Yesterday, Choate Rosemary Hall boarding school released a report of over 20 instances of sexual abuse by 12 former teachers, USA Today reports. Choate was apparently prompted to undertake an internal investigation in 2013, after alumni reports of sexual abuse, but the formal investigation did not begin until after the publication of a Boston Globe article exposing similar cases at other elite centers of primary education, according to The New York Times.
The time at which the internal investigation first began is not made clear by the announcement, but the information wasn't made public until now in order to maintain the privacy of the victims and because the investigation was ongoing.
The first documented case of abuse by a teacher took place in the early 1960s, and the last case in the report is stated to have taken place in 2010. Many of the cases were not reported until several years after they took place, and in some instances not until after the death of the abusers.
“The conduct of these adults violated the foundation of our community: the sacred trust between students and the adults charged with their care,” said an announcement from the school’s board of trustees on Thursday.
“In some circumstances, Choate acted swiftly and decisively in response to reports of sexual misconduct, but in others it did not,” the announcement also states. “On behalf of Choate Rosemary Hall, we profoundly apologize.” According to USA Today, while these matters were addressed by the institution, in none of the cases were the local police made aware of the crimes.
Cases like this one shed light on the power dynamics constantly being navigated for students in school, and will hopefully prompt legislation or some sort of reform that provides better protection for students and better training and oversight for teachers or individuals in positions of power at institutions such as this one. There is much to be learned here.