All In The Campaign for Blair Academy 2018-2025
Nonprofit Visits Skeptics & Reminds Students Speaking Up Saves Lives
Paula Hong '16

On Tuesday, March 5, the parents who founded the nonprofit “I Have The Right To” visited Blair for a Society of Skeptics talk focused on creating an ecosystem of respect and support for students and survivors of sexual assault. 

The organization, which is a “hub for middle and high school students, parents, and educators looking for information, support and avenues of action against sexual assault,” focuses on promoting awareness, understanding and community action. In speaking to Blair students, “I Have The Right To” co-founders Susan and Alexander Prout hope to educate and empower the school community with the goal of inspiring students to be change makers and amplifying support of survivors. 

“We envision a future where every student receives an education free from sexual assault,” said Susan. “We feel morally obligated to shine a light on what we have learned as parents, as a family and through our nonprofit.”

The most important thing is for students to grow in empathy, understanding, and to use their voice for good in the world, she continued. “We hope that students are empowered and the community at large can understand the issues and embrace the importance of creating a culture of consent.”
“As a graduate of a boarding school, I am eager to share what I have learned from my children and through our experiences about the importance of being an upstander and how it can change lives,” Alex added.

History of Skeptics
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.

The program, which is funded in part by the Class of 1968 Society of Skeptics Endowment Fund, is an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller and his successor, history department chair Jason Beck, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are thought-provoking, engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please visit Blair’s website.

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