Resignation of the Board of Youth Education in the Arts

This petition made change with 4,912 supporters!

April 6, 2018

To: Board of Directors, Youth Education in the Arts


We were distressed to read on April 5, 2018 the report by Tricia L. Nadolny of the Philadelphia Inquirer about the alleged sexual abuse of members of The Cadets and employees of Youth Education in the Arts, Inc. by Executive Director George J. Hopkins.

We are equally as distressed by this Board’s odious and plainly insufficient public response to the Inquirer report.

It has become clear that this Board is incapable or unwilling to address the actual problem: Youth Education in the Arts, Inc. failed to protect its employees and the participants in its program offerings in any way that could be considered reasonable, and now Youth Education in the Arts, Inc. seeks to continue operating as though this is merely an unfortunate incident. This is not an unfortunate incident. It is a pattern of willful misconduct, perpetrated under the oversight of this Board.

In this way, each of you are complicit in Mr. Hopkins’ bad acts. Each of you have arguably breached your fiduciary duty to the organization and are responsible for the likely irreversible harm that has now been done to the organization.

In your statement, you’ve engaged in the worst kind of victim blaming and have shirked your responsibility for failing to stop Mr. Hopkins’ alleged predatory behavior. The problem clearly did not end with Mr. Hopkins’ resignation.

The signatories to this letter – all of us Cadets, YEA-era Crossmen, and/or music educators in some way connected to USBands – urge in the strongest possible terms each and every Director to resign immediately. For every minute that this Board fails to act, the chances that the organization ever regains its reputation or ability to create and nurture magnificent human beings are diminished.

Each signatory hereto has agreed to withhold support of whatever kind, including financial support, unless and until this matter is resolved in a satisfactory manner.

Those of us who are music educators pledge that we will not participate in USBands events or encourage our students to participate in the program offerings of YEA, including The Cadets and Cadets 2 until the entire Board of Directors has been replaced.

Further, unless each of you resigns in a timely manner, we suspect that YEA’s sponsors will begin to terminate their agreements.

Pick up the phone. Consult with the DCI Board of Directors. There are organizations and parties that are willing to assist during this transition.

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