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Demand acknowledgement of abuse & accountability from Chappaqua Central School District

This petition had 744 supporters

Generations of theater students and families have been impacted by the sexual abuse involving Christopher Schraufnagel that took place within the Chappaqua Central School District (CCSD).  While Mr. Shraufnagel has pleaded Guilty to the misdemeanors he is accused of, as of the date of this petition, CCSD continues to allege that his victims were "reckless and careless", responsible for their own abuse.  Please join us in sending a clear message to the leaders at CCSD that they must acknowledge that this abuse occurred and make necessary changes to ensure the safety of generations of future students. 

1. Because Christopher Schraufnagel admitted in open court to “sexual contact” with minors within the confines of CCSD, we demand that CCSD acknowledge that these events did take place, that the children were victims of an adult sexual predator, and that these children are not, in fact, responsible for their own abuse.   

2. Because the community has not received a response to requests for specific changes made to CCSD policy after minors disclosed their experiences of sexual abuse that took place within the confines of CCSD, later substantiated in the Court, we demand that CCSD disclose what and if any specific policy changes have been made to ensure the safety of future students.  

3. Because CCSD failed to protect their students from sexual abuse that took place within their institution, we demand accountability to the students, parents, and community at large with the resignation of any and all school personnel who were involved in any preliminary internal investigations of Mr. Schraufnagel that did not result in any further corrective action.  

4. We demand that CCSD take measures to change their current policy and implement a system that is considered “Best Practice” in other states/jurisdictions.  This system would include an independent investigatory body that is charged with handling all allegations of abuse or neglect that occur within the confines of CCSD and/or are perpetrated by any staff or administrator at CCSD.   

5. Based on the fact that Christopher Schraufnagel was an employee at CCSD teaching theater and speech arts for over a decade, we, the community, understand that there are likely to be generations of students victimized by Mr. Schraufnagel whether directly (sexually abused, physically abused, etc.) or indirectly (exposed to drug use, emotionally abused, bullied, etc.).  We demand that CCSD provide trauma-informed counseling/therapy to any student, past or present, who requests it.  There should be an option for these students to seek treatment with providers independent of the school as the foundation of the therapeutic relationship is built with trust and a sense of safety, which, for many students and families within CCSD, has been shattered.   

6. Based on the fact that CCSD was unable to identify the pattern of predatory behavior on the part of Christopher Schraufnagel, we demand that CCSD implement a program improvement plan to include: ongoing education, staff development training, and potentially a community education component that is developed in conjunction with one of the many leading child abuse prevention agencies throughout the nation. 

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