Boarding school finds evidence of sexual misconduct by former headmaster

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. — A private boarding school in Massachusetts says it has uncovered credible reports of sexual misconduct by a former headmaster that involved students. reports that Williston Northampton School in Easthampton sent a letter to the school community this week that said it had four firsthand reports that former headmaster Robert Ward “violated the standards of professional boundaries” during his tenure from 1972 until 1979.

Williston Northampton began investigating after another private school — The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut — said it had uncovered credible sexual assault reports involving Ward that dated to the 1960s.

CBS News

Boarding school discloses more sexual misconduct allegations

A prestigious Massachusetts boarding school says an investigation has found that two more former faculty members engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with students.

Phillips Academy in Andover’s head of school wrote in an email to the school community Monday that the alleged misconduct was found by an independent law firm hired by the school.

The school had previously identified five cases in the 1970s and 1980s in which former faculty members engaged in improper conduct with students.

Head of School John Palfrey says the latest investigation found that one male teacher allegedly had sexual intercourse with a female student during the 1970s. Another male faculty member allegedly “engaged in unwanted intimate touching” with a student during a school-sponsored activity.

The two former faculty members refused to participate in the investigation.

Boston 25 News

Hundreds of choir boys at a boarding school abused over six decades – report

At least 547 young members of the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir in Germany were subjected to physical and in some instances sexual abuse over a period of 60 years, a new report says.

The report accuses 49 members of the Catholic Church of carrying out the abuse between 1945 and the early 1990s.

The alleged perpetrators are unlikely to face criminal charges because of the amount of time that has elapsed.

Victims said the experience was like “a prison, hell and a concentration camp”.

The alleged physical abuse relates to children attending both the Regensburger Domspatzen’s pre-school and high school, according to the lawyer tasked with investigating the abuse, Ulrich Weber.

BBC News

The Guardian

Godalming boarding school teacher jailed for indecent assault

A Weybridge man has been jailed for sexually assaulting a boy at a Godalming boarding school.

72-year-old Charles Philip Johnson, of Hall Place Drive, taught at Barrow Hills in the 70s and 80s.

He admitted two counts of indecently assaulting a boy under the age of 14 years at Guildford Crown Court.

He was also given a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

The offences took place between 1979 and 1980 while the victim was a pupil and boarder at Barrow Hills School in Godalming.

The school was owned by the Josephites (a religious order), but was sold by them in 1990.

Since then it has been run by Trustees as an independent charity.

Investigating officer Peter Gahan from Surrey Police’s Safeguarding Investigation Unit, said: “I hope this guilty verdict and sentence will in some way help the victim to come to terms with what’s happened and move on with his life.

“He had the courage to report Johnson’s vile offending and I’d like to commend his bravery in coming forward.

“I would also encourage any victim to come forward to Surrey Police and report any similar incidents by calling 101.

Eagle Radio

Four former teachers at Sussex boarding school charged with sexual offences

Men who taught at Christ’s Hospital boarding school face total of 36 counts over alleged offences between 1980 and 1996.

Four former teachers at a West Sussex boarding school have been charged with a range of sexual offences including rape against 15 alleged male and female victims across a 16-year period.

The accused, all men in their 60s who taught at Christ’s Hospital school near Horsham, face a combined total of 36 counts relating to alleged offences between 1980 and 1996. They were arrested last November.

The Guardian

The Telegraph

Mail Online

Someone needs to add Boarding School Syndrome into the mix…

At an event last week called “The Dark Side of Business,” held at the Corinthia Hotel in London, neuroscientist Tara Swart spoke about why psychopathic traits were so common in high-powered people.

She said many signs of psychopathy were also synonymous with those of strong leadership, such as callousness, impulsivity, aggression, and showing little emotion.

With more men in CEO positions than women, Swart says, boardrooms are severely lacking female characteristics such as empathy, intuition, and creativity. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, and Swart acknowledged that some women were bad at empathy and some men were good at it — but as a general rule, she said, these tend to be female traits.


Some of Swart’s male clients were sent off to boarding school at a young age and had horrible experiences of bullying, institutionalised violence, and humiliation. But women experience these things too.

Business Insider asked whether the ways men and women coped with these feelings of shame and rejection had an impact on more men ending up with psychopathic traits.

[But no mention of Boarding School Syndrome?]

Business Insider

Head of Prince Charles’ former boarding school asks ex-pupils to come forward if they suffered abuse

The principal of Prince Charles’ former boarding school has called on ex-pupils to come forward if they suffered abuse as children.

Gordonstoun have contacted more than 3000 old students and urged them to speak out if they were ever victims.

Senior staff took the action after allegations of abuse surfaced at the junior school two years ago.

The £33,000-a-year boarding school near Elgin, Moray, was one of several Scottish private schools named by judge Lady Smith, who is heading the national inquiry into historical child abuse.

Prince Charles hated his time at the school so much that he dubbed it “Colditz in kilts”.

Daily Record

Twenty years of Harry Potter: help for a declining, outdated, abusive industry?

26 June 1997. The day the first Harry Potter fantasy was published.

By 2002, the UK boarding school industry was crowing about the tales being a white knight for their declining industry. They started refurbishing their dorms, building new boarding houses on the back of a work of fiction. Written by a non-boarder.

The reality is that sexual and other abuses continue. Just read the news reports on this site about current, active boarding school abuse cases. No amount of fictional wizardry can replace the trauma and abandonment of boarding.

2002 also saw the founding of Boarding Concern, creating a support and advocacy organisation for those identifying as boarding school survivors.

Today, twenty years later, the boarding decline continues, propped up by the predatory acquisition of children from overseas.

And the Hogwart’s Generation of Millennial former boarders are now beating a path to our door. Our analytics show they represent 20% of visitors to our website.

What we have learned from the Harry Potter generation is that boarding should remain just a work of fiction, a fantasy. There is no need to send children away to boarding school.

The Guardian

Benedictines ‘can’t accept’ blame for child abuse at boarding school

The head of a religious order has expressed “sorrow” that monks abused boys at Fort Augustus Abbey School but said his congregation cannot be held responsible for what happened.

Dom Richard Yeo, abbot president of the English Benedictine Congregation, said he believed the allegations of former residents who say they were abused at the fee-paying Highland boarding school, which closed in 1993. But the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was shown a submission from the congregation which said it had “no remit or authority” to acknowledge or accept abuse. The inquiry heard allegations have been made against six monks who taught at either Fort Augustus, on the banks of Loch Ness, or Carlekemp Priory School in East Lothian.

The Scotsman

Gordonstoun school asks former pupils if they were abused

A leading private school with links to the royal family has contacted more than 3,000 former pupils asking them to report evidence of abuse they may have suffered during their time there.

Allegations of historical abuse at Gordonstoun junior school emerged two years ago.

Prince Charles is a former pupil at the boarding school, near Lossiemouth in Moray, and disliked his time there so much he described it as being like “Colditz in kilts”.

It is one of a number of independent schools in Scotland named by Lady Smith, the judge who is conducting a national inquiry into historical abuse in the country.

The Times (subscription)