HollyMoms, you can never think your kids are safe from sexual abuse even at the most prestigious schools. Read on to find out what happened and how sexual abuse led to student suicide.
A string of teachers from Horace Mann school in the Bronx have been accused of sexually predatory behavior.
Amos Kamil, who graduated from Horance Mann in 1982, recounted the horrific details for New York Times Magazine. Kamil spoke to 100 people, including 60 former students, for the article.
Head music teacher Johannes Somary took a student ‘M‘ to Europe and repeatedly raped him — “I was expected to have sex with him and did even though it repulsed me every time,” M said to Amos.
Amos continued about how these victims suffered severe emotional turmoil, with some even committing suicide because the school failed to take action on their claims.
Benjamin Balter, another student who suffered at the hands Johannes Somary, went on a music trip with him in 1993 and was sexually abused. He told the school but they came out in support of the teacher instead. Benjamin killed himself in 2009 with antidepressants and alcohol.
In another harrowing account, Mark Wright, a Princeton-educated art teacher would demand the boys have “physicals” so they could be assaulted. The teacher asked his favorite male student Andrew to strip for a portrait.
“I went to meet him in his art studio,” Andrew told Amos. “He locked the door and told me to undress. He told me to bring a bathing suit, but when I got there he said not to bother putting it on. I was really uncomfortable but did it anyway. [He said] he needed to see the connection between my legs.” The teacher then sexually assaulted the boy.
Amos did not suffer any abuse as a student but he was warned right away by other students to “stay away” from certain teachers and that they were “perverts. A headmaster had once tried to ply him over with gin and tonics.
Another teacher, Stanley Kops, reportedly joined boys in the showers after swimming practice. He resigned after he groped himself in front of a boy, who then yelled for help. He later shot himself.
Despite the complaints, teachers were never fired. Johannes Somary worked at the school until his retirement in 2002, when he was 67.
Annual fees for attending Horace Mann are $40,000, with notable alumni that include Eliot Spitzer, Jack Kerouac, and Attorney General William P. Barr.
The school has responded, saying in a Daily Mail report, “As an educational institution, we are deeply concerned if allegations of abuse of children are raised, regardless of when or where they may have occurred.”
The school continued: “The article contains allegations dating back, in some instances, 30 years, long before the current administration took office, which makes it difficult to accurately respond to the factual allegations therein.”
“In addition, on June 13, 1984, there was a fire in the attic of the business office that destroyed some records.”
— Lorraine Chow
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