Ben Pless' Letter to the Administration

      Like many in the Castilleja community I was unhappy to learn that Bear's employment at Castilleja has apparently been terminated. I do not pretend to know the details of the circumstances, but the rumor is that it was for showing a movie that some people found inappropriate.

      I for one do not send my daughter to Castilleja to be protected from the world. I am quite satisfied that the history and literature they are exposed to at school is rich with cruelty, prejudice, and misery, not to mention outright starvation, rape and torture. They need to know about these things to learn how to deal with them personally, and hopefully to gain the strength and motivation to speak out and strive for a better world for others as well as for themselves. Is there no useful lesson that can be found in Cashback - for example about male obsession with female beauty and (sadly) how that beauty is so often narrowly construed in the media?

      So I ask myself: did Bear show Cashback out of wickedness with the intention to hurt the girls? If so, I support the action that the school has taken. If on the other hand Bear took a risk (as we encourage our girls to do - take risks even if those around you you're your behavior "inappropriate"), and it went poorly I encourage you to reconsider.

      By now I imagine it is possible that the parties involved have taken hard positions and perhaps have said things to each other that seem irrevocable. From my perspective it would be great if the "teachable moment" turned out to be that it is nevertheless possible to restore important life-long relationships; to put anger aside, to reconcile and to do the very difficult business of working together for the good of the community.

Sincerely yours,
Ben Pless

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