Dear Karen Fisher and members of the Board of Trustees; Joan Lonergan,
By now you have already heard from many concerned students and alum regarding Bear Capron. Much has been said already about his enormous popularity, so I won't belabor that point (though I happen to concur wholeheartedly.)
I came to Castilleja as a Freshman in the fall of 1958. It would be my second attempt at being a high schooler, having flunked my first freshman year magnificently at another school. My yet to be diagnosed dyslexia had stood in the way of any possible academic success and had eroded my self confidence almost beyond measure. Castilleja became my safe haven, a place where I learned about respect, honor, honesty and fortitude. In the ensuing years I have often said half jokingly that I learned to read and write at Castilleja (which well I did!!). Just as important, though, I learned something else that has put me in good stead, something that I have carried forward into my day to day life since I was that scared little girl waring a white middy blouse, green tie, navy blue skirt and saddle shoes: Conscience. Courtesy. Courage. Charity. Character. The Five C's.
Because the situation with Bear Capron has been kept under wraps since he apparently and rather mysteriously disappeared from campus a few weeks ago, I only know what I have read and heard from others. Perhaps there is more to the story than I personally know; however, what I do "know", if valid, is very disturbing. It seems as though there has yet to be a process that has exercised true justice and due process in evaluating the situation. Surely that will happen...won't it?!
Castilleja is a unique school, a wonderful community made up of decades of students, faculty and staff. In talking with other people, I have come to realize that Castilleja stands head and shoulders above any other secondary school (colleges and universities as well) in this regard. There is a family, a huge clan of "us Casti girls" who were fortunate enough to have been steeped in some time-honored traditions that have made us proud members of this special group.
We've earned that title. We've worked hard for it. We demand a lot of ourselves, just as we demand a lot from others. We demand that we do the right thing, even when its not always "the easy way out."
And so, I ask of you, humbly and sincerely, to remember the Five C's, to do the right thing. This is not about the popularity of Bear Capron (though we've all benefited from his extraordinary being), this is about fairness and justice.
Honor Spitz, Class of '62,
Distinguished Alumna, 2000
Dear Karen Fisher, Board of Trustees and Joan Lonergan,
Two weeks ago I wrote to you, expressing my dismay, if not my sadness, regarding the apparent dismissal of Bear Capron. It pains me to have to point out that I never received an acknowledgement; I hope that you did receive the letter, (along with others that I know have been written) and that you have taken it (them) under advisement and consideration.
Because so much time has now elapsed since Bear disappeared from campus, and because there has been no word about his status, I am compelled to write again. In my first letter I stressed the importance of "doing the right thing", of going through the exercise of due process. I haven't wavered on that most basic principle of democracy. That is a given. That is a must.
What I would like to talk about now is the unmistakable and uniquely wonderful influence that Bear Capron has had on legions of young women. In a rather short period of time I have had the opportunity and pleasure of meeting many of his former students. What impressive people they are!! What extraordinary women, each and every one of them!! Each in her own words has expressed most eloquently how they would not be the confident and poised women they are today but for Bear Capron. Please pay attention. Please listen.
Castilleja is known for its outstanding faculty; parents pay an exorbitant amount of money in order for their daughters to have exposure to the best of the best. Two decades of graduates have come piling out of the woodwork now to tell you about one of the jewels in your midst, yet you refuse to respond. Your silence speaks volumes; it speaks of cowardice and a "new Castilleja" that makes me sick at heart. Have the Five C's been abolished? Has justice vanished from our ranks? Please tell me it "ain't so."
Honor Spitz, class of '62
Distinguished Alumna 2000
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