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View Full Version : All NYC Horace Mann Apologizes for Abuse but Won’t Start New Inquiry



theschoolboards
05-28-2013, 09:52 AM
From N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/25/nyregion/horace-mann-issues-apology-but-refuses-outside-inquiry.html) by Vivian Yee:

Horace Mann, the elite Bronx private school, said on Friday that it would not commission an independent investigation into allegations of widespread sexual abuse there over several decades, even as it issued a public apology to victims.

In a letter posted on the school’s Web site (http://www.horacemann.org/uploaded/HoraceMann/PDFs/School_Documents/LettertoHMCom052413F.pdf), Horace Mann also said it would eliminate the board position of trustee emeritus, effectively removing remaining board members who served as trustees when the abuses were first reported. Victims had asserted that school leaders knew about the abuse but failed to stop it.

The school will establish an advisory board on student safety, allowing outside experts as well as at least one victim to make policy recommendations to the board.

The letter, signed by Steven M. Friedman, the board chairman, and Thomas M. Kelly, the head of school, did not provide further information about the abuses. But it acknowledged that from 1962 to 1996, “former teachers and administrators in fact did abuse, in various degrees,” students.

“We sincerely apologize for the harm that was caused by the teachers and administrators who abused anyone during their years at Horace Mann School,” Mr. Friedman and Mr. Kelly wrote. “These unconscionable betrayals of trust never should have happened. But they did, and now we, as a school, must fully accept this reality.”

“Members of the Horace Mann School community who are survivors,” the letter said, “deserve our gratitude for having the courage to come forward, and our deep appreciation for demanding that Horace Mann School become a model for child abuse prevention and reporting programs.”

The letter marked the first time that the school had apologized for or even acknowledged the allegations of abuse, which received widespread attention when they were described in an article in The New York Times Magazine in June.

The Bronx district attorney’s office said last month that a 10-month investigation identified at least 12 possible abusers. But it said it could not prosecute any of the cases because the statute of limitations had passed.

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