New report finds sexual abuse scandal at elite NYC school might have been bigger than we thought

A newly released alumni report alleges the instances of sexual abuse at an elite New York City private school far exceeded the number previously believed to have taken place.

The report, released by a nonprofit group called the Horace Mann Action Coalition, claimed there were more than 60 victims of sexual abuse by more than 20 different educators at The Horace Mann School. Those numbers double previous number of abuse allegations at the school that a New York prosecutor had uncovered.

The newly released report alleges rampant sexual abuse at Horace Mann and described the environment at the school as a “culture of arrogance and secrecy, aided by individual acts of cowardice and denial by administrators, board members, and teachers.”

In 2012, the Bronx district attorney conducted a 10-month investigation into allegations of abuse at Horace Mann. By 2013, the DA had found at least 12 alleged abusers and 25 purported victims of sexual abuse, occurring from the 1960s through the 1990s.

But the DA could go no further with investigations as the statute of limitations had been exceeded in all of the cases, the New York Times reported in 2013,

The report released Wednesday lambasted Horace Mann for its supposed lack of cooperation into the investigation.

“Rather than endeavouring to bring sunlight to a darkened corner of its past, Horace Mann has steadfastly refused to investigate on its own or to cooperate with our investigation,” the report read.

In addition to uncovering the apparently disturbing history of the school, the report offered best practices for prevention of student sexual abuse such as better training for administrators and better screening practices during the hiring process.

In March 2013, Horace Mann reached a settlement worth hundreds of thousands of dollars with many of the victims who said they were sexually abused while at the school. And in April 2015, Horace Mann settled a suit with another former student, though the victim’s lawyer refused to discuss details of the case.

We reached out to Horace Mann for comment on the report and will update this post when we hear back.

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