A group of abuse survivors from the elite Horace Mann School in the Bronx have released a new report that is guaranteed to shake up private schools around the US (and the world).
The report exposes that the child sexual abuse at Horace Mann was more pervasive even than previously thought, identifying “more than 60 former students who allegedly were abused from the 1960s through the 1990s by 22 school employees,” according to the Wall Street Journal. That is more than twice the number of victims (and two additional alleged perpetrators) compared to the District Attorney’s report. (According to news reports, the DA’s report did not include in its tally those victims whose abuse could not be prosecuted because it was barred by New York’s statute of limitations.)
According to media reports: “The report details allegations of abuse by both male and female staff members, including a headmaster, coaches, teachers, a school chaplain, a dean of guidance and department heads.”
The report also looks beyond the walls of Horace Mann, comparing the allegations of abuse (and institutional response) at Horace Mann to those at 21 other elite private schools around the country.
The report offers conclusions about best practices to prevent abuse at private schools, as well as calling on New York state lawmakers to close a loophole that does not require private schools in New York to report suspected abuse by school employees and to create a registry of offenders.
Notably, media reports state that Horace Mann officials declined to participate or provide access to documents for this investigation. A group of abuse survivors and allies is owed much appreciation and thanks for providing the public this information. The group — called the Horace Mann Action Coalition — spent nearly $100,000 to hire professional investigators, including Judge Leslise Crocker Snyder (a former sex-crimes prosecutor) and retired New York Police Department detectives to conduct the investigation, which took nearly two years to complete.
This is a fantastic example of how important it is that survivors come forward about abuse and hold institutions responsible. Horace Mann did not undertake this investigation — it took abused kids, years later, standing up for themselves and holding an institution accountable to bring to light what really happened at this school. Survivors have the power to be heroes — obtaining healing for themselves, as well as truth and change to prevent abuse in the future. Kudos and thanks to Horace Mann Action Coalition for their courage, hard work and dedication to bring this information to light.
To read the complete report, click here or use the following url: http://makingschoolsafe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MakingSchoolSafeReport.pdf
The attorneys at Crew Janci LLP have successfully represented many clients in bringing claims against both public and private schools. We will providing additional analysis on the Horace Mann Report in the days ahead.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse at a private school, please contact us today for a free private consultation. Call us today at 1-888-407-0224 or use our confidential online form.
You are not alone. We are here to help.