The board of directors of the Moraga Country Club did the right thing on Thursday by quickly reversing a decision it should never have made in the first place.
Moraga Country Club President Tom Engberg issued a statement Thursday afternoon that apologized for a decision earlier in the week that had canceled a young clinic to be given by Kristen Cunnane, the NCAA women's swimming assistant coach of the year, at the Moraga Swim Club.
To his credit, Engberg took the blame for the wrongheaded decision and issued an appropriate apology to Cunnane, members of the club and members of the community.
He was clearly responding to community outrage once the cancellation was detailed in this newspaper.
Cunnane, who is an assistant coach at UC Berkeley who got her swimming start at this very swim club, had come forward last month and detailed three years of rape that she endured in a Moraga middle school.
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 Witters. After
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.
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. Engberg's statement acknowledged that Cunnane's parents are members and it apologized to them specifically.
"I hope that our swim team members learn from Kristen not only about the dedication it takes to succeed at athletics, but the courage it takes to stand up for one's self in situations where a child feels threatened or abused." Engberg said in his statement. "Kristen has exhibited amazing courage and we are very pleased that she will share her story with our swimmers and other members of MCC."
We agree and think that Cunnane certainly deserves to get her life back. We are pleased that she will now get the chance to serve as a motivation speaker and a role model for kids in her community.