The Conduct Around Sexual Misconduct

Noelle Plescia '22, Editor

“People walked up to me saying, like ‘How dare you reference that person. That’s hurting their reputation.’ So it’s the guy’s reputation we are worrying about here? Really? That’s our biggest concern here?” said Sophie Zebrowski ’24, a lead author of an opinion board post released earlier in the month.

The post, released by a group of soph0mores, discussed the sexual harassment many students, including the authors, themselves, have faced at Westtown School. 

Zebrowski shared, “I brought this up because I have two other sisters that are going to be going through high school here and I don’t want them going through the same experience. 

The trauma highlighted in the post was personal not only to Zebrowski, but also to one of the post’s co-authors, Kate Dolan ’24. 

Dolan stated, “I saw it last year. Zanzi (Gunton ’21) literally shared her experience, like ‘this happened to me and let’s do better’ and everyone was like ‘no.’”

While Dolan discussed the experiences she had with sexual harassment in the post, she also watched Zanzi Gunton ’21 receive similar criticism when Gunton authored an opinion board post about sexual assault in the spring of 2021. 

“The amount of defensiveness. People being like ‘I just want to tell you that’s not what I did’ . . . and us being like ‘you’re missing the point’. . . The response we got was exactly what we were talking about [in the post],” Dolan said. 

“The student body loses sight of those three words [stop objectifying women] and gets caught up in the who’s who in these stories,” Mauricio Torres, a valued teacher and alumnus of Westtown, explained. “If we laid down our investment in drama . . . and used the Opinion Board and Meeting for Business as opportunities to live our mission and live out our values. Then we will see different reactions, but I don’t think we are there,” Torres added.