An Open Letter on Behalf of Independent Schools of New England

The following open letter was featured in the Sunday, March 11, 2018 edition of The Boston Globe. Beth Black, Head of School, signed this letter along with her Head of School colleagues from 176 independent schools in New England.

An Open Letter on Behalf of Independent Schools of New England

We, the heads of independent schools, comprising 176 schools in the New England region, stand in solidarity with our students and with the families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The heart of our nation has been broken yet again by another mass shooting at an American school. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those who died and are grieving for the loss of life that occurred.

We join with our colleagues in public, private, charter, independent, and faith-based schools demanding meaningful action to keep our students safe from gun violence on campuses and beyond. Many of our students, graduates, and families have joined the effort to ensure that this issue stays at the forefront of the national dialogue. We are all inspired by the students who have raised their voices to demand change. As school leaders we give our voices to this call for action. We come together out of compassion, responsibility, and our commitment to educate our children free of fear and violence.

As school leaders, we pledge to do all in our power to keep our students safe. We call upon all elected representatives – each member of Congress, the President, and all others in positions of power at the governmental and private-sector level – to take action in making schools less vulnerable to violence, including sensible regulation of firearms.

We are adding our voices to this dialogue as a demonstration to our students of our own commitment to doing better, to making their world safer. Our children’s safety is more important than partisan politics, and we pledge to work with any and all who share our commitment.

We stand together for our children and our children’s children to ensure that our country comes together for their right to learn and grow in safe communities nationwide. We know that action is needed now.


Dr. Brian D. Bloomfield Head of School The Academy at Charlemont

Molly Martins President The Academy at Penguin Hall

Melissa P. Earls Head of School Academy Hill School

Courtney Dickinson Founder & Head of School The Acera School

Nicole A. DuFauchard Head of School The Advent School

Susanna H. Thompson Interim Head of School Amherst Montessori School

Martina B. Albright, Ph.D. Director Apple Orchard School

Chris Williamson Interim Head Applewild School

Amy Gold Head of School Arthur J. Epstein Hillel School

Marshall W. Carter Head of School Atrium School

James Hickey, Ph.D Headmaster Austin Preparatory School

Trey Cassidy Head of School Bancroft School

Ian Bickford Provost and Vice President Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock

Conrad Wildsmith Head of School Bay Farm Montessori Academy

Cindy Laba and Marsha Feinberg Founders Beacon Academy

Peter Hutton Head of School Beaver Country Day School

Brendan W. Largay Head of School Belmont Day School

Rick Melvoin Head of School Belmont Hill School

Christopher H. Wilson Head of School The Bement School

Bonnie J. Ricci Head of School Birches School

Grace Cotter Regan President Boston College High School

Dr. Ari M. Betof Head of School Boston University Academy

Judith Guild Head of School Brimmer and May School

Darren Nicholas Principal British International School of Boston

John Packard Head of School Brooks School

Laura Caron Head of School Brookwood School

Rebecca T. Upham Head of School Buckingham Browne and Nichols School

Franny Shuker-Haines Director Buxton School

Chris Gorycki Interim Head of School Cambridge Friends School

Dr. Ingrid W. Tucker Head of School Cambridge Montessori School

Jane Moulding Head of School The Cambridge School of Weston

Tom Trigg Head of School Cape Cod Academy

Christopher D. Day Head of School Cardigan Mountain School

Stephen Wilkins Head of School The Carroll School

Dr. Peter F. Folan President Catholic Memorial School

Isabel “Charlie” Spencer Head of School The Center School

Lance Conrad, Ed.D. Head of School Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School

Gretchen Larkin Head of School Charles River School

Tamara Schurdak Head of School The Chestnut Hill School

Jeffrey Clark Head of School Clark School

Christine Lindeman Head of School The Common School