The investigation into the Horace Mann School identifies 63 former students who say they were abused from the 1960s through the 1990s.
“In my view it was, for long periods of time, a nest of pedophiles,” said report co-Author Leslie Crocker Snyder.
The ongoing abuse remained secret until after the highly publicized scandal at Penn State University, which inspired Horace Mann victims to break their silence.
“We all knew there were certain teachers who had a reputation for being a little more hands on with students,” said Horace Mann graduate Josh Gelman. “A little more personal with students than most were comfortable with.”
The report was compiled by The Horace Mann Action Coalition, a nonprofit group founded by alumni to address the scandal. They say abusers included coaches and teachers of both sexes, a dean, heads of departments, a headmaster and a head of guidance.
“I know of two cases where students were being abused by one teacher and were summonsed to see the chair of the guidance department and the chair of the guidance department proceeded to sexually violate them in that meeting,” said a witness who did not want to be identified.
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The number of alleged victims is more than double the 25 cited in a 2013 report by the Bronx district attorney’s office.
“About four decades; over 60 some-odd young, mostly boys, but a few girls, were victimized and they had no redress,” Snyder said. “This is a life-long traumatic crime and it was treated without any real concern by this school.”
Among the report’s recommendations are a change in New York state law extending the statute of limitations for sexual abuse. All of the incidents contained in the report happened too long ago to be criminally prosecuted.
The report does not allege a cover-up conspiracy at the school but rather implies a web of denial, CBS2’s Lou Young reports.
Peter Brooks, who is part of the group that paid for the investigation, said Horace Mann officials declined to cooperate, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
“The entire stance of the school sends the message that says ‘we don’t want to know, don’t come forward, don’t speak up,'” he said.