I was one of Chuck Williams’ debate students. I was also one of his victims. What I thought was a mentoring student/teacher relationship quickly turned into something else for him. He touched me inappropriately on multiple occasions, made many sexual advances and left me feeling guilty about it. However, betrayed I feel by Chuck I feel just as betrayed by Dr. Williams. She knew what was going on, that I was his next target...probably before I did. I remember one day when I was leaving his class and he slapped me on the butt. I turned around quickly and Dr. Williams was standing right behind him. I made eye contact with her. I know she saw the confusion, fear and guilt in my eyes. She did nothing to stop him and then went on to adopt a daughter with this monster.
During my sophomore or junior year of high school my best friend was in a predatory relationship with a teacher, Chuck Williams. I will not speak on their story, because it is not mine, but I did tell the proper authorities at the time. I first went to Lusco, who I now know is an abuser and rapist, but at the time I thought was a trusted faculty member. I then spoke to Forston, Horn, and Noone. I gave them specifics including new screennames, emails, and when the relationship began. This story is not about Chuck, but believe me he is a terrible molester and human being. This story is about how the administration refused to believe me or even inform my friend's mother that a complaint had been made. Michelle Williams then proceeded to retaliate against me by giving me subpar grades on all of my assignments. She even verbally abused me in front of my classmates by calling me stupid and telling me my points were "underdeveloped." That's been proven incorrect by the fact I graduated college Cum Laude and have a joint JD/MPH from a top tier school. Michelle, I know you are reading this, and let me be clear...you are not free of fault. We remember you and we always will. I'm sure you remember me, and to be honest, I hope I haunt you as much as you haunt me.
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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