A group of alumni of Phillips Exeter Academy are set to deliver their letter today vowing to withhold support to the elite school until it changes how it handles cases of sexual assault and harassment.
Organizers say more than 1,000 former Exeter students have signed the letter, which comes after the Boston Globe reported on a case a campus minister suggested a student do "penance" for groping a 17-year-old classmate by baking her bread rather than going to police.
Alumnus Zoha Qamar says the story reinforced many former students' concerns about how the school handles such complaints.
"People have been trying to bring these issues forward for years," she says. "It came to a head because of the article, but by no means is this some out-of-the-blue revolution that just sparked in the last week."
Police have charged the student with misdemeanor sexual assault.
Principal Lisa MacFarlane issued a statement Wednesday saying "this incident and the manner in which it was handled are both of grave concern."