Keeping Children Safe

Below is a set of rules for keeping children safe. They're based on the particular sorts of abuse that occurred at this school

1. Children never ride in or even enter a vehicle owned by faculty, staff, or administrators. And faculty and staff never ride in or enter a vehicle owned by a student.

Many instances of abuse were facilitated by faculty giving students rides. One alleged abuser simply parked his van on campus and used it as a site to hang out with and abuse students.

If a faculty or staff member violates this rule, they should immediately provide a written explanation, and the school should investigate.

Parents who work at the school may be at a disadvantage in carpooling; that is a small price to pay for keeping students safe.

If faculty are drivers for an overnight school trip, parents should demand a system in which there are two adults the vehicle at all times, with one of the adults being a woman. Pleas that so-and-so is a father, shouldn't matter. A number of the alleged abusers are fathers.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

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2. Children never enter the house or apartment of a faculty member.

Abusers need a private place in which to abuse students. Having students at their home provides a perfect opportunity.

This means that teachers and staff cannot draw on the student population for babysitting and childcare. Again, that is a small price to pay.

A permissible exception is if the child of an employee goes to the school and has friends over. In this case, the employee needs to file paperwork with the school everytime they have a student over. This will be a hassle, but that is preferable to instances of abuse.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

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3. Parents much pre-approve all mentoring relationships. Any mentoring must have concrete goals and specific start and end dates. Parents should demand this in writing, or tell the school they refuse this relationship on behalf of their child.

Many abusers started grooming students for abuse with a mentoriship relationship with a student. These relationships allowed abusers a pool of pre-groomed children to draw from. Meanwhile, children who were not part of an abuser's mentorship pool would receive less attention, less teaching, a lesser education.

The tradition of teachers having little groups of 'special' students exists for many teachers outside of abuse at this school. The tradition exists to the point where, if a student isn't part of a teacher's little group, that student is likely to receive a lesser eduation.

If a teacher has a group of students they're mentoring, it falls to the parents of students not being mentored to ask if their child is receiving the instruction they deserve.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

Almost all of them.

4. Students should not meet teachers outside of class or outside of pre-approved school activities.

Much abuse into the 2000s was able to occur because students hung out with faculty members outside of school.

Parents must demand of and the school that, if faculty happen to run into students outside of school, they inform the school and the school informs the parents of the students. This note should provide a detailed explanation of what occurred and a timeline. 1-sch-L is in a small town, and people run into each other, but alleged abusers have been taking advantage of this for decades.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

5. Parents should be careful of after-school activities. They should refuse to allow their children to take place in any after-school activities that run later than 7:30pm.

In particular, drama drama has been a venue for the abuse of children at 1-sch-L for decades. Other areas of concern have been music art, and tutoring. Because of the areas of concentration of alleged abusers still at the school, science and sports are of current concern.

If a student is chosen to play the lead in a play, parents should ask them carefully about their whereabouts during the performance. They may wish to consult with a psychologist to inquire about behavioral signs of sexual abuse. If their child is chosen for a leading part in more than one play, the parents defenintely need to consult with a child psychologist to check to see if their child is being abused.

There are many opportunities for young people to be involved in theater in the local town and nearby cities. It's not necessary for their children to be involved in drama at this school.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

6. Parents should be careful of overnight school trips. When their children return, they should query them for an hour-by-hour schedule of what happened.

The tradition of children being sexually abused on school trips at 1-sch-L goes back all the way to the late 1960s and a school trip to Europe.

Things to listen for when querying your child are stories of pranks, scandals, joke involving faculty. Listen for any situation where a faculty member went off or was alone with a small group of students for any lenght of time, including faculty or students 'getting lost.' If you hear of a faculty member going off alone with a student, not matter what the circumstances, demand an explantion from the school immediately.

If you do hear of pranks, jokes, or of a faculty member going off with a group of students--particularly if they are that faculty members 'special' students, call the parents of your child's friends, and ask to speak to your child's friends about what occurred.

If you find that any faculty drove students to a stop or event that wasn't on the schedule, this should raise an immediate red flag. If you don't like the explanations you're hearing from other parents, other children, and the school, call the police.

If something happens on a school trip, and you don't like the answers you hear from your child, go to the police.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

7. If your child shows any signs of depression, extreme rivalry with other students, fixation on a faculty member, or any abrupt changes in behavior, take them to a psychologist and tell them they attend a school with a tradition of abuse that still has alleged abusers on the faculty.

Consider not taking your child to a local psycholoist, but to one at least twenty miles away, perhaps in another or nearby city. Any local psychologist may have a conflict of interest that would make them less likely to look for sexual abuse. They may have friends with children at the school, or may be treating other patients who are children at the school. For instance, one local psychologist is the father of a Lower School teacher.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

8. If a faculty member tells your child they are special or brilliant, be very watchful. This is often the first step in the process of selecting a child for abuse.

1-sch-L has reasonable academics, perhaps slightly in decline in the high school, but if your child truly is gifted, there are programs at local universities that may be better suited. There is no reason for a truly gifted child to have their education molded by a private school teacher.

Wealthy parents often use 1-sch-L as a place to park their children with the knowledge that they'll receive a decent, hands-on education with little intevention necessary. Abusers have taken advantage of this since the 1980s.

Striving middle class parents have often done the same, taking advantages of scholarships the school offers. The parents feel they can work hard at their jobs, knowing their child is safe and receiving an excellent education without their intervention. Hearing that their child is brilliant is exactly what such parents want to hear, and predators know this.

If a faculty member says this about your child, demand proof. How are they brilliant or gifted? If they are indeed brilliant or gifted, what testing should they undergo? What outside courses or programs should they apply for? Request that the faculty member give advice on a program of study for the child that does not involve that faculty member's mentorship or oversight.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

Nearly all of them

9. Do not allow your child to be on school grounds unless they're participating in an after-school activity.

For decades, students simply hanging around school has given predators opportunities for abuse. If your child is at school, they must be doing something. Having them wait around on school grounds for a ride is not acceptable. Worst case scenario, they can walk or take Uber to the library that's about a mile away.

Having children in after-school study halls or studying in the library is not really a good alternative. Students can easily leave these environments to hang out with teachers they like, and predators are often really good at being teachers that students like.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

11. If a teacher is let go or there is some other sort of scandal, ask you child and your child's friends what happened. Don't necessarily believe the school

The school has been quietly letting alleged abusers go since 1975. The last time the school quietly let an alleged abuser go was in 2016. Get on FaceBook. Ask recent alumni what happened. Ask older alumni if they have heard of the faculty or staff who were involved doing anything similar in the past. Basically, you need to network to find out what occurred. Don't leave it to the school and believe they'll do what's right. Mostly, they have not.

If you know something, say something. Tell your friends. Tell the parents of your child's friends.

If you suspect something truly rotten, call the police.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

12. Don't let 1-sch-L Become Your Child's World.

Find your child other activities, other venues in which to succeed. Take them to church, to concerts. Send them off for art or STEM lessons elsewhere. 1-sch-L can be a very insular world; predators take advantge of this--a child in an insular world is a trapped child without the outside refernces necessary to gain perspective on the situation.

Unfortunately, 1-sch-L promotes itself as one-stop-educational shopping. Historically, students who because caught up in activities outside the school were then not as included socially or academically as students who made the school the center of their universe.

Also, the very insular nature of 1-sch-L means that it does not necessarily prepare students for life outside of its little bubble. This is fine if the family is well off and the child wants to spend their life in their hometown, but it's fairly dreadful for students who want to survive in the real, competitive world. Getting your child out will prevent adulthood from being such a culture shock.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

13. Single parents need to be on the lookout for abuse, particularly if the remaining parent is a widow or widower.

Many, many of the survivors were children of single parents, and abusers at 1-sch-L have a sick way of homing in on any child whose parent has recently died.

Single mothers should not regard 1-sch-L as a safe place to park their child.

The children of single mothers who work for the school are at particular risk. If you work for the school and believe your child is being abused, you need 1.) a lawyer, 2.) a good psychologist, 3.) a long chat (it will be one of many) with child protective services, and 4.) a new job.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

14. Faculty should not be allowed to date parents.

There are a few cases where faculty dating a parents provided an opportunity for that faculty member to abuse the child. If it's true love, the faculty member can quit.

This holds true if the parent being dated is also employed by the school. The cases where a faculty member allegedly used dating a parent as an opportunity to abuse, that parent was also employed by the school.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

15. Faculty and board members should be careful of their children

Ironically, one of the risks for being abused at 1-sch-L is being the child of a faculty member. Abusers like to have faculty children in their special groups--possibly because it offers them protection. But they sometimes go on to select those children for abuse. Unfortuantely, even being a board member does not protect a child from abuse--children of board members number among the survivors. This rule includes the children of professors at 3-sch-L.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

16. Faculty should not have contact with student for five years after the student graduates. If this occurs, parents should grill their child about what occurred.

Many abusers at 1-sch-L began abusing students and continued their 'relationhip' with the student after the student graduated. (Some of these relationships were abusive, and at least one alumni feared for her life.) This practice of beginning to 'date' a girl in her teens and continuing the relationship into her 20s is so common as to be a school tradition. Furthermore, having non-survivor alumni hang out at their houses was often away that abusers provided cover for continuing these relationships with alumni, or for further abuse.

The simple solution is to allow students no contact with faculty for a number of years after the student graduates. If the student needs letters of recommendation, they can contact the faculty through the school.

Children should not enter faculty or staff houses or vehicles within five years after graduating from the school.

Ideally, this would be written into faculty contracts and faculty would have to report if they happened to run into a recent graduate outside of school.

Abusers who took advantage of this:

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