You will be aware that a series of discussions and meetings have occurred since Rob first asked questions of CH on 21st December 2017. Following this five of us came together to propose to CH that a fully independent person should oversee the process. The two of us with Adrian Reith & Richard Trenchard as Old Blues and Ken Grimshaw as a former teacher. We are glad, after some 3 years, CH has understood the need for an Independent person to look at these matters and we’re proud that our small group managed to get CH’s agreement to appoint Lia Shimada. She was recommended to us by a world recognised mediator, Pádraig Ó Tuama, and she has considerable expertise in the field of community facilitation. A message from Lia is below, with her contact information.
She is here to listen. She will not reveal to whom she has spoken to anyone, including CH. She has already been in touch with some people. We want to reiterate that whilst Lia has been commissioned by the school, she does feel truly independent and she is very clear on the complexity of the process and the level of confidentiality and trust building that is required. We have met Lia via zoom and Chris has worked with her before.
Rob has written to those people he is in touch with. This post is to ensure that others unknown to us can If they wish, and can find the energy and time, email Lia so that all voices can be heard. From this listening process Lia will then make proposals to the School on the next steps which are needed.
For now, Merry Christmas and a Happy (Covid free) New Year.
Rob Totterdell (Ma A 69–72, Mid A 72–76)
Chris Grady (Ma B 69-72, La A 72-76)
Message from Lia:
I want to assure you that, as a professional mediator, I am working independently and in complete confidence. CH will not be informed of the identities of the people who get in contact with me.
I am beginning with an extensive listening process. My priority is to hear your thoughts and opinions; the course of action will unfold from there. This listening exercise will provide a foundation for thinking about what comes next. Based on the listening, I will create a process that will involve a wide community of participants in co-designing some ways for moving forward.
If you would like to participate, please send me an email at email@example.com. I (or my associate, Hilary), will arrange a convenient time to speak to you – either on video call or by phone, depending on your preference.
In our conversation, we will discuss a range of things. I will be particularly interested to hear your thoughts about the following themes:
• Your story and your experience (to the extent that you want to share) and how it could be remembered and acknowledged.
• Your thoughts about meaningful ways the School might move into the future
• Your suggestions for practical steps and actions (Some examples that have emerged already include, for instance, events, education for future generations of students, ideas for involving other people in further listening, a memorial on campus)
Please feel free to be in touch as and when you feel ready. If possible, I would be grateful to hear from you by mid-January, so I can arrange as many conversations as possible in the first few months of the new year.
I look forward to hearing from you and to working with you.
I just wanted to underline the value of talking to Lia if you feel you are carrying any baggage to do with abuse at CH.
My story is that I was filmed bathing naked in the Lav End, along with a handful of other 12 & 13 yr olds in BaA, by Roger Martin around 1967/8. (Maybe you too?)
I gave evidence at his trial. He went to jail, but my incident was not the reason he was convicted. Indeed the police said that what he did to me probably wasn’t illegal at the time.
These things are slippery.
At the time I knew what he did was not right, but I kept it to myself for 40 years until the Jimmy Savile case happened, when I realised so many people had a part of the jigsaw, after which I contacted the school.
I got in touch not because I was damaged but because what he did was wrong and in order to put my piece of the puzzle onto the table. I didn’t know he’d done other things but wondered if he had.
Nothing happened for a few years until a much more serious allegation was made against RM by someone else and the police got involved, put the puzzle together, and took it to trial.
My reason for saying this? – The healing power of speaking out loud that which has never been spoken. It relieves the burden. And something changes when you know you are not alone with these thoughts. (And you never know if you have a significant piece of the puzzle until you put it on the table.)
Lastly, it might enable you to re-connect with CH if you’ve found that difficult, but that’s your choice.
The New Year is a good time for these things . . .
All the best.
Charles @ Remedy Law