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Healing and Safety Oversight

The Healing and Safety Oversight Committee was created to oversee Milton Academy’s implementation of key steps following its 2016 investigation into past sexual misconduct. Specifically to address the impact of sexual misconduct related to the investigation on community members; notify authorities, legal and otherwise, regarding perpetrators; engage in an external review of policies, procedures, practices and programs regarding approach to student safety; and provide survivors the opportunity to evaluate policies, procedures, student program and adult training that addresses student wellness and safety.

What Milton is doing to protect students today

Milton has worked with outside experts to develop a comprehensive program to help prevent incidents of sexual misconduct and to respond effectively when they do occur. The School is dedicated to continually assessing its protocols and training to ensure that we are doing all that we can to provide a safe environment for the students in our care.

  • Milton provides professional development for faculty, staff, and students on the subject of sexual misconduct, including using outside resources such as RAINN
  • In Academic Year 21-22 Milton will emphasize training in the areas of prevention in athletics and counselor response
  • Milton has developed and implemented a standalone sexual misconduct policy
  • Milton has developed and implemented a sexual misconduct decision tree
  • Milton has enhanced its curriculum and provides opportunities to teach about sexual misconduct in developmentally appropriate ways in the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School
    • Lower School and Middle School have incorporated lessons throughout their curriculum about:
      • Personal safety
      • Physical safety
      • Consent
      • Trusted adults
      • Privacy
      • Sexual harassment
    • In Grade 5 the Lower School begins targeted and intentional discussions about healthy relationships, consent, sexual abuse, and statutory rape laws in its HS&R curriculum.
    • In Grade 8 Middle School students participate in the Human Sexuality and Relationships (HS&R) program including workshops regarding healthy relationships, age of consent, affirmative consent, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence/teen dating violence, reporting procedures at Milton Academy
    • In Grade 8 the Middle School partners with DOmestic Violence Ended (DOVE) in its 360* program
    • Upper School has added an orientation program that occurs at each grade level and provides information on each of the following in an inclusive, affirming, and empowering manner:
      • Age of consent
      • Affirmative consent
      • Sexual harassment
      • Intimate Partner violence/teen dating violence
      • Digital Media Safety
      • Reporting procedures
      • Breaking down stigmas
      • Recognizing victim blaming
      • Explanation of internal and external resources (Counseling center, BARCC, RAINN, Planned Parenthood)
    • Upper School has an orientation program with each residential house that is led by counselors on the topic of sexual misconduct
      Upper School offers Human Sexuality and Relationship (HS&R) classes that offer beginner and more advanced conversations on these topics. These classes are led by students with faculty members present
    • Upper School has identified peer leaders to assist students in reporting issues of concern. Counselors provide leadership and guidance to these students

Investigation facts

  • Milton Academy has reported all known cases of sexual misconduct to the Commonwealth and provided information to law enforcement to support the prosecution, including interview summaries of witnesses and survivors and many documents related to the Buono case
  • Milton has asked survivors who are in contact with the School to consider assisting the prosecution by speaking with the prosecutor
  • Milton has contacted all known employers of Buono, past and present, and notified them of Buono’s misconduct at Milton
  • Milton has, and continues to, support survivors who want to be public and those who want to be private
  • A large number of Milton survivors and witnesses have asked for continued confidentiality and privacy, and we respect that request

Counseling services

Milton has engaged Miriam Berkman, J.D., L.C.S.W., to help individuals identify and connect with counseling services related to the 2016 misconduct investigation conducted by T&M USA, LLC. Miriam is available to speak with individuals to better understand their needs, provide information to help individuals access counseling resources, and if possible, to correspond with counselors identified as a potential match for the individual. Miriam can be reached using the contact information below:
telephone: (203) 668-4338


External Contacts

Milton Police Detective Valter Pires

Laura Kirschstein
T&M USA, LLC (investigative firm)
(212) 916-8852 

Deborah Katz
T&M USA, LLC (investigative firm)
(646) 445-7535

Confidential Contact

Ethics Point, a confidential online reporting service

Milton Contact

Deborah O’Toole

Committee Membership

Stuart Mathews P’13 ’17 ’17 (co-chair)

Deborah Beyer O’Toole P’17 (co-chair)
Chief Human Resources and Risk Officer

Jennifer Anderson
Chief Communication Officer

Robert Azeke ’87

David Ball ’88
Upper School Principal

Suzanne DeBuhr
Director of Restorative Practices

Jamie Forbes ’85

Vanessa Cohen Gibbons
Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer

Sylvia Westphal P’18 ’21 ’25 ’27 ’27


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