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"In 2019, Curtis Institute still showed ‘disbelief, lack of support, empathy’ to Lara St. John’s sexual-abuse claim"


GeorgeH
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They still don't get it. Robert Diaz, President and CEO of the Curtis Institute, should resign, and perhaps the Board should, too. The whole story is sordid.

"Curtis leaders repeatedly failed to address Lara St. John’s credible accounts of sexual assaults by her teacher"

"With the renowned violinist’s story widely public and validated, St. John leaves behind a world-famous but hidebound institution grappling with profound change."

"As for the school’s apology, St. John said: “They wouldn’t have been compelled to engage Cozen if it hadn’t been for me and The Inquirer making them do so. Only when the report was done did Roberto Díaz deign to reverse himself and issue an apology."

and

"St. John says she’s not sure how or whether she will respond."

"Although I have had many notes of congratulations and thanks from people who have suffered the same thing, it’s not really a victory,” she said. "This comes 35 years too late at an inestimable personal cost. And when I read that they want [young alumni] to be able to follow their dreams, it kind of hits home how much I’ve lost all these years — physically, emotionally and financially. “And then they send me this cute little letter, like, ‘Oh, it’s going to make it all better.’ I don’t know about a response right now. Everything is still raw.”

https://fusion.inquirer.com/news/2019-curtis-institute-still-showed-disbelief-lack-support-empathy-lara-st-johns-sexual-abuse-claim-20201008.html

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19 minutes ago, ctanzio said:

Try not to quote important stories out of context that also sit behind a paywall.

I can't help that it is behind a paywall, and it is against copyright to copy and paste the whole article here. I don't know if the Inquirer gives non-subscribers free articles because I am a subscriber, but I think it does.

The meanings of the quotes I did paste are not out of context of the article. The first 2 are the articles headlines and the next are from St. John herself. 

People using browsers with "Show Reader View" functionality (like Apple Safari) can view the entire article outside the paywall.

Thanks for the link to the older NPR story, but the later Inquirer story is really a follow-up to the aftermath of the report's release last month.

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Graffman says "it was a different era".  

If he's an older person than myself then he knows deep down nothing has changed era wise.  He'd rather forget, I'd think.

If he's younger than me then maybe, yes, he could say the different era excuse - but he shouldn't be younger than me.  

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I think this crusade you are involved in is inapprpriate for this Forum and I think the Moderator should take steps. We hear ony one side and the other side is long gone. You construct the impression this is done deal and all is clear but that is not the case. This is a important subject but not to be debated here. Remember : inocent until proven quilty !

I will ask the moderator what his opinion on this is.

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Vic.  You're wrong.

Innocent until proven guilty is a standard for criminal conviction.  It is not a standard for discussion on a message board.  It's certainly not a standard for historians and journalists.  I have no idea why you and others keep bringing up that the abuser is dead. Abusers die all the time! Oftentimes, the fact that they are savages is only revealed after their death...

Can we only discuss dead people's crimes if they've been adjudicated in a court of law? An American court of law?

 

If you want to act like an independent investigation, an admission of guilt, and an apology aren't enough to "convict" a dead guy, go ahead.  Many of the rest of us have seen enough of the world to know the truth here is obvious.

 

Peter Dobrin is one of the most credible sources on this story. George, thank you for posting this follow-up and for keeping the board's attention on this uncomfortable subject.  Follow-up stories like this help to illustrate how much pain Curtis could have saved themselves if they took this more seriously either in the 2000s the 1990s or the 1980s.

As I've mentioned before, I've had students go on to Curtis and I have a student auditioning for Curtis this year, so I follow this issue closely. 

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3 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

They still don't get it.

Just wanna say thanks for keeping us updated. IMO this is a most highly important topic for all people being involved in the teaching/studying business. OTOH I'm glad that I don't have to follow the discussions, because the former caused me to put a lot of folks on an ignore list (recommended for everybody who wants to have a bit peace of mind here).

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43 minutes ago, VicM said:

We hear ony one side and the other side is long gone.

One of the main points of this story is that Curtis had a chance to stop the abuse and the abuser when it was happening, and they did not.

Another main point is that some of the institutional leaders that helped perpetuate the cover-up for decades are still very much alive and in-charge.

That the rapist was not stopped and then died before he could face justice is not the victims' fault. It is the fault of the institution that failed to protect the children that it was charged with protecting. And Curtis leadership was basically in denial that it even happened until last month.

Who knows how many children were abused at Curtis? Who knows how many children were scarred for life because of this? 

This is an important story for parents, students, teachers, and institutions to understand what happened, why it happened, the consequences of it, and how to prevent it in the future. 

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47 minutes ago, VicM said:

I think this crusade you are involved in is inapprpriate for this Forum and I think the Moderator should take steps. We hear ony one side and the other side is long gone. You construct the impression this is done deal and all is clear but that is not the case. This is a important subject but not to be debated here. Remember : inocent until proven quilty !

I will ask the moderator what his opinion on this is.

You're the one defending rapists, and it you that should be reported to the moderators!!

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2 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

I can't help that it is behind a paywall

Yes you can.  Refuse to post links to it.  :P

1 hour ago, Stephen Fine said:

Vic.  You're wrong.

No, you are.  Presumption of innocence is binding on media.  If you post on the internet, you're "media".  :P

Anyone wanting to play activist or post clickbait can go make use of the "Blog" tab (or even go start your own website), and keep these invitations to squabble out of the forums.  Jeffrey already has enough to do.  :)

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5 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Wouldn't I know you're another rapist defender. Remind me to keep young ones away from you.

Amuse yourself, you minor irritant.  I've been trolled by experts.  :P  :lol:

We're all already well aware of the issues at Curtis and elsewhere.  Enough bickering, already.

bdh.gif.6c03b9de191863da6ada7708eb208171.gifpartytime.gif.a0c4c71ca151dfc98fae0d8317e73d8f.gif

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22 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

I've been trolled by experts.

I won't ever troll you.:)

Nonetheless you're wrong. The report states the rape as being happened, and Curtis for being guilty not to protect their minors. This is media, too, and obviously legal and legitimated, and acknowledged by the school. Therefore it must be also legitimated to state it here and everywhere.

One thing I never understood within the American justice was that someone could be sentenced for monetary compensation of a crime though another court found him/her not guilty. Obviously it doesn't need always a verdict by a jury for being accountable for a crime.

This is definitely a violin (education) related topic.

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34 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Wouldn't I know you're another rapist defender. Remind me to keep young ones away from you.

I don’t mind discussing this subject, although it is better to deal with the present and the future rather than something that happened 30 years ago. 
However, there’s neither excuse nor reason or justification to use inflammatory and insulting language. If you cannot discuss something like an adult then you should go away until you learn to be one.

Such ridiculous comments certainly contribute nothing to the discussion.

Meanwhile, I think it is far more important and pertinent to ask what is happening now? What protections to the students(and teachers too, for that matter) have? Are there any current accusations? That’s the meaningful discussion to have at the moment. 

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1 hour ago, Blank face said:

I won't ever troll you.:)

Nonetheless you're wrong. The report states the rape as being happened, and Curtis for being guilty not to protect their minors. This is media, too, and obviously legal and legitimated, and acknowledged by the school. Therefore it must be also legitimated to state it here and everywhere.

One thing I never understood within the American justice was that someone could be sentenced for monetary compensation of a crime though another court found him/her not guilty. Obviously it doesn't need always a verdict by a jury for being accountable for a crime.

This is definitely a violin (education) related topic.

My statement is general, not just about Curtis.  What @Steohen Fine said is a legitimization for virtual lynch mobs.

In the American system, civil proceedings are separate from criminal and a lower standard of proof applies.  Don't confuse civil monetary awards with criminal fines.  Double jeopardy doesn't apply to civil complaints related to a criminal case.  I'm not necessarily happy with that, constitutionally, but that's current law..

Agreed, but we've already beaten it to pieces in other threads.

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

Agreed, but we've already beaten it to pieces in other threads.

I think it is important to post here, and I have said why. It is not "clickbait." Nobody is obligated to comment on it or even read it. I posted it here because I think it deserves the attention of the international string community. It is not just a local Philadelphia story.

Sadly and horrifically, sexual abuse of children and institutional cover-up of these crimes happens. Now we know that it happened at the highly prestigious Curtis Institute. I don't believe that we should simply shrug and look the other way. I do believe that understanding what happened and who was responsible can help make policies and implement safeguards that prevent it from occurring again at Curtis or other institutions. 

P.S. I think most people who have not read the "free article" limit at the Philadelphia Inquirer can access the entire article.

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

My statement is general, not just about Curtis.  What @Steohen Fine said is a legitimization for virtual lynch mobs.

In general, yes. Full agreement. But here it's about Curtis, a case with 30 years of evidence and an intensive research by a reputable group of specialsts, and it's clear that Stephen is talking about this and similar cases and not in general.

That's what's meant with "They still don't get it".

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I posted this once before, in this thread, but the address seems to have changed.  Here's the official report, same as linked in the OP news article:  https://www.curtis.edu/globalassets/curtis-institute-of-music-report-of-external-review-9.22.20.pdf, as well as the cover letter.

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7 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Meanwhile, I think it is far more important and pertinent to ask what is happening now? What protections to the students(and teachers too, for that matter) have? Are there any current accusations? That’s the meaningful discussion to have at the moment. 

This is a very important subject that is fully deserving of the attention of the entire music community. There are two distinct issues at play: child rape (for consent does not exist for minors) and sexual harassment of "adult" students (often accompanied by coercion and threats to one's future career). Both involve the issue of institutional oversight in addition to faculty comportment.

I have had a long career in academia, and I have also observed two of my daughters navigate the snake pit that is elite music school. Both attended Meadowmount as high school students (minors), and at least two pedagogues there were well known predators, one of whom was chasing my daughter. Ultimately both were dismissed--and both were very powerful people at Meadowmount and  in the music industry. Curtis obviously deals with both categories of students, serving in loco parentis  for one group and as an overseeing institution for the other. As a private institution, Curtis may not have to comply with Title IX (though I assume if they receive government monies, they must play by government rules). This obligates any employee in an institution to direct a student complaint to the Title IX office at their school. Unfortunately, while faculty receives intensive training with regard to Title IX, I am not sure all students are aware of their protections. And this isn't exclusively a "women's problem." I know of at least one young man who was subjected to unwelcome sexual advances from his teacher. Even at public universities, abuse remains rampant--not simply in music schools (witness Ohio State's wrestling team). Powerful and influential teachers and coaches tend to get a pass, and students suffer the consequences. Witness the case of William Preucil at CIM.

My eldest daughter is now a professional symphony player who also coaches youth orchestra musicians. One of what she considers her most important jobs in this capacity is to give her female students, in particular,  "the talk"--what they must be aware of as they approach college, and what options they have. (I won't even get into her experience with some of her male colleagues in the orchestra who are only emboldened by their tenure status.)

Obviously most teachers (like you, PhilipKT) have the student's best interests at heart. But with some, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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23 minutes ago, crazy jane said:

This is a very important subject that is fully deserving of the attention of the entire music community. There are two distinct issues at play: child rape (for consent does not exist for minors) and sexual harassment of "adult" students (often accompanied by coercion and threats to one's future career). Both involve the issue of institutional oversight in addition to faculty comportment.

I have had a long career in academia, and I have also observed two of my daughters navigate the snake pit that is elite music school. Both attended Meadowmount as high school students (minors), and at least two pedagogues there were well known predators, one of whom was chasing my daughter. Ultimately both were dismissed--and both were very powerful people at Meadowmount and  in the music industry. Curtis obviously deals with both categories of students, serving in loco parentis  for one group and as an overseeing institution for the other. As a private institution, Curtis may not have to comply with Title IX (though I assume if the receive government monies, they must play by government rules. This obligates any employee in an institution to direct a student complaint to the Title IX office at their school. Unfortunately, while faculty receives intensive training with regard to Title IX, I am not sure all students are aware of their protections. And this isn't exclusively a "women's problem." I know of at least one young man who was subjected to unwelcome sexual advances from his teacher. Even at public universities, abuse remains rampant--not simply in music schools (witness Ohio State's wrestling team). Powerful and influential teachers and coaches tend to get a pass, and students suffer the consequences. Witness the case of William Preucil at CIM.

My eldest daughter is now a professional symphony play who also coaches youth orchestra musicians. One of what she considers her most important jobs in this capacity is to give her female students, in particular,  "the talk"--what they must be aware of as they approach college, and what options they have. (I won't even get into her experience with some of her male colleagues in the orchestra who are only emboldened by their tenure status.)

Obviously most teachers (like you, PhilipKT) have the student's best interests at heart. But with some, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

An excellent, "from the trenches" post.  There are few forms of civilian power more absolute than that wielded by a tenured professor, and the most common response of every institution I've ever seen, to employee, customer/student or public complaints of any sort, is "circle the wagons".  :rolleyes:

I'm not opposed to discussing the subject, particularly among those of us who actually have experience with institutional abuse, but only if there is no bickering, name-calling, posturing, and other childishness.  This isn't a venue for political debates.  :ph34r:

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18 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Presumption of innocence is binding on media.  If you post on the internet, you're "media".  :P

 

17 hours ago, Violadamore said:

What @Steohen Fine said is a legitimization for virtual lynch mobs.

In the American system, civil proceedings are separate from criminal and a lower standard of proof applies.  Don't confuse civil monetary awards with criminal fines.  Double jeopardy doesn't apply to civil complaints related to a criminal case.  I'm not necessarily happy with that, constitutionally, but that's current law..

I really don't understand this point of view.

My point of view is that someone who is dead can be adjudicated by the court of Public Opinion completely separately and legitimately from any real Court of Law.  A Court of Law need not have anything to do with the reputation of anyone.  This goes for people long dead, people recently dead, and people still alive.  (e.g., we all know that O.J. Simpson murdered his wife despite it not being proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury)

The legal standards we uphold in our court system to make sure that the government, a nearly all-powerful entity, doesn't promote actual lynch mobs, are stricter than common sense or logic dictate.  Of course, while real lynching are a big problem, the virtual lynch mob seems only harmful in the fever dreams of the people afraid of them.

Can you name someone who has suffered from a virtual lynching?  Or who do you think I am encouraging to be lynched here?  What even is a virtual lynching?  Lynching is terrorism that leads to death.  Don't you think that's an extreme comparison?

PS- If I was a reporter for a publication, and actually was a member of the media, maybe you might have a point.  I'm not.  I'm a private citizen posting on a private message board.  I have no duty to my readers to be objective.  I can call shots as I see them and people can take my word with a grain of salt or not.

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2 hours ago, Stephen Fine said:

 

I really don't understand this point of view.

 My point of view is that someone who is dead can be adjudicated by the court of Public Opinion completely separately and legitimately from any real Court of Law.  A Court of Law need not have anything to do with the reputation of anyone.  This goes for people long dead, people recently dead, and people still alive.  (e.g., we all know that O.J. Simpson murdered his wife despite it not being proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury)

1. The legal standards we uphold in our court system to make sure that the government, a nearly all-powerful entity, doesn't promote actual lynch mobs, are stricter than common sense or logic dictate.  Of course, while real lynching are a big problem, the virtual lynch mob seems only harmful in the fever dreams of the people afraid of them.

Can you name someone who has suffered from a virtual lynching?  Or who do you think I am encouraging to be lynched here?  What even is a virtual lynching?  Lynching is terrorism that leads to death.  Don't you think that's an extreme comparison?

2. PS- If I was a reporter for a publication, and actually was a member of the media, maybe you might have a point.  I'm not.  I'm a private citizen posting on a private message board.  I have no duty to my readers to be objective.  I can call shots as I see them and people can take my word with a grain of salt or not.

1. You need to tone down the rhetoric. "Virtual lynching" made some people kill themselves and plunged others in deep depression. Destroyed their lives.  LOTS of people are afraid of virtual lynch mobs. You probably know that and you should try be kinder.

2. In other words you're free to talk crap on forums and we should consider you an irresponsible idiot ???  Remember that if you "call the shots" maliciously relatives of (long) dead victims can call you to order. With some difficulty in the US and bloody easy in the EU/UK . 

Just PM me if you want to reply - pointless hogging the thread with more of this. That's why I deleted 80% of what I initially wrote.

  

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