PHILADELPHIA — An alumna sued a Pennsylvania boarding school Friday, weeks after a grand jury report detailed a half-century of sexual abuse there, accusing the school of ignoring warnings the athletic director was sexually involved with her.
The “Jane Doe” accuser said Solebury School’s permissive atmosphere enabled staff to prey on vulnerable teens. The woman, now 29, said that athletic director Lyle Hazel started grooming her in 10th grade and started a sexual relationship in 12th grade that continued for years and left her unable to finish college.
Dr Niamh O’Brien, research fellow at the anti-bullying centre at Dublin City University, has studied the effects of bullying in a private boarding school in England.
The Dubliner, who is based at Anglia Ruskin University in Essex, found in her research specific concerns about bullying among boarders.
She carried out her research into a fee-charging school that takes both day pupils and boarders.
“For the day students in the school, they could leave in the afternoon after the school day was over,” Dr O’Brien tells Review.
“The boarding students were there in the evening time. For anyone affected by bullying, there was that fear that it would extend into the night-time – maybe when there was less adult supervision and things had gone quiet.
“The day pupils could talk to their parents or their siblings if bullying was happening, but that was not always possible for boarding students.”
At Nick Duffell’s recent Ealing lecture, he spoke about the changes in the brains of boarders. Boarders coping with the trauma of abandonment in a loveless institution.
BBC News reports on a study by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine which shows that stress ‘changes brains of boys and girls differently’.
Sadly, we deal with the abuse of boarders today. Advising their parents when the boarding schools are more concerned about protecting their reputations and fee income that the protection of children… Schools making platitudes about “child protection” while all the time failing children in their care. Yes, modern boarding is no different from its shameful past.
Incredible roll call of 51 teachers banned from the classroom for sexual misconduct: Inappropriate behaviour includes affairs with pupils, sexting, and groping children
- Six women teachers are among dozens struck off since January 2015
- 17 teachers engaged in inappropriate relationships with students, and a further 14 were said to have touched pupils
- Those banned by the National College for Teaching and Learning include teachers who had affairs with pupil and one who got teen pregnant
- Others were struck off for crimes such as voyeurism and exposure
In February 2015, Ruth Vaughan, 27, was banned from teaching after she embarked on an affair with a sixth-former at the £30,000-a-year Oakham School, a boarding school in Rutland.
The Exeter Express and Echo newspaper provides a graphic news report on a sexual and physical abuse case at a privately run boarding prep school.
While cases like this are thankfully rare in boarding schools today, abuses of young children persist. It’s just become more “modern”…
Benjamin Fry, the founder of Khiron House trauma treatment clinics has blogged about prep school sexual abuse.
We salute his courage in speaking out about boarding school abuse.
The sad thing to report is that children are still being being harmed, abused and traumatised at British boarding schools today. And not all of it is sexual.
Who is looking after your children tonight?
Pete Saunders of NAPAC is quoted in the TES from January this year.
And the Independent Association of Prep Schools in another TES article miss the point when they think that children in boarding schools can only be harmed by “sexual offences”. A lot of harm happens just by sending a child away to boarding school. Ask Professor Schaverien…
The culture of silence and denial around harming children in boarding school continues…
UK boarding schools are still harming children today. John Edward from the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (Observer Letters, 18 May) fails to mention the continuing investigations into boarding school child abuse. We are aware of around 150 schools under investigation, for current and past abuses. To claim that children (especially younger ones) have to board out of either need or uninformed choice only compounds the harm. There is no need to institutionalise children in the 21st century.
The Daily Mail has published an scathing article on boarding schools and early boarding by A.N. Wilson.
“Scarred for life by the boarding school sadists: How A.N. Wilson was deluged with similar horror stories after revealing his abuse at hands of paedophile head.”
Max Davidson in the Daily Telegraph has written a gushing piece about UK boarding schools. While praising the wonderful facilities, he conveniently forgets the dark side which dwells therein. No mention of the nearly 150 UK independent schools being investigated for alleged child abuse, past and present.
Who is looking after your child tonight?