Stop Darlington School from Silencing Its Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse.

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UPDATE!

Thank you to everyone for your support! Signing this petition, sharing the petition, donating any amount of cash to help us keep this petition circulating and reaching others is all vitally important.

Your support is needed more than ever. Last Friday, December 16, in Floyd County, Darlington survivors filed for dismissal without prejudice of the case pending in Floyd. The hearing scheduled for Dec. 18, was in response to Darlington’s filing to dismiss the victim’s legal claims. Instead, the survivors elected to dismiss the case themselves. Thus the “dismissal without prejudice.”

Darlington Survivors have not dismissed forever the fact that the abuse took place at the hands of Roger Stifflemire and that Darlington has known for years and done nothing. From the survivors facebook post, “As Darlington continues its attempts to avoid responsibility for failing each of us and the Darlington Community as a whole, we have decided to take this path toward justice”.

So please understand that this fight is not over. Your ongoing participation is vital! The dismissal without prejudice of a case means the matter can, and in this case, will be brought before a court of law again.

There are two things you can do help:

First: Join us to advocate for and support the passing of “The Hidden Predator Act”, Georgia House Bill 605 (HB605).

The bill was introduced in March of this year, but did not advance to a vote. The bill comes up again in January 2018 and would subject those who engage in human sex trafficking to civil claims, and would give the state’s attorney general the ability to file claims against those culpable in such cases of public importance. It would also extend the statute of limitations for civil claims filed by victims of childhood sexual abuse. This law would allow lawsuits against institutions that knew or should have known abuse occurred, authorizing suits against the institutions as well as the perpetrators.

You can read the bill here: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20172018/HB/605

Find more details from the AJC here: http://www.myajc.com/news/state--regional/abused-children-victims-may-get-more-time-sue/Sz4grdnK4nZmg9k8O7N7PL/

It is very important for us to educate Georgians about the need for this bill so please contact one, or better yet all of your legislators and reach out to the members who support this non-partisan bill.

Rep. Jason Spencer R - Woodbine, 404.656.0177 jason.spencer@house.ga.govRep. Spencer Frye D - Athens, 404.656.0265 spencer.frye@house.ga.gov

Mary Margaret Oliver D - Decatur, 404.377.0485 mmo@mmolaw.com

Paulette Rakestraw, R - Powder Springs, 404.656.0177 paulette.rakestraw@house.ga.gov

Buzz Brockway, R - Lawrenceville, 404.656.0188 buzz.brockway@house.ga.gov

Stacey Evans, D - Smyrna, 404.656.0116 stacey@staceyevans.org

Second: Continue to share this petition and this information to everyone, giving if you can 1 to 20 dollars to keep this growing. Your support will educate Georgians and hold institutions and predators responsible for their actions.

There should be no expiration date for child abuse in Georgia!

We will keep you posted-also follow Darlington Survivors on Facebook and the website .

THE FOLLOWING WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED DECEMBER 8,2017, PLEASE READ FOR DETAILS ON THE CASE

On December 18, 2017 a judge will decide whether the lawsuit against Darlington School merits proceeding.

http://www.darlingtonschool.org/home

Darlington is attempting to silence its victims by requesting their charges be dropped. Please support the victims by encouraging the school to allow its victims' voices to be heard in court.

More than once, Darlington was notified of inappropriate behavior and sexual assaults perpetrated by Roger Stifflemire, a former teacher and dormitory proctor.

http://www.ajc.com/news/local/suit-accuses-boarding-school-turning-blind-eye-sexual-abuse/1Emr0waXnSSrDBr9BfL7uM/

http://www.myajc.com/news/local/blurred-lines-and-tolerance-sex-abuse-georgia-boarding-school/rJPsMqmn0Qf7zCuY5WWTxI/

From 1974 to 1994, the private school continued to employ him, never formally punishing him, going so far as to honor him in a 2002 ceremony for excellence. This story remains on their website today.

http://www.darlingtonschool.org/daily/newsview.aspx?newsID=2460322

Roger Stifflemire was able to move to an Alabama high school with presumably no trace of his criminal behavior at Darlington.

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2017/06/30/report-former-prattville-principal-accused-abuse-ga-kooschool/443159001/

In 2014 a former student notified Darlington again about misconduct occurring in the 1980s. In response the school began an investigation. In 2015, an unprecedented opportunity arose when the Georgia Legislature passed the Hidden Predator Act. This provided a two-year window for victims to take legal action against their alleged abusers. Darlington was presented with another opportunity to carry out its mission to "Act with Integrity" by reaching out to former students, faculty and staff.

http://www.darlingtonschool.org/about/mission.aspx

In May 2017, nearly three years after beginning its investigation, Darlington did send a letter to alumni asking them to come forward with any information related to sexual misconduct. This allowed only thirty-five days before the Hidden Predator Act expired.

Darlington has yet to release the information about its investigation.

Please show your support for the victims by signing this petition to encourage Darlington School to hold itself accountable for its decades-long failure to protect its students.



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