Sharmon Hilfinger's Letter to the Board of Trustees

Dear Ms. Fisher and Castilleja Board of Trustees:

      I write to you as the parent of two Castilleja graduates and as a professional colleague of Mr. Bear Capron.

      I understand that Mr. Capron mysteriously disappeared from campus and that for two weeks there was no explanation given to the students in his classes and the fall play. I know Bear well enough to know he would not, in good conscience, leave his students abruptly with no conversation or information about his absence. For where is the courtesy in that?

      The silence regarding Mr. Capron's disappearance from campus is very disturbing; people disappear in evil dictatorships, not in exemplary educational institutions. These tactics of disappearance of a teacher and silence to the students instill fear in the community. Does the administration not have the courage to report what is happening? The character of Bear Capron is well-known throughout the school, its faculty, students and alumnae. He is a man of openness and honesty and a person who embodies charity in his benevolence to others and forbearance of judgment. I cannot imagine that he would be the instigator of his disappearance, nor the silence surrounding it.

      This indicates to me that the administration is silencing Bear Capron and other members of the faculty. What kind of example of "women leading" is the administration setting? This action lacks conscience, courtesy, courage and charity. What is the character of a school that treats its employees and students this way?

      Or—did I misunderstand? Are the 5 C's simply a banner that flaps in the wind rather than five sterling principles to be practiced by those who work and study at Castilleja?

      This situation raises serious questions about the judgment of the administration, and requires immediate investigation of the administration's handling of an employee and of the school community as a whole. I expect a public apology by the administration and the Board of Trustees about the way the community and Mr. Capron have been treated.

Sharmon J. Hilfinger

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