Horace Mann Addresses Past Abuse Cases
Tuesday, August 07, 2012 - 03:08 PM
A prestigious New York City prep school has announced steps that it's taking to address reports of past sexual abuse at the institution.
The Board of Trustees at the Horace Mann School in the Bronx said the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children would review the school's policies, provide training for faculty and staff and develop prevention programs for students.
In a letter, the board said the school would also support and cooperate with any criminal prosecution stemming that resulted from the sexual abuse allegations. “The Board and administration feel strongly that those who can be held accountable must face the consequences of their actions.”
The board also said it had plans to meet with "a group of self-described alumni 'survivors.'”
The school’s response came two months after a New York Times Magazine article reported the school was plagued in the 1980s and early 1990s by a series of teachers who sexually abused students.
Some victims said the response did not address all their concerns, including the need for an independent investigation.
When the allegations first emerged in June, Head of School Thomas Kelly said the Board of Trustees would meet to discuss the issue, and asked alumni for time. “We will develop and implement a thoughtful process that places the first priority on those alumni in need,” Kelly wrote. “Ultimately we need to work together to understand what may have happened and why.”
The NYPD has established a hot line to report suspected sexual abuse at the school.
The Bronx District Attorney Robert John urged alleged victims of sexual assault to come forward — even if the incidents happened beyond the statue of limitations. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn also asked the DA’s office to review the allegations.
With the Associated Press