When I was an eighth-grader, I was one of the students who Mr. Lusco took a liking to. It was his last year at Springs right before his abrupt departure. I was too young and naive to believe that he would take a liking to me for any other reason than just pure goodness. Early in the year, I had been hanging out in his office drinking soda and eating candy for free, as many students did. He was helping me with my Latin homework before he put his hand on my leg and whispered to me "now don't tell anyone about how much I like you." This did not stand out to me, most likely out of some sort of subconscious protection from what was really going on. Later in the year I was taking a makeup Latin exam, when Mr Lusco came out of his office and started rubbing my back as he read out to me the answers. I was paralyzed at the time because I knew what was happening was wrong, but I did not know how to respond than to just write down the answers he called out. Luckily, he would be removed shortly after.
Will never forget the incident during the choir trip to Washington DC. We all had only a few minutes to change into our choir uniforms before a performance, and Dr. Thomas said there was only one room for us to change in, so we all had to quickly change together, boys and girls. That was weird enough, but definitely made much more awkward by Dr. Thomas standing at the front of the room with a big grin on his face, watching all of the students strip down and change.
Everyone knew Chuck Williams had a thing for red headed girls. In debate class, he called on the gingers (like me) more often than anyone else. I remember the first time I was asked to stay after class. “Ms.___, let’s work on your rebuttal, he said. He placed the paper on which I’d written my argument on his desk. I was in front of him. He stood behind me, too closely. He reached around me to point out “flaws” in my case and his hand crossed my breast as he wrote. He is body trapped me between him and the desk. He had an erection. I wiggled out, saying I was late for my next class. I made certain never to be alone in the classroom with him, or close to him in Town Hall, the dining hall, sports events, or anywhere on campus. I felt unsafe with him around until I graduated.
Note: I reported this and more to an investigator at Jackson Lewis, who told me she relayed my concerns to ISS's attorneys.
Shortly before I heard the rumors about why Diane Sheppard left Indian Springs, I was talking with a friend about the school’s June letter on the sexual misconduct investigation. I had just seen the First Presbyterian letter naming Tim Thomas. It had reignited a conversation my women classmates and I have had numerous times since high school: Why did Springs have so many creeps on faculty, and how were they allowed to be that inappropriate, that openly, for that long? I knew of several of my male high school teachers who had committed sexual abuse, I told my friend, but “If any of the women teachers did it, my money is on Diane.”
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