We write in response to those who have contacted us regarding the 2017 T&M Protection Resources report, to explain in more detail the school’s reasons for maintaining the confidentiality of that report.
In 2016, Milton launched an important process to learn the full extent of any instances of abusive conduct toward students, to care for those who were harmed, and to help ensure the safety of our students now and in the future. To achieve those goals, the school engaged outside professionals experienced in investigating student abuse at schools.
From the onset, the school made decisions to conduct the investigation in ways that would maximize the number of people participating and encourage them to share their experiences with us as completely and as candidly as they felt comfortable doing. As more people participated, the school successively expanded the scope of the investigation to ensure a place for each account to be heard and memorialized. The investigator’s report was written to capture in detail these private experiences shared with the school in confidence.
Consequently, the fundamental reason that the school maintains the confidentiality of the investigator’s report is to safeguard the identity and privacy of survivors and witnesses. Because the report was written only for internal review, it contains a level of detail that, if disclosed, could easily allow the community to identify survivors and witnesses. Accordingly, upon completion of the investigation, the school chose to protect the identity and privacy of the survivors who participated by permitting only internal review of the investigator’s privileged report, while sharing with the full community in February 2017 the conclusions of the investigation and its findings of abuse.
The majority of investigations of this type are conducted in a similar manner and remain confidential, for the reasons explained above. We recognize, nonetheless, that in different circumstances some schools choose to have an investigation report prepared in a manner that makes it appropriate for disclosure to the public, and we understand that some members of the Milton community would have preferred the school had followed that route instead.
It is critically important to note that maintaining the confidentiality of the investigator’s report has not prevented the school from using information from the investigation to support survivors and prosecute perpetrators of abuse. The school has shared investigation findings and witness accounts with survivors and with law enforcement and legal authorities responsible for investigating abuse of minors. Milton has provided evidence to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, and to the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office, which is actively prosecuting criminal charges against former faculty member Rey Buono.
We remain committed to providing therapeutic support and counseling services to help support the needs of those in our community who have survived sexual misconduct committed by Rey Buono, and we condemn in the strongest terms his abuse of minors.
Todd B. Bland
Head of School
Lisa Donohue ’83
President of the Board of Trustees