A frightening theme emerged from Readers’ responses to ISR’s previous article, Pedophiles Among Us. It came to light that educators have observed that in reaction to a student’s complaint of a pedophile incident, a school may actually attempt to cover-up the complaint instead of acting upon it. Obviously, public admission of a pedophile in the classroom would not be good for a school’s image or its financial bottom line.
Taking the cover-up theory one step further, some educators expressed the belief that discovered pedophiles may simply be asked to quietly resign. In exchange for leaving the school without a commotion, the school may even go so far as to write the teacher a glowing evaluation. Grievously, the purged pedophile is then free to seek another unsuspecting school, making the school they are leaving just as guilty as the person who committed the crime.
Could there be any truth to such comments? Certainly, very few, if any, schools would fail to act on complaints of a pedophile. The American School in Japan, however, allegedly may be one such school that failed to act, as reported in The Japan Times, March 2014.
The Japan Times informs us that several alumni from the American School in Japan have come forward to claim that their former teacher (noted marine biologist), Jack Moyer, sexually abused students on numerous occasions during his long-term employment at ASIJ (1963-2000). The claim asserts that ASIJ ‘s head teachers, on up to the upper Administration, ignored and covered-up student complaints of Moyer’s crimes and allowed him to continue working with children. It is believed that while working at ASIJ , Moyer abused as many as 32 female students, some as young as 9-years old.
Current Director of ASIJ , Edwin Ladd, and Stephanie Toppino, chair of ASIJ’s Board of Directors, recently revealed knowledge that Moyer abused students while working at the school. In a message to alumni, as reported by The Japan Times on March 20, Ladd and Toppino suggested the school had only learned of Moyer’s alleged molestations in November 2013. This is in sharp contrast to alumni’s statements.
To date, 12 alumni groups have stepped forward and created a Petition requesting a third-party investigation into allegations the school covered up complaints and failed to act during Moyer’s tenure at the school.
As reported in The Japan Times, alumni’s efforts to initiate a third-party investigation into wrong doings on the part of the school have been “stonewalled” by the current administration. It is reported that one Petition organized by 1979 graduate, Susan Larson, charges the school with failing to protect former students and continuing to brush aside complaints from survivors of Moyer’s abuse. Read the entire Japan Times Article
Allegations against ASIJ appear to be in lock-step with the aforementioned comments in regards to ISR’s previous article, Pedophiles Among Us. In light of complicity allegations against ASIJ , a pressing question is this: When children can’t depend on their school to protect them and offer a safe and secure environment, then what?