Ellen McLaughlin's Letter to the Board of Trustees

Dear Ms. Fisher and Castilleja Board of Trustees:

      Bear Capron is a gifted, compassionate teacher and a good man. The silence about his disappearance from the school is ominous and troubling in any community, let alone an academic one. Such tactics smack of threat and hypocrisy and have no place in an enlightened institution.

      I am a professional playwright whose plays Bear has directed for the school and I've been moved and impressed by Bear's dedication to his students, his commitment to the highest standards of professionalism, his ability to inspire, and his willingness to present theater to his community that challenges and engages both his students and their audiences. Such boldness, originality and sensitivity are rare indeed and to be cherished and supported. That's the kind of teaching that changes lives, as has been evidenced by the outrage and support with which Castilleja's alumnae have been responding to this bizarre course of events. Anyone who has known Bear and been witness to his passion for the school and his students is appalled by the notion that such a man, such a teacher, might be censored and threatened. You should know Bear has a wide circle of support in the world outside the school as well as within it and that many people are watching the events unfolding now. We are all deeply concerned to see justice done to this fine man.

Ellen McLaughlin
Playwright/Actor/ Professor of Playwrighting, Barnard College

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