Monday, April 20, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Williston Gives Me the Willies

I used to live in that town, I've visited the school, and now we know it is another elite bastion of pedophelia:

"Easthampton teacher on leave after sex allegation; Investigator hired by school after ‘70s incident reported" by Jeremy C. Fox Globe Correspondent  April 19, 2015

An Easthampton private school has hired an independent investigator and placed a faculty member on paid leave following a report that the teacher was involved in sexual conduct with a student in the late 1970s, administrators said in a letter to the school community last week.

The Williston Northampton School notified law enforcement officials of the allegation, which it learned of during the week prior, according to the letter, dated April 13 and signed by Robert W. Hill III, head of the school, and James M. Dubin, president of its board of trustees.

The incident that was reported involved one faculty member and one student, the letter said.

“We initiated an investigation to determine facts and scope . . . and we notified authorities,” Traci Wolfe, a spokeswoman for the school, said in an e-mail Saturday.

“The teacher was on campus, and was asked to leave.”

Wolfe said she could not comment on the allegation beyond the information contained in the letter.

The letter did not indicate the exact nature of the allegations or who came forward with them, nor did it identify or give the gender of the faculty member or the student.

Williston has been a co- educational institution since 1971 and currently serves 80 day students in its middle school and 450 boarding and day students in its upper school, according to its website.

The teacher accused was placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of an investigation by attorney Susan E. Schorr, the letter said.

The letter encouraged members of the school community to contact Schorr “with any information that you may have about any sexual misconduct at the school or any other information that you believe would be helpful.”

Schorr, a lawyer at the Andover firm of Schwartz Hannum PC, specializes in legal matters related to education, including investigations into reports of sexual abuse, according to the firm’s website. Schorr did not immediately respond to an e-mail message on Saturday.

A lawyer in the office of Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan said in a statement that the office does not confirm or deny the existence of criminal investigations.

“However,” First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne said in the statement, “we are grateful to Williston Northampton School for initiating an independent investigation into any sexual misconduct that may have occurred between a faculty member and student. The safety and emotional well-being of children is a shared concern of our office and the Williston school community.”