So, the NCAA women's swimming assistant coach of the year is not welcome to talk with young swimmers at her old swim club because she showed the courage to come forward about the unspeakable crimes committed against her in the local school system when she was a teenager. To quote from current common parlance -- really?
The board of directors of the Moraga Country Club has decided to ban UC Berkeley assistant swim coach Kristen Cunnane from speaking to swimmers age 4 to 17 at the Moraga Swim Club after she came forward about the three years of rape she endured in a Moraga middle school.
It was an unconscionable, outrageous and insensitive decision that should be reversed immediately. It is an action that is a stain on the entire community of Moraga and makes it look like some sort on insular, backwoods enclave that somehow condones what has happened here. Residents of the city as well as club members should be furious about it.
When Cunnane came forward last month, it was a major story. In the course of reporting that story, this newspaper uncovered through a public records request that Bill Walters -- who was at the time the middle school principal and is now a retiring elementary school principal -- had failed to alert police, as is required by law, in 1994 after a girl had complained about being molested by science teacher Dan Witters.
Two years later, Cunnane was among other students who reported being molested by
Cunnane says she told her P.E. teacher, Julie Correa, about the Witters molestation, but that Correa kept it a secret and soon after began sexually abusing the 14-year-old.
Cunnane finally went public with her entire story because, as she put it, she wanted to hold someone accountable and finally get her life back.
For the most part, Cunnane said she was overwhelmed with the support from friends, family, community members and total strangers.
That is until she was informed that the Moraga Country Club's board of directors had decided that she was no longer welcome to conduct her clinics for young swimmers at the swim club where she grew up.
As Cunnane told reporter Matthias Gafni on Wednesday, "My speech had nothing to do with my abuse; it had to do with my love for that country club and the opportunities swimming has given me. I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed. This is why people don't come forward, because it affects every part of their lives."
Cunnane said that her father's company built the country club and most of the surrounding residences, and both of her parents are still paying members.
We think that Cunnane certainly deserves to get her life back and that she deserves much more. Not the least of which is an immediate lifting of the ban on her speaking to young swimmers by the Moraga Country Club and that action should be accompanied by an apology to both Cunnane and the community.