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Years of Sexual Abuse Uncovered at Choate Prep
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Choate Rosemary

Summary: An internal investigation at Choate Rosemary Hall boarding school has discovered every parent’s worst nightmare.

Allegations of sexual abuse have seeped from the walls of the elite boarding school, Choate Rosemary Hall. What an internal investigation has turned up is not something the school will be able to ignore. The investigation unearthed nearly forty years of abuse that have been tucked under the rug, including dozens of former teachers that have sexually molested students, rape, and other “deeply disturbing experiences.”

  
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The Connecticut boarding school said in a letter to the community, “The detailed content of this report is devastating to read. One can only have the greatest sympathy and deepest concern for the survivors. The conduct of these adults violated the foundation of our community: the sacred trust between students and the adults charged with their care.”

An article by The Boston Globe last year claiming abuse at the school as well as allegations still fuming since the 80s prompted the investigation. In recent years, a number of allegations have been raised over sexual abuse at the school and a number of other prestigious private academies, including Horace Mann and Poly Prep in New York City.

The board of trustees released the 48-page report full of unacceptable behavior by teachers and administrators. There are examples of teachers engaging in “intimate kissing” and “intimate touching” with students that were not reported to the police. In some circumstances, administrators gave the option for the teacher to resign with a shining letter of recommendation.

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The school appears ready to accept responsibility and willingness to support victims by setting up a fund to cover therapy for the victims, knowing that the report will likely stir up “additional stress and anxiety.” The investigation used letters, schools records, and first-hand accounts to piece together events going back through four headmasters to the 1960s.

The report states, “Certain Choate graduates described themselves as having been flattered, at the time, by attention they received from faculty or staff, but told us they later recognized that the conduct had been abusive. Other graduates told us of contact that they recognized as abuse at the time, including forced or coerced intercourse, as well as other incidents of unwanted contact that led students to feel betrayed by faculty or staff they had trusted and admired.”



Twelve teachers are referred to by name in the report, five of which has passed away since their time at the school. One specific example details a Spanish teacher that was fired for molesting a 15-year-old girl and raping a 17-year-old girl on a school trip to Costa Rica in 1999. According to sources, the teacher and the 17-year-old were in the pool when he “told her he and his wife were separated (and said,) ‘I have these problems. I am a man.’” The teacher allegedly touched the girl intimately, removed his swim shorts and forcibly engaged in sex, even with the other students nearby. When questioned, the teacher admitted to drinking with students at the pool but denies any sexual activity occurred.

The alarming part of these disturbing stories is how the school administrators handled the accusations. Students filed reports that were ignored. The report states, “When a faculty member was a long-term and admired teacher, action sometimes came more slowly. On at least one occasion, a faculty member remained until his voluntary retirement, some 10 years after a student reported an incident of sexual misconduct.” Even instances when parents filed reports they were ignored.

Famous alum of Choate, located in Wallingford, Conn., include Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. and President John F. Kennedy.

Do you think the former teachers will face any legal repercussions? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about teachers with sexual problems, read these articles:

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org



 

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