What is this webpage all about?
- We started this website in order to create a safe virtual gathering place, where those who were victims of sexual misconduct while attending NIS could seek support, where those with information could share what they knew, and where those who wanted to support the victims would be welcomed. We hope the site provides an opportunity for the NIS community to join our efforts to make sure NIS is as safe and healthy for children as possible.
Who are the NIS Survivors?
- We are alumnae who were victims of sexual misconduct by Jim Hawkins while attending NIS in the 1970s. We are united in our effort to ensure that NIS is safer and healthier for children today and in the future. We believe this requires that the truth about what happened be made known to the whole NIS community so we can learn from that history
What are we trying to achieve?
- Our goals in this effort are:
- For the whole truth about sexual misconduct at NIS to be revealed (while protecting the safety and privacy of victims);
- For Hawkins and NIS to acknowledge the impact on victims and provide meaningful redress;
- For the schools where Hawkins taught after NIS (including The Maret School and the Maumee Valley Country Day School) to be fully informed and empowered to investigate potential harm to their respective communities; and
- For NIS to embrace a culture of child protection, including clearly defined protocols tailored to its unique culture to prevent abuse of students in the future.
Who is Jim Hawkins?
- Jim Hawkins was an NIS faculty member from 1967 to 1980. He was an NIS middle school science teacher, homeroom teacher, Vice Principal, and basketball coach who used his position of trust to sexually abuse middle school girls attending NIS.
What did Jim Hawkins do?
- Jim Hawkins sexually abused us, depending on the case, by heavy “grooming,” kissing, groping, and coerced sexual intercourse (rape)–starting when we were as young as 12 years old.
How do we know that Jim Hawkins really molested children?
- In addition to detailed accounts described by the victims—who were molested by him in remarkably similarly ways–there are witnesses and documents that support the validity of our statements. Additionally, in NIS’ own McLane Middleton investigation, Hawkins admitted to boundary-crossing behaviors and “grooming” young female NIS students, which are behaviors used to prepare a child for sexual abuse.
How can I access the report of NIS’ first investigation?
- The McLane Middleton report can be accessed here.
Has anyone contacted Jim Hawkins?
- NIS contacted him prior to publicly revealing his name.
Are you sponsored by or otherwise officially affiliated with NIS?
- We are not officially sponsored by or affiliated with NIS, although we are hopeful we can find a way to work with NIS’ current leadership to make sure the whole truth is revealed and to determine what changes are necessary to ensure the safety of current and future students.
Are you the only victims?
- We may never know how many young girls Hawkins sexually assaulted. Sadly, other victims may be deceased or unable to come forward due to the psychological and emotional impact of the abuse, or the fear of backlash. One victim chose to go in a different direction – we wish her well. We have never “booted” anyone out. Quite the opposite, we welcome new survivors to join our group with open arms.
Have you hired lawyers?
- We retained the services of Crew Janci LLP because NIS initially announced they had concluded their investigation, and we felt we needed our own firm to ensure that we would have advocates looking out for our best interests and conducting a thorough investigation. We intend to share information from our findings with NIS’ investigators.
Why are you conducting your own investigation now that NIS announced it has launched a new investigation?
- Our investigation began prior to NIS announcing that they were reopening the investigation that they prematurely concluded and that we felt was inadequate. We believed a separate investigation would encourage individuals to come forward who otherwise would not. In sum, we authorized Crew Janci LLP to conduct a parallel investigation to ensure the whole truth about sexual misconduct at NIS is brought to light. We are hopeful that these investigations, taken together, will help reveal the whole truth about what happened, what was known (and when), and what was done in response to that knowledge, and to determine what changes should be made in the future.
Why have I received a letter or Facebook Messenger inquiry from your investigator?
- This is the typical way a thoroughly conducted investigation reaches out to people who might have information or were survivors themselves. We apologize if you were already aware of the investigation—many people, including possible survivors, still are not.
Have you filed a lawsuit against NIS?
- No, we have not filed a lawsuit against the school. After our lawyers complete their investigation, we hope to engage in discussions with NIS about a collaborative resolution process. The last thing we want to do is harm the school we all love, about which we all have many fond memories. In no way do we intend to “throw NIS under the bus” or conduct “scorched earth” tactics, phrases that we have heard on social media but that are in opposition to our group’s hopes and goals.
Are you afraid you’ll be sued for defamation?
- Absolutely not. Defamation involves making false statements.
Have your lawyers spoken to the school?
- Our lawyers will be in touch with the attorneys for the School with information from our investigation.
Will you publish the findings of your investigation?
- We are committed to the truth being made available to the NIS community in a way that protects victims. We do not yet know what form that will take. We may decide to release our own report or provide our findings directly to NIS’ investigators for inclusion in their report. We will provide more information as this process unfolds. Please check back.
I am a victim of sexual abuse but am not an NIS alum. Are there any resources you would recommend?
- We are truly sorry to hear that. Please know that you are not alone – we are proof of that. There are many resources available to help you start towards healing. We will be adding some of these to our “Resources” page, to provide information and links to a number of support agencies for victims of child sexual abuse. In the meantime, please check out RAINN or 1in6.org for immediate assistance.
What can I do to help?
- Thank you for asking! We need your help. Please see our “How You Can Help” page for suggestions on the many ways you can join in the effort for a safer and healthier NIS.
I have information that may be useful to you – who should I contact?