instituto.danza@alicialonso.org +34 914-888-177
instituto.danza@alicialonso.org +34 914-888-177

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE "ALICIA ALONSO" DANCE FOUNDATION AND THE "ALICIA ALONSO" UNIVERSITY DANCE INSTITUTE

The Instituto Superior de la Danza Alicia Alonso (ISDAA) issues this statement in relation to the recent information published in the press about the conviction, for harassment of a teacher, of the Degree in Visual Arts and Dance, a degree jointly taught and managed by the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and the Instituto Superior de Danza "Alicia Alonso" (a non-profit institution declared of general interest) in the framework of a public service to education. According to the Judgment of the Provincial Court pending resolution by the Supreme Court dated March 30, 2023, the events occurred between 2014 and February 2017 or six years ago, a period in which there was no labor dependence of this teacher either with the Higher Institute of Dance "Alicia Alonso" or with the Rey Juan Carlos University, since he was part of the staff of the Carampa Circus School of the Association of Jugglers, which had the delegated competences of practices through the subscription of a collaboration agreement dated October 20, 2014. It was in this place where the facts judged were denounced and occurred, corroborated in the statement of the Head of Studies, where it also appears that neither the Institute nor the university were notified of the dismissal of this teacher and therefore, neither of its causes.

The activities related to circus practices have never been carried out entirely at the Fuenlabrada Campus, as they have told the media, neither before nor now. In the years referred to in the Judgment, the activities of circus practices were delegated to the Circus School Carampa of the Jugglers Association, due to the inadequacy of the university facilities, as stated in the statement of the Head of Studies of the aforementioned school that was in charge of the coordination of the Mention of Acrobatic Dances and Circus Techniques.

For this reason, during the years referred to in the Judgment of the Provincial Court pending resolution by the Supreme Court, for technical reasons of student safety, taking into account that the university did not have on its campus facilities with adequate security for circus practices, an important part of the teaching, as we have already noted, was delegated to the Carampa Circus School, which provided for these purposes its infrastructure and its faculty, in turn taking charge of the organization and supervision of all practical academic activities of the aforementioned mention. That is, training of circus practices, as well as other courses, seminars and conferences that students enrolled in that school as students of it, apart from their degree training to accredit the obtaining of free choice credits that necessarily had to overcome to obtain the degree.

The management of the Institute has developed a reserved investigation, so at no time has provided information to any media, about the facts that were the subject of internal investigation and prosecuted for its strictly confidential nature. It is a duty of all the institutions during a procedure of these characteristics to preserve the identity of all the parties equally, guaranteeing the fulfillment of their fundamental rights as stated in the Spanish Constitution such as: the presumption of innocence and the right to defense, a process that has been carried out following the legal principles of contradiction and impartiality.

The professor in question is hired in 2020 by the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and after terminating his ties with this institution, to which he had been linked through an emergency procedure, along with other professors of Carampa to teach in the course 2020/2021, paralyzed by court order. It is significant that in this period the Head of Studies of Carampa and other of her former colleagues of the aforementioned school were also hired. However, there is no record that they have made any complaint during their stay at the university.

At the end of November of the same year, he applied to be hired by the Instituto Superior de Danza "Alicia Alonso" and, we later found that there had been no complaint at that time, neither in administrative nor judicial proceedings. He had no criminal record nor was he registered in the sex offender registry. According to the police statement of the Head of Studies of the Carampa Circus School, to which the Commission of the Institute has had access during the investigation, it is clear that the facts were investigated in that center and that the results refer only to students of the same.

Neither the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos nor the Instituto Superior de Danza "Alicia Alonso" were informed of the dismissal of this professor and therefore, as we have already pointed out at the beginning, neither of its causes. Although in this statement it is said that he was expelled, later in statements to the press he speaks of a negotiated exit. The terms of this negotiation, of which the academic institutions were not informed, are unknown.

Likewise, we can categorically state that no student approached the management of either the university or the Institute to denounce any fact related to the teacher in question and that everything took place within the organizational scope of the Carampa Circus School. According to the complainant, she and her colleagues were asked for "discretion in this matter". Something that, if true, could only have come from the Carampa Circus School, which was the one she addressed at all times. Neither the URJC nor the ISDAA were ever aware of her complaint. It is clear that the aforementioned school failed to comply with its duty to denounce and to prevent, as provided for in labor legislation and in the Civil Code. After learning of the first instance ruling, it tried to file a complaint, six years later, when the facts were time-barred, according to the Court of Instruction no. 5 of Fuenlabrada.

In this context, it should be reiterated that our Center's policy regarding harassment and abuse is zero tolerance and that there are measures permanently in place to prevent this type of conduct, and therefore it is necessary to clarify the following:

The Instituto Superior de Danza "Alicia Alonso", was not aware of the sentences passed by the courts against the professor who was the subject of the controversy until May 3, 2023 when the Anti-Harassment Commission of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos transferred the file 8/2023 which contained some documents related to the case and the sentence.

However, immediately after becoming aware of the facts, on May 4, the protocol provided for in our regulations was activated with the opening of an informative file, a step prior to the initiation of a disciplinary proceeding, if appropriate.

The university learned of the First Instance Judgment in February and, although it was obliged to share it with the bodies coming from the "Alicia Alonso" Higher Institute of Dance, despite the recommendation of the University Ombudsman to inform, it did not do so. Her lack of diligence for three months led her to fail to comply with her duty of prevention, preventing the activation of the prevention protocol, as provided for in labor legislation, in the face of alleged events that could be serious. Fortunately, thanks to the Institute's permanent measures, it has been possible to demonstrate that no misconduct has occurred on university premises.

After receiving the information from the URJC, in less than 24 hours urgent preventive measures were taken, all existing protocols were reinforced, those measures provided for in the Internal Regulations of the Institute regarding the protection of the alleged victims and, preserving the academic interests of the students, adopting the following measures:

The continuous evaluations carried out by the professor were immediately closed and an academic tribunal was appointed to agree on the results with the rest of the professors with whom he shared disciplines, before the final publication of the grade reports, guaranteeing, in addition, the processes for claiming grades. Likewise, once the evaluations were completed, the suspension of the professor's services was ordered on May 31.

Likewise, the coordinator of the Acrobatic Dance and Circus Techniques program was alerted to reinforce the surveillance measures in the activities concerning this professor and to ensure that he never remained alone with the students at any time.

Later, through the investigation carried out by the delegated commission of the Board of Directors, it was ruled out that since the beginning of its teaching activity at the end of 2020, anomalous situations could have been occurring on its part. This is unlikely, since the space where classes are taught is open and shared by four or five teachers who work simultaneously in the same place in different specialties and with the attendance of an average of thirty students. Consequently, it is practically impossible for situations of misuse of the methodology or inappropriate behavior to occur without being observed by other people and reported, which has not happened so far. Nevertheless, it was also decided to exclude this professor from the Final Degree Project tribunals.

ISDAA's permanent alert measures include the flexibility teacher of the mention of acrobatic and circus dances in her condition of Safeguarding Officer of the Andalusian Gymnastics Federation for the protection and prevention of harassing behavior or sexual abuse. Due to her proven experience as an elite athlete, both from the hierarchy and among peers. The teacher has highlighted in her report that there is no evidence of malpractice or inappropriate behavior that would lead to presume any suspicion in this regard, during her activity in the ISDAA.

It was also possible to verify that during the teacher's service at the Institute of Dance "Alicia Alonso" since November 2020, the reported events that occurred in the organizational environment of the Carampa Circus School in the period in which he served as a teacher of that center, from late 2014 to February 2017, have never been reproduced. This was corroborated in the course of the extended Board of Directors, where they participated, delegate and sub-delegate of degree, as well as representatives selected by the students of each of the five mentions of the degree, they stated that there had never been situations of harassment or abuse and no evidence of inappropriate behavior by the teacher.

According to information from the University Ombudsman, the Anti-Harassment Commission, the university administration could not enter to know facts that were in judicial proceedings and that any procedure in administrative proceedings should be suspended immediately, as reflected in Article 16.6 of the Anti-Harassment Protocol of the URJC. We do not know why the investigation was initiated and continued by the university of the file 8/2023 that was sent to us, moreover, with three months of delay.

The Instituto Superior de Danza "Alicia Alonso" does not rule out further legal action against third parties.

Press Team

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Alicia Alonso University Institute of Dance