commitment. This commitment is the “Virtus” in Virtus Victrix Fortunae that is so dear to us, and defines us, as members of the Poly family and as responsible members of society.
As integral members of the Poly family we look forward to your response. Thank you for sharing our concern for an institution and a community that means a great deal to all of us.
INCLUDE YOUR CLASS YEAR WHEN YOU SIGN