Lifestyle & Belief

Horace Mann, elite NY private school, had long history of sexual abuse


Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, one of Horace Mann's distinguished alumni, visits FOX Business' 'Power and Money with David Asman' at FOX Studios on November 28, 2011 in New York City.


Cindy Ord

Horace Mann, one of the most elite private schools in New York, had a long history of sexual abuse from the 1970s through the 1990s, a New York Times Magazine story by a former alumni reported

The article was written by Amos Kamil, a 1982 graduate of Horace Mann, and was posted on the Times' website Wednesday. It will run in this weekend's print editions. 

Kamil interviewed former students of the school (many identified only by letters in their names), who said that at least three now-deceased teachers molested them and their classmates regularly, the Associated Press reported.

Kamil and his interview subjects both describe an atmosphere at the school that blurred the lines of social interactions between teachers and students that was "taken advantage of by pedophiles," according to the AP. 

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Kamil was not abused himself, but describes being warned to stay away from certain "pervert" teachers on his first day at Horace Mann, and recalls being taken out for a drunken evening with two faculty members, "an example of how easy it can be for boundaries to blur and how hard it can be, in the moment, for students to get their bearings," he wrote in the Times Magazine. 

The school's current administrators said in a letter to the Horace Mann community that the allegations detailed in the article were "highly disturbing and absolutely abhorrent," but declined to discuss any of the specific cases mentioned in the article, NBC News New York reported.

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"It should be noted that Horace Mann School has terminated teachers based on its determination of inappropriate conduct, including but not limited to certain of the individuals named in the New York Times article," said the letter, signed by headmaster Thomas Kelly and the chairman of the school's board of trustees Steven Friedman, according to NBC News. 

There have not been any current allegations of sexual abuse at Horace Mann, which counts former Governor Eliot Spitzer and New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger among its distinguished alumni, the New York Daily News reported

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