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High-school reunions are fraught occasions under the best of circumstances. Hairlines and waistlines are appraised, marriages and careers compared, insecurities awoken, changes in status noted, old wounds poked: normally solid citizens regress to their adolescent selves. Then there are the worst of circumstances. Since December, when it broke into the open with a Boston Globe article and a televised press conference, St. In this, St. Now they are being forced to talk about it. Across the archipelago of prep schools clustered mainly in the northeastern United States, a truth-and-reconciliation process is fitfully unfolding as school after school sends letters to alumni acknowledging past abuse and asking if they, too, were abused.
At St. In a private Facebook group, various St. Two days later, the school backtracked and sent out another letter. This one, ed by board Free fuck Saint George Leslie Bathgate Heaney, said the event would no longer be held and that the school would consult with survivors about tly organizing an alternative event. In a way, the same critical-thinking skills St. Betrayals of the s and s—which among other things were a very expensive and damaging hypocrisy—are now forcing a privileged corner of America to wonder what went wrong.
And looming over that question is another, voiced by Hawkins Cramer, principal of an elementary school in Seattle and a graduate of St. On the Hilltop, as the campus is known, a student standing on the columned porch off the main formal tearoom, looking out on the playing fields that slope down to the sea, might easily imagine himself as Jay Gatsby come to life.
It was patterned, like many other American prep schools, on English institutions like Eton and Harrow, and the legacy is visible in the stone neo-Gothic Episcopal chapel that towers over the campus, in the mandatory uniform coat and tie for boysin the terminology 9th grade is third form, 12th grade is sixth form.
Over time, St. Otherwise you went to St. Scott Fitzgerald described the students of St. Arriving at St. After the parents of a St. I feel strongly that you should not be in a boarding school and that you should seek psychiatric help. White is now retired in Bedford, Pennsylvania, where he is under ecclesiastical review by the Episcopal Church.
He has not commented on the allegations. From top, Howard White, St. When Anne Scott arrived as a sophomore five years later, boys still ed for four-fifths of students. It was a back wrenched playing field hockey that sent year-old Anne Scott to see year-old Gibbs in October of She felt trapped. But he has a medical patch on his shirt. He was a highly decorated medic in World War II. You figured he knew what he was doing. In any case, on February 5,Zane fired Gibbs after a several-day investigation during which Zane interviewed a of girls about their experiences with Gibbs.
At least 20 students were abused by Free fuck Saint George during his seven years at St. Gibbs died in Gibbs, get your hand off my. As he had done with White, Zane failed to report Gibbs to any state agencies. Zane told Vanity Fair that he had not been aware of any legal obligation to do so. The school became a factory for Holden Caulfields, alienated kids whose parenting had been outsourced to a not very nurturing place. Freshmen and sophomores were effectively in the care of the seniors who ran the dorms.
It was a Darwinian environment, which several St. Certain years, the hazing got way, way out of hand. In the fall ofa senior made a freshman named Harry Groome stand on a trash can and pull down his boxer shorts, whereupon the older student sodomized him with a broomstick in front of several other students. After Charlie Henry awoke one night during his third-form year, into find a darkness-obscured figure touching him, he slept with a knife under his pillow for the remainder of the semester.
The same year, some seniors took a freshman boy to a dorm basement, where they beat him up and raped him with a pencil. After the victim went to the administration, Tony Zane announced at Thursday chapel what had happened, and the seniors were expelled. Both say they were abused by former athletic trainer Al Gibbs. He often wore his choir robes around campus.
A cult of personality surrounded him, and he played host to concentric rings of acolytes. And then, at the center of these rings, according Free fuck Saint George alumni, was the small group of students in whom he had a sexual interest. So you carried on and tried not to think about it much. Over time, Ethan says, Coleman showed him gay porn videos, gave him a full-body Vaseline massage, and touched his penis. At least half a dozen alumni have reported that they were targets of some sort of advance or contact by Coleman.
Decades later, the St. I said the same thing to the people in charge, and I was told to mind my own business. When Andrews fired Coleman the following spring, he handled the matter much as Zane had handled Gibbs. Coleman moved on to working with school choirs at a church in Philadelphia, and by he was choirmaster at Tampa Prep, in Florida. The year that Coleman was fired,a plaintiff using the pseudonym Jane Doe filed suit in November against St. The plaintiff was Anne Scott, who had suffered in the eight years since she graduated from St.
But while she had excelled academically, obtaining both an undergraduate degree and a Ph. She had spent much of her 20s living with her parents in Free fuck Saint George, been hospitalized four or five times for an eating disorder, depression, and dissociation, and was on a of psychiatric medications. As she entered her late 20s, and her Ph.
They began to explore the idea of a civil suit against the school. I dropped the case. MacLeish argued against ing it, but Scott was done. Eric MacLeish was part of that movement. MacLeish would become a key figure representing victims in the Archdiocese of Boston cases in the movie Spotlighthe is portrayed, somewhat unflatteringly, by Billy Crudup. His marriage ended, and he ended up filing a complaint against the therapist with the state, which revoked her.
As the Catholic Church scandal unfolded, a growing of other cloistered institutions, including the American Boychoir School, in Princeton, and Groton, in Massachusetts, had to reckon with sex-abuse scandals. And a few St. He is now married and living with his wife and son in Westport, Connecticut. He approached the school in Two years later, Harry Groome, reading about an abuse scandal at Groton, and newly the father of Free fuck Saint George son, was beginning to recognize the psychological impact of what had happened to him and found himself worrying about current students at S.
He wrote to Hamblet and says he received a pat-on-the-head letter in response. Hamblet died in The hiring of Eric Peterson as headmaster in prompted a new set of contacts by alumni. That year, Groome e-mailed Peterson and also the fellow graduate who had assaulted him. Hawkins Cramer now had a family and was the principal of an elementary school in Seattle, where he had recently dealt decisively with a teacher exhibiting grooming behaviors with students.
Emboldened by that experience, in the spring ofCramer decided to track Franklin Coleman down. He found him working at Tampa Prep and called him directly. Reception put him through, and Coleman picked up after two rings. Then Cramer called Peterson at St. Well, [Coleman] retired four years later from that job. So [Peterson] knowingly protected this guy who was a pedophile. Cramer said that he should expect a call from Tampa Prep and requested that he speak to them about Coleman. Peterson agreed to do so but did not hear from Tampa Prep. InEthan met with Peterson on campus, and Peterson, like his predecessor, wrote him a letter of apology and also promised 10 free psychotherapy consultations.
Time for SG to step up? In the spring ofEric MacLeish wrote to Peterson. MacLeish had found himself reading St. Over the years, he had tried to track her down, at one point even hiring skip tracers akin to bounty hunterswithout success. Peterson invited him to come to the school, and they met and spoke. In the years after she left the country, Scott had ended up doing global health and development work for NGOs in Indonesia, India, Botswana, and the Palestinian territories, among other places.
She found it healing to see people in impoverished countries showing grace, and being an expat had removed her from the painful context of her own culture, freeing her to be herself. MacLeish called her that December, and when Scott received the phone message, she thought long and hard about calling him back.
What happened next set the tone for everything that would follow. MacLeish also then sent, unsolicited, a draft letter for Peterson to send to alumni. Deerfield had agreed to a similar request, removing the names of two offending former teachers from a squash facility, an endowed chair, and a writing fellowship. For a period, Scott felt good about the process. Then things started to go awry. Those who blame the school see a culture of cover-up and credit MacLeish with goading St.
Defenders of the school, even while acknowledging some missteps, say MacLeish riled up the victims, driven by his own demons. MacLeish ramped up the pressure on the school. The school had lost any control. An online petition by a Scott-led group called SGS for Healing, asking for a new, truly independent investigation and an independent therapy fund administered by a clinician, got nearly ers. And the pressure yielded. The school announced a new investigator and a therapy program that the survivors were happy with.
Meanwhile, a secret group on Facebook, open only to St. There were first-person s of abuse, expressions of solidarity with the victims, confessions of survivor guilt. The class of rescinded its yearbook dedication to Al Gibbs. There was considerable focus on the culpability of Tony Zane. The Facebook group got ugly, too.
Some people were expelled from it; others, burned out, quit. People posted scurrilous rumors about family members of St. Sometimes, when things really got heated, people tried to re-inject some perspective and recall some of the good things about their St. Now go cue up the Zep. Do it. Oh, and turn it way the fuck up too.
Remember how epic St. As the second investigation proceeded, the survivors pressed a case against Peterson. Beyond what they viewed as his unresponsiveness to their early attempts to alert him, they were increasingly bothered by the absence of post allegations in the report released by the school, given that they knew of at least one that the investigator had been informed about. It was a matter involving a computer-science teacher and athletic trainer named Charles Thompson.
Thompson was removed as a dorm master, suspended for several months, and given a psychiatric evaluation before being allowed to return. He later moved to the Taft School, Free fuck Saint George northwestern Connecticut, but after the St. Thompson remains on leave and did not respond to a request for an interview. Some St. During all this, the school hunkered down, giving no interviews after the initial Globe story and hiring both the same law and crisis P.Free fuck Saint George
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