Prep School Sex Abuse

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Entrance to the Horace Mann school (Wikipedia Commons)

With the news from Penn State, New York Times Magazine contributor Amos Kamil reflects on how past episodes of sexual abuse were handled at elite prep school Horace Mann.


Amos Kamil

Comments [15]

jeremy szold ginzberg from oregon

i am an hm grad class of '69. i havent even read the article yet but i would be shocked if those accused of predatory pedophilia -- berman and somary both attempted to prey on me -- were anything other than depraved sociopaths. throughtout the 60's hm got @ 4-6 out of a class of @100 into yale. in 68 and 69 the number was @21. the director of admissions at yale became the hm headmaster. i heard that he was involved with the baseball coach but had a crush on the first baseman (i dont know if his pedophilia was criminal) and redesigned his office to look upon the object of his affections.
would 'love' to hear from others enraged at these evil fucks.
one of my classmates adam perlman was probably a berman victim and he committed suicide at his harvard going away party in 69'

and they are not all dead! berman and tek young lin are still at it as far as i know.

Jun. 18 2012 05:56 AM
Jane from NJ

It was NOT your fault, anonymous from NY, even if you wanted or invited it. It was entirely his fault. I am a psychotherapist. I hope you will come to believe me.

Jun. 15 2012 12:42 PM
Stewart Waltzer from NYC

I was there when it was an all boys school. Boys would show up with their hair cut to reflect their mentor. Or the watch band of the mentor. As I recall it was a stainless steel clip that snapped to the wrist. Mr. Kamil has no idea how much it was a part of the culture. Other students, that ultimately went into education, and HM was the sine qua nom of educational expertise, would come back to the hill and hear how difficult it had been from the various "deans" to keep the lid on. The administration rooted a lot of it out, but the astonishing things was how long it went on. Apparently well after HM absorbed Barnard and went coed, that Johannes Sommary, or Tek Young Lin continued with the institution that long was revelatory. I still don't believe it. I am glad the hypocrisy of the school has been forced into the light.

Jun. 07 2012 11:20 PM

I did attend HM in the 70's and 80's. I had always heard things about all the teachers mentioned. I steered away from all of them as best I could.

Jun. 07 2012 10:01 PM
Stewart Waltzer from NYC

I did go to Horace Mann from 1959 to 1964 at the time that Dr. Gratwick and Philip Leward, headmaster and head of discipline were in place. There was a cult of homosexuality surrounding various teachers. Johannes Sommary was my teacher, taught music and was totally hopeless. There was also Mr. Berman. Leward did all he could to keep it bottled up. Mr. Van Eamon would photograph the boys swimming naked in the Pforzheimer Natorium, no basing suits were allowed. When it came time to send my own children to private school, I never applied. HM was like a gulag. Mine went to Friends and Unis. Much better and at least humane.

In the independent school network there are two kinds of schools. Schools where the kids leave the marks on the school and schools that are immaculate and leave their marks on the bodies of the students. I did however have a brilliant education.

Jun. 07 2012 09:10 PM
Elle from Brooklyn

To anonymous - your abuser WANTED you to believe it was your own fault - that's how they control their victims and keep them silent. It wasn't your fault. Children CANNOT consent!

Jun. 07 2012 11:14 AM
anonymous from NY

I didn't go to HM but rather a highly ranked public school and I'm glad hear that this is being made into a bigger issue. I experienced abuse several years ago and am still VERY MUCH affected by it mentally, despite continuous therapy. I'm not sure what could be done to combat this issue but people certainly need to stop revering these sick people. Every time I hear something like that it hurts me inside and bring tears to my eyes. I can also say that I can NEVER see myself coming out and talking about my experience, as I am convinced that it was partially my own fault, so that may be part of the reason why people who experienced abuse don't write about it themselves.

Jun. 07 2012 11:07 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

GP - in fact, he said it twice - I'm glad his guest corrected him.

Jun. 07 2012 11:00 AM
The Truth from Becky

The worse kind of villians are child predators...I really wish victims would name names more often, (I know the legal ramifications I'm just saying) these sickos need to be identified!

Jun. 07 2012 10:59 AM

Did Brian just conflate homosexuality with pedophilia ? I hope it was to point out that the two have absolutely nothing to do with each other...

Jun. 07 2012 10:59 AM

Could you mention a bit about Kops? You in your article alluded to some degree of skepticism, especially regarding the student that called the alarm.

Jun. 07 2012 10:57 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

That was one of the craziest calls I've ever heard - "That teacher was a nice guy so he couldn't have been an abuser, and if he was, it's OK"?

Jun. 07 2012 10:55 AM
kikakiki26 from Harlem

why are you going after Mark Wright during this show. In your article you mention several other people. We almost sent my granddaughter to HM, she actually was accepted but we decided otherwise. I do wish it was the people who were/are abused would be the ones who write these kinds of articles

Jun. 07 2012 10:54 AM

What is this caller's criticism? Just because he was never abused doesn't mean other people weren't? Please!!

Jun. 07 2012 10:53 AM
X from NYC

I attended Horace Mann in the 80s and am *shocked*. Some of the teachers sited were absolutely revered. Also, as they are deceased they cannot speak to the allegations. So we'll never really know their side of the story. Regretful.

Jun. 07 2012 10:53 AM

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