Maret is committed to making the school a safe community for all of our students. Every faculty member, student, and family agrees to abide by the Code of Conduct. In addition, faculty members have clear guidelines on preventing abuse and engage annually in professional boundary training. We believe that healthy, meaningful connections are at the heart of a Maret education, and that all adults in the community must make student well-being the highest priority.
At the time of Penn State's high-profile abuse case in 2010, Maret leadership proactively reached out to alumni and current families outlining the School's commitment to student safety, as well as avenues to report any abuse past or present. The School continued to send periodic letters to the community, and in the fall of 2018 when a series of abuse cases involving public figures came to light in the national news, the School reached out to all of its constituents again. Following that, a number of alumni contacted the School with concerns. In January 2019, a first-hand report of abuse was made about a former teacher from the 1980s. This report confirmed many rumors that had surfaced over the years. The Maret Board of Trustees and School leadership decided to do a thorough outside investigation, augmenting on the work they had done in the past to address reports of misconduct and uncover any exploitation of power by adults in the community. In February 2019, the School retained Crowell & Moring LLP to conduct the investigation.
The investigation, which included interviews with over 50 individuals and the review of hundreds of documents, determined that between the mid-1970s and 2008, there was evidence of sexual misconduct or inappropriate physical or emotional boundary-crossing involving faculty members. They also determined that there was a sufficiently high standard of credibility and severity to name four Maret teachers. Most of the incidents detailed in the report took place during the 1970s and 1980s, and none of the teachers have worked at Maret for over a decade.
On September 19, 2019, the School released the report prepared by the independent investigators to the school community. Note: The content of the report is sensitive and personal and is not intended for children.
In Support of Our Community
The findings of the independent investigation are sobering. We apologize to everyone who has been impacted by these incidents and want to acknowledge the courage of victims who came forward to share their personal stories and to urge the School to bring them to light.
The Investigation Remains Open
Anyone who has not yet come forward but wishes to do so can contact the independent investigators:
Laurel Pyke Malson: email@example.com, 202-624-2576
Rebecca Springer: firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-624-2569
Maret Therapy Support Program
The Maret Therapy Support Program assists former Maret students who report to the School credible stories of abuse or misconduct committed against them by a Maret faculty member by providing them with access to therapy resources. The goal of the Therapy Support Program is to help former Maret students gain access to therapy in a way that is supportive, thorough, sustainable, appropriate, and foremost recognizes the needs of the individual. At times, that has meant directing these former students to possible care providers, as well as covering the cost of therapy up to a defined amount.
If you would like more information about this program, please contact either Director of Counseling Dr. LaNaadrian Easterling (202-939-4064) or Head of School Marjo Talbott (202-939-8819).
- In yearly seminars, faculty regularly study and review the elements and behaviors that create healthy boundaries. In January 2020, faculty took part in a workshop led by David Wolowitz '64, an internationally respected lawyer and prominent expert on abuse prevention.
- All faculty are required to review and agree to Maret's Code of Conduct on a yearly basis.
- In accordance with DC's laws addressing issues of abuse and neglect, all Maret faculty complete the online mandatory reporter certification course each year.
- Maret's K-12 Wellness program includes age-appropriate lessons on topics such as setting and maintaining personal boundaries, addressing bulllying and sexual harassment, and being an upstander.
- The Code of Conduct is reviewed with students yearly.
- Upper School student clubs such as "End Sexual Assault Now" and "Women of the World," work with administrators to develop programming for students.
Messages to the Community
Code of Conduct
Every member of the community is expected to abide by the Code of Conduct, which provides clear policies, training, and other safeguards to protect every student in the School's care. The Code of Conduct is reviewed yearly and updates are made as needed.
The Code of Conduct describes Maret's expectations regarding appropriate conduct of faculty and students, the School’s approach toward violations of rules, efforts to prevent abuse and neglect, procedures for mandatory reporting of abuse and neglect, and general compliance with recent laws affecting schools in the District of Columbia. These guidelines harmonize with Maret’s Mission and Philosophy, which inform our actions and expectations.
The Code of Conduct addresses the following topics:
- Code of Conduct for Maret Faculty
- School Philosophy regarding Violation of Rules by Students
- Violations Leading to Disciplinary Action for Students
- Procedures for Investigations and Disciplinary Actions
- Additional School Response to Drug and Alcohol Use
- Counseling Resources
- Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect
- Additional Information on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
- Common Courtesies
- Use of Social Media
- Resources, Training and Information for Faculty, Students and Families