The conclusion of the independent investigation into allegations of racism at Westtown shared on Instagram last summer brings us to an important moment in our anti-bias, anti-racism (ABAR) work. In concert with Martha Bryans '68 on behalf of the Board, and Danielle Toaltoan '03 and Lu Castillo '80 on behalf of the Trustees' Action Committee, I write to summarize the school's response to the findings of fact returned by our investigators and to share our next steps. This summary is rendered with candor, but also with due attention to confidentiality. Thank you, friends, for reading it with respect for that necessary balance — and thank you for coming with us on this journey.
In July 2020, the Westtown School Board of Trustees and Head of School wrote to our community in response to the accounts posted on social media about their experiences of racism at Westtown. I, along with all of the members of the Board, were deeply troubled by these accounts and their lasting impact on the community members who experienced them.
As you will read in this report, record-breaking gifts to the Westtown Fund and to other funds provided increased financial aid, updated technology, faculty professional development, critical mitigation materials and structures, and helped us maintain our beautiful campus. Our donors' philanthropy bolstered our work, sent us a message of caring and heartfelt support, and helped students manage a difficult year.
At Westtown, environmentally sound practices continue year-round and commitment to sustainability is deeply embedded in our values. Still, in celebration of Earth Day, I am writing to share some of the inspiring environmental stewardship work that is happening here at school.
Yesterday time seemed to stand still as Westtown faculty, staff, and students absorbed the jury's verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin. Together we have just begun to process the outcome of this case, which for weeks has held the attention of Westonians all over the world, reigniting trauma, anger, and despair over the murder of George Floyd.