A Statement About Acceptance
Head of School Mrs. Barbara Chase, and her Board of Trustees have, in one momentous decision, cast the die for the future of diversity at Phillips. It is critical to note that Phillips Academy's decision refers to "committed" relationships. The standard and expectations are excruciatingly high, as befits a top institution. "I recognize that it's a sensitive issue and that it will not be easy for some people," said Mrs. Chase, cited by many as a key proponent of the decision. "It tests people's beliefs and convictions, but we truly believe that it's the right thing to do not only for the faculty but for… every student at PA because it makes a statement about acceptance and about allowing people to be who they really are."
"Predicting that the change will ultimately strengthen and diversify the community, Dean of Community and Multicultural Development Bobby Edwards joined many of his colleagues in calling the decision the removal of an unjust barrier based on an irrelevant premise. 'It allowed people to affirm that the most important thing is to have an adult who is professional, responsible and has a keen interest in the best welfare of his or her charges. And those things are attributed to people regardless of their sexual orientation,' Mr. Edwards said." From The Phillipian
The new policy will also help attract and retain gay and lesbian faculty. What will be the impact on student admissions? The administration does not anticipate any major change.
The full story as contained in The Phillipian makes a compelling case for the move. Whether or not you agree with it, you can only applaud the Academy's thorough exploration of the issue and overriding commitment to its mission statement and purpose.
Is this the wave of the future in faculty benefits at boarding schools? It's probably too soon to tell, but, for the record, Concord Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy both have announced similar plans.