Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Exclusive boarding schools face reckoning on sexual abuse

Young perpetrator
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A series of sexual abuse scandals is forcing a reckoning at some of New England's most exclusive boarding schools and sending a shudder through similar institutions around the United States that have long been training grounds for members of the elite in American and overseas.

At St. George's School in Rhode Island, scores of alumni have come forward to complain of being sexually violated by teachers or schoolmates. At St. Paul's in New Hampshire, a rape trial revealed a tradition in which senior boys competed to have sex with younger girls. And at New Hampshire's Phillips Exeter Academy, several graduates have accused faculty members of sexual abuse and other inappropriate behaviour .

Schools are now rushing to adopt safeguards and reassure parents while launching internal investigations and asking former students and others to come forward if they know of any misconduct.

"Absolutely, there is a period of intense self-examination happening," said Pete Upham, executive director of The Association of Boarding Schools, an organization of 280 college prep schools, mostly in the U.S. and Canada.  (more...)

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