Martin Wiens, high school principal at Dock Mennonite Academy in Lansdale, Pa., was placed on administrative leave March 24 after a former student posted a video on social media March 21 alleging Wiens repeatedly engaged in physical contact that made him uncomfortable.
Dock said in a statement that an alleged instance of touching the then-student on his buttocks was previously reported to local law enforcement. Wiens has indicated he plans to cooperate with the inquiry.
Dock has contracted with D. Stafford & Associates, a third-party firm, to conduct an administrative investigation and provided contact information for people to report being harmed by or witnessing sexual misconduct at Dock. An additional statement noted that individuals can also contact local law enforcement.
In his March 21 video, 21-year-old Daniel Kabakjian said he attended Dock from 2014 to 2018, and during his senior year Wiens encouraged him to attend repeated meetings in his office that began and ended with long, unwanted hugs. He recounted hearing stories from other students about individual invitations to Wiens’ home, touching them on the upper thigh and texting in the middle of the night.
Kabakjian filed a police report, but two investigations in 2019 and 2020 did not result in charges. He said he made his video after meetings with police and school administrators went nowhere. He told North Penn Now he had two meetings with Dock superintendent Conrad Swartzentruber on Dec. 30 and Jan. 20. Swartzentruber announced on Jan. 28 that Wiens would be retiring at the end of the school year.
Dock is affiliated with Mosaic Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA, which has had offices on the Dock campus since 2015. In a March 25 statement, Mosaic said conference leaders have been in conversation with Dock and Mennonite Education Agency on how to provide support and accountability to Dock.
“We care deeply about Dock’s students, staff and board, many of whom are members of conference congregations, and the extended Dock community. We care about your pain and we see you,” the statement said. “We are working carefully with member congregations of those directly involved to ensure they are receiving care.”
Wiens has been an MEA appointee to the board of directors of Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., since 2006. In a March 26 statement, Bethel board chair Tom Adrian said the board supports victims’ and survivors’ search for justice and indicated Wiens resigned his position on the board earlier that week.