June 4, 2014
Dear ASIJ Parents, Trustees, Alumni, Faculty and Members of the ASIJ Community,
Since ASIJ publicly acknowledged in March the allegations of abuse on the part of JackMoyer, a teacher and consultant affiliated with the school from 1963-2000, the Board of Directors and the administration have engaged with students, parents, trustees, alumni, and our regulatory authorities as well as affected former students. We appreciate the many expressions of support, as well as constructive input from a number of you in our broader community.
The loss of a child’s innocence in a school setting is inexcusable, and the Board has received these allegations with humility, sympathy and the utmost seriousness. It is in that spirit, and after extensive work on this matter, that we have concluded the need for an independent investigation into the facts of this case. We see this as an essential step toward continuing to minimize or eliminate the risks that something of this nature would ever happen to current or future students. We also hope this will help provide a measure of closure for those who have been directly affected.
We write today to let you know the Board’s Statutory Auditors have engaged the respected law firm of Ropes & Gray to lead the independent investigation. Based in Boston, but with offices in Tokyo, Ropes & Gray has no prior involvement with ASIJ and has extensive experience with similar investigations, involving schools in the U.S. and internationally. Ropes & Gray is tasked with ensuring the investigation is thorough, fair and appropriate with respect to all concerned.
The investigation, which we expect to be completed by sometime this fall, will be completely independent. The school’s Statutory Auditors, Katherine Hall and Fred Morgenstern, identified Ropes & Gray, set the terms of engagement, and will oversee all matters regarding the progress of the investigation. Their oversight will be based on the standards set out under the school’s governance procedures and Japanese law, which requires ASIJ to appoint independent Statutory Auditors to monitor the Board as non-Directors.
The investigation will examine all school records regarding Jack Moyer. It will involve
interviews with former students who elect to come forward, as well as current and former
board members, administrators, faculty, alumni, parents and others who may have relevant information. It will address the allegations against Moyer, and assess how ASJI faculty, staff and administrators responded. It will also examine any other allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior at ASIJ that might surface as part of this investigation. It will cover the period from Moyer’s employment up to and including today.
Anyone wishing to come forward with information that may be pertinent to this independent investigation may do so under full confidentiality at 617-235-4397 in the US, and 03-6259-3566 in Japan. Those who wish to contact the Firm via email may do so at:
Ropes & Gray will present its report and findings to the Board once the review has been
completed. A summary of the report and its conclusions will be made public thereafter, taking into consideration victim privacy and Japanese privacy laws.
While we wait for the report and its recommendations, we want you to know that we have
already moved forward with a number of initiatives to protect students. Criminal background checks are now mandated for all employees, both new and existing. ASIJ is also studying best practices at other schools and we are working with the organization Keeping Children Safe to devise and introduce new measures that will go even further in addressing the needs of our students. Further information on these steps will be shared in due course.
We thank you for your continued support, and encourage participation in the Ropes & Gray
investigation if you have information to share.
The Board of Directors
The American School in Japan