I have to say, the April 7 article on the theater teacher (Henry Eichman of Topsham) getting indicted on more sex abuse charges struck me hard. Not only is what he’s being accused of unimaginable, but he’s also now taken away a space that is safe and home to so many.

I was a “theater kid” in high school, and I wouldn’t have survived those years without it. Thinking of someone tarnishing a place where I have so many of my best memories makes me sick. I was so fortunate to have a theater teacher at my high school who treated all of her students – no matter how much they were involved – like equals, like friends, like family.

I couldn’t imagine what his students must be thinking, whether they felt comfortable around him or not. The theater represents, to me, one of the absolute safest places in the world, where you are never judged for anything. This could have potentially ruined the students’ connection to the arts.

The leader of something that is supposed to be so safe, so much like a second home to some students, took away that safety and security. That breaks my heart. I can only hope that the victims can find peace and that he is brought to justice, and that theater can be continued to be considered a safe space for many.

Agnes Negro


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