Investigation Response


In October 2018, Catlin Gabel’s Board of Trustees became aware of alumni reports on social media of sexual misconduct by a former faculty member. The board responded by hiring independent investigator Lori Watson of Watson Law Workplace Investigations, LLC to formally engage in a broad inquiry of any sexual misconduct at any time at Catlin Gabel. Her key factual findings were shared with the Catlin Gabel community on December 11, 2019.

Investigation Key Factual Findings

The content of these findings is sensitive, personal, and graphic. It is not intended for children. Reader discretion advised.

Disclosing Misconduct to the Community

When Catlin Gabel receives an allegation of sexual misconduct, the report is taken seriously. In addition to conducting an internal investigation, if appropriate, the school reports any allegation to Oregon’s Department of Human Services and Washington County’s Sheriff’s Office. Catlin Gabel will typically not share any details publicly until after the Sheriff’s Office has notified us that they have completed their investigation.

All divisional parents/guardians and age-appropriate students, as well as all employees, are notified anytime an employee leaves the school. Alumni are not notified when employees leave the school, as they are typically not engaged in daily school life.

In deciding whether and when to disclose details of an employee’s separation from the school due to allegations of misconduct, student safety is Catlin Gabel’s primary concern. The school also considers how to best balance our commitment to transparency and holding wrongdoers publicly accountable against the need to maintain employee privacy and avoid the possibility of making unfair public accusations against a Catlin Gabel employee. After weighing these different considerations the Head of School, in consultation with the Director of Human Resources, decides on the level of detail that will be disclosed regarding an employee’s departure.

Therapy Fund for Alumni

The school created the Catlin Gabel Therapy Fund, which became available in March 2020, to provide former students with financial assistance for current and past therapy costs related to sexual abuse by former employees at the school. This fund will remain open and continue to support survivors for as long as it is needed. 

Our Commitment to Students

Protecting the safety, welfare, and health of our students is paramount. Our policies, regulations, and safeguards, which are annually reviewed and updated, have been benchmarked against and rise above the standards set by the National Association of Independent Schools.

Learn More About Our Safety Resources