Friends in the News: Carolina Friends School in Durham confronts reports of decades-old sexual abuse4

A Friends School talks openly about past school abuse:
The alumnus said he’s upset the principal [Harold Jernigan] has not acknowledged the accusations. But he said he doesn’t regret sending his original message. ‘If you read Quaker literature, they spell ‘Truth’ in the uppercase – the implication of divinity,’ he said, ‘that it is a holy thing to continue that search for truth.’
I’m glad this is getting out now, but I did a double-take as the accused principle is still alive and living a few dozen miles from me. He was a lightning-rod figure as principal of at least two other schools after Carolina. I imagine the behavior continued. Updates below:
  • An period article on his tenure at a Friends Seminiary, a Manhattan Friends school, talked about the unrest of his two-year tenure there. It sounds like he came in and summarily fired the heads of the lower, middle, and upper schools. This is the kind of thing one would do if they wanted to curtail accountability.
  • A 1986 New York Times profile of Friends Seminary had this to say of its former head: “After a shake-up of the staff that led to the resignation or dismissal of several teachers, a teacher’s union was formed, and students went on strike. Eventually, the principal, Harold Jernigan, resigned and the school ”rejected muscular Quakerism and returned to its mystical faith,” in the words of the official history.”
  • A commenter on one news article writes: “Please also know that Harold Jernigan’s behavior continued on at Atlantic City Friends School, where he was Headmaster. As an Alum of ACFS, I thought that should be made clear.”
  • Carolina Friends School wrote an open letter to the community in June.

Church hoppers visit Friends4

A “church-hopping” couple visit Friends.
She “was surprised by how spiritually nourishing those fifteen minutes felt. I imagined myself opening a conduit directly to God” while he talks of his astonishment at learning about liberal Quakers: “I had no idea there was such a thing! Of course, the first thing that came to mind was oatmeal.”

climate change and heart changes4

John Edminster on climate and human selfishness:
You and I know that these could be our last years on earth, and our children’s too. We’ve known since the 1970s that our greenhouse gas production is driving climate change, with nightmare sequels that may include global famine from cropland desertification and collapse of the marine food chain from souring of the seas by CO2. Thankfully, concerned world citizens aren’t taking all this lying down, but are lobbying, demonstrating, educating and entreating their governments and neighbors to act responsibly. But the mitigations put in place are consistently too little, too late, evidently because mass demand for an ever-higher standard of living, and capital’s drive to milk that demand for ever-higher levels of profit and power, trump any sustained effort to intervene for the common good. In a word, we’re choking on human selfishness: there are just too many people saying Me First.

A five-year plan for Friends?4

Zachary Dutton argues U.S. Friends organizations should be less siloed: “It is time to acknowledge that the future and life of Liberal Quakerism rests in our coordination. Organizations have become siloed, but this is easily remedied. Our yearly meetings, external organizations, and educational institutions need to begin setting broad strategy together.”

Simplicity as equality in a U.S. courtroom4

North Carolina lawyer Scott Holmes explains why he doesn’t wear a tie in court:
What I started learning really quickly was that it wasn’t about simplicity, it was more about equality. That the tie is this symbol of male power and I started learning from my female attorney friends as they were laughing at my experiment—how women attorneys have to think about their dress everyday.”