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"Exeter Unafraid" blog

ProudDramaMamaProudDramaMama 37 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
A sponsored post about this blog just showed up on my Facebook page. I checked it out and it looks like someone with a pretty big bone to pick with Exeter and Bill Rawson, in particular. Honestly, I'm having trouble slogging through it. Wondering if anyone else has read it and/or if its anything to be concerned about as the future parent of an Exonian. (I don't want to post the link, but if you google "Exeter Unafraid" it comes right up.)
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Replies to: "Exeter Unafraid" blog

  • skieuropeskieurope 37913 replies6565 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 44,478 Super Moderator
    I have no dog in this race, so I don't find the need to either extol or denigrate either PEA or Bill Rawson. What I will say is that this blog was a pretty poor piece of writing. If I were the OP, I'd ask for facts on which she can make her own opinion, not read obvious hatchet jobs.
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  • ProudDramaMamaProudDramaMama 37 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Yes, I get that it's a poorly written rant. But I guess I was wondering whether it's speaking to a bigger problem and/or vibe of disgruntlement from community members, or if it's more of lunatic fringe deal. It certainly feels like the latter, but you never know. Honestly, I'd figure PEA would want to shut this down pretty quickly if it's libel, but maybe this guy is just a gnat to them. Then again, he's also representing himself as a former student and faculty member, which isn't the best reflection on the school.
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  • CC4lifeCC4life 241 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    @ProudDramaMama I'm not a parent, but I know several of students at Exeter and also have very close family friends who are alumni or have kids who are alumni. I've grown up in the Boarding school/east coast private school world and I think you'll find that every school, especially the more "elite" schools will have their fair share of detractors. I know that most of the outrage at schools such as Exeter and SPS have been focused towards their handling of sexual assault scenarios throughout the schools history. I've heard nothing but great things about Rawson, but I will say that every school has disgruntled alumni and faculty. Exeter particularly has faced interior turmoil due to the semi-abrupt departure of former Principal MacFarlane and what many people believe to have been tension between her and the board. I personally just believe that Exeter is trying to work past some of the allegations and situations that have arisen around the school during the past couple years (Missing PEA student, MLK day incident, faculty-student assault allegations, grill closing, etc). Could they have done a better job at addressing some of these problems? ABSOLUTELY. But is it something I would be worried about as a parent...not really. Trust me when I say that, every school has some alumni that will take fault with the school regardless of the problem, however, these individuals are a slim minority in comparison to the alumni and current students who have loved their school and truly want to work to make it a better place. I'm not saying that the author of the Exeter Unafraid blog is "after" the school, but I think that exeter, much like schools such as SPS, CRH, and DA, has been working hard to put these problems in the past, not continuously placing them in the public discussion about the school--some alums, however, are not necessarily in agreement with this.
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  • ProudDramaMamaProudDramaMama 37 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Thank you for this thoughtful response, @CC4life. It's very easy to get caught up in reading this stuff and to start second-guessing what is a huge investment for our family. I, too, have gotten the sense that these schools are all working to be better. Hopefully it comes to be. Lately, I've been blindsided by a bunch of negativity from unexpected people; I have to keep reminding myself that we really do believe PEA is going to be a good fit and suitable environment for our daughter. That being said, I also remind myself that if it's not the right fit, we have other options. (We know a local family who sent multiple kids to the same BS, and they talk exhaustively about how awful it is there. All the time. The parents and the kids. Why send all of your kids there, then????)
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  • goddess00goddess00 15 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    I looked it up. The author is Carl Lindemann, a former student and teacher of religion at the school. If you look him up you will find a lot.
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  • wildflower2019wildflower2019 12 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    I wouldn’t be too worried. Popular things bring more hate, and Exeter is one of the best!
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1259 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,269 Senior Member
    I read the postings and my first thought is definitely, "lunatic fringe". I've come to realize that when people refer to themselves often in the context of writing and delve deeply into specific arcane areas that they are often trying to prove their intellectual capabilities or sort through random psychological musings. Maybe there is someone who is interested in this observation. But it's doubtful.
    On the other hand, as a parent I carefully consider all of the information I can find on a school which my child is interested in attending. My youngest will apply to Exeter this year so I'd do my due diligence including speaking to many others with kids there, looking at the school culture and most importantly going with my gut. I already have a slight perception based on an academic event I attended where I spoke with multiple current Exeter students ( not impressive, actually soundly negative with lots of hyperbole and not humble at all) and an athletic event ( more impressive). As parents we also put substantial weight on what is said and not said during meet and greet type events. We are consumers after all, of a product, education. Cutting through the marketing and hype to chose the right BS takes a lot of time. But it's an expensive and important proposition so it's well worth it.
    All schools have their issues. Some schools have addressed them and some have cultures which are more positive than others. Yes, there will be folks with an issue with school X or Y. But that doesn't mean the issue is pervasive.
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  • ExeterUnafraidExeterUnafraid 1 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1 New Member
    edited July 1
    Sorry to be late joining this conversation - an Exeter parent referred me to it.

    Let me address @ProudDramaMama's question, "...whether it's speaking to a bigger problem and/or vibe of disgruntlement from community members, or if it's more of a lunatic fringe deal."

    As I've stated in the blog, it is a response to two situations. The first is a large-scale student protest on campus. You can read about it here in The Exonian student newspaper: https://theexonian.com/2019/05/16/students-protest-sexual-assault-handling/

    Second, the alumni assault survivor group broke off communications with the school's administration citing a "betrayal of good faith." This is group officially sanctioned by the institution, not some "lunatic fringe."
    edited July 1
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