Saturday, January 23, 2016

Slow Saturday Special: And Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep....

Good thing it's not in a dorm at St. George's....

"Abuse alleged in 2004 at St. George’s" by Bella English Globe Staff  January 23, 2016

Three boys came to administrators at the prestigious Rhode Island prep school St. George’s in 2004 with disturbing allegations: their dorm master had touched them inappropriately. Timothy Richards, then dean of students at the Episcopal school in Middletown, said he and the headmaster, Eric Peterson, interviewed the students.

The accused staffer left the school abruptly, and students were told he had taken a personal leave of absence. But a former school official says the school never reported the allegations to child welfare officials, as is required for credible accusations of abuse.

Instead, the headmaster concluded that the employee “did not engage in sexual misconduct” and allowed him to return to work the next school year. Richards, now headmaster at another private school, said Peterson told him that “outside counsel” had advised him that reporting the matter to authorities was not warranted.

This week, with St. George’s embroiled in a growing sexual abuse scandal, Richards said he would have reported the 2004 incident. “If the decision was up to him, he would have reported it to the appropriate agency in Rhode Island,” said Richards’s spokesperson, Karen Schwartzman. “In the situation at St. George’s School, he’s relying on the judgment of his boss, who is head of school and also an attorney.”

The incident intensifies the spotlight on Peterson, who is still St. George’s headmaster and was already facing calls for his resignation for what victims say is his failure to respond appropriately to numerous allegations of unreported past abuse. On Dec. 23, the school released a report on its own investigation into sexual abuse there, mostly in the 1970s and ’80s, describing six staff and three student perpetrators. But it did not include the 2004 incident, even though the father of one alleged victim says he described the case in detail to the investigator.

The dorm master, Charles Thompson, remained on staff until he left in 2011 for the Taft School in Connecticut. He is now director of information technology at Taft. He did not respond to Globe requests for comment.

The St. George’s scandal became public in December when former student Anne Scott and two others came forward with allegations that athletic trainer Al Gibbs assaulted them in the 1970s. Since then, more than 40 other alumni have reported sexual abuse to attorneys Eric MacLeish and Carmen Durso, who are representing some of them.

Then it was condoned as part of the culture.

Alumnus and former school trustee Dan Brewster says he was informed of a staff member’s purported misconduct toward multiple students in 2004. He told school officials but never heard back from Peterson, despite repeated attempts to reach him.

“It’s disgusting,” Brewster said. “It was abundantly clear from the outset that the school had no intention of informing parents, tending to the needs of victims, informing law enforcement, of doing anything other than protecting what they viewed as the importance of the institution.”

It's called SOP in crisis situations regarding scandals.

IRS tax records, which are public because St. George’s is considered a nonprofit, say Peterson was paid $524,700 in salary and other compensation in 2013, the last year records are available online. His wife, Krista, is senior associate director of admissions at the school....

Little bit of ince$t there, 'eh?


One former student who was abused and whose father is a business executive was expelled for smoking pot off campus.

Pleasant dreams, readers. Don't let the bedbugs bite.

Related: Episcopal Envy

More like a nightmare.