Our MissionThe Horace Mann Action Coalition (HMAC), will be a not-for profit entity formed in 2012 by a group of Horace Mann alumni in response to the sexual, emotional and physical abuse inflicted by multiple teachers on our fellow alumni when they were students at the Horace Mann School. Some who were abused committed suicide.
The abuses were originally made public in The New York Times Magazine article “Prep School Predators” on June 6, 2012. Since then, there have been additional articles, reports, and other disclosures revealing that many more students were abused and severely harmed than originally reported.
Please find below the mission statement that the HM Action Coalition is using to guide its actions. We hope you will help us to further refine and finalize HMAC's goals, activities and projects. Please tell us your thoughts and comments as we move forward.
This Mission Statement is the beginning, not the end, of a long, painful process. We believe strongly in the principles of transparency and openness as essential to healing for both individuals and the HM community as a whole. We welcome all contributions that further the Coalition's broad goals and principles.
1) Support the Survivors of Abuse. First and foremost, we stand in solidarity with those who were sexually and physically abused. We are guided by heartfelt compassion and genuine concern. For those who committed suicide, we stand in solidarity with their families, and offer our deepest condolences. We will support referral and access to care, treatment and healing for the HM survivors.
2) Seek Honesty and Truth. The school's motto is "Great is the truth and it prevails." We urge the administration of the Horace Mann School and its Board of Trustees to address the acts of abuse, subsequent cover-up, and the institutional culture--if not outright complicity--that allowed abuse to flourish.
We ask the school to apologize to its victims and its alumni, and to retain appropriate persons of integrity to conduct an independent investigation. An apology and investigation will be acceptable to HMAC only if they come from the Horace Mann School administration and board of trustees.
In addition, the victims deserve compensation. We will work to ensure that best practices are put in place at Horace Mann so that no child is abused at the school or by its teachers ever again.
3) Educate the Horace Mann Community. We will create and maintain an archive of the abuses that occurred at the Horace Mann School for use by alumni, former and current teachers, students, parents and others.
4) Educate the Public. We strive to increase awareness and to help prevent the sexual abuse of children. It is our hope that the change we achieve at Horace Mann may be shared by a broader community.
5) Restore the dignity of the school and its relationship with its alumni. The fabric that binds together Horace Mann alumni has been torn asunder by these revelations of past sexual abuse. The school's reputation has been tarnished.
We challenge the Horace Mann School to confront its past as the first step in repairing the damage. This situation is a test of the school's true character, and it is in the best interest of its entire community - students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni - for the school to respond with forthrightness, dignity and compassion.