Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Monday, 22 May 2017

Choate Rosemary Hall, a Very Private School, Publicly Catalogs Its Sins

By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS and KATHARINE Q. SEELYE

Choate Rosemary Hall, an elite boarding school in Connecticut, sent a searing report on sexual abuse to nearly 14,000 members of its community. Credit Christopher Capozziello for The New York Times

For so many years, when schools learned that teachers were sexually abusing students, the strategy was to keep it quiet. Handle it in-house. Make it go away.

On Thursday, Choate Rosemary Hall, an elite boarding school in Connecticut, turned that method on its head. At 4:30 p.m., nearly 14,000 members of the Choate community, including alumni, parents and faculty, received an email with a sterile title, “Message to the Choate Rosemary Hall Community,” and a link to a searing report describing decades of sexual abuse at the school.

The revelations at Choate are just the latest in several admissions of sexual abuse of students at some of the nation’s most prestigious prep schools. But by issuing a detailed catalog of the school’s failure to deal with the problem over four decades, Choate drew a measure of praise and support not seen at other schools, like Horace Mann, the New York private school, and St. George’s, the Rhode Island boarding school, which victims and some alumni accused of stonewalling investigations into sexual abuse.

“This is very, very different,” said Roderick MacLeish, a lawyer who has represented many victims of sexual abuse, including one who was molested at Choate.

But, Mr. MacLeish said, “This didn’t just happen because everyone got together and decided it was the right thing to do. This happened because of publicity, and because of an evolving understanding of how sexual abuse is a catastrophic event that transforms people’s lives.”

Many parents and alumni expressed support for the school on Friday, relieved that after so many years of smothering the news, administrators presented a clear public accounting. The report, by an investigator at an outside law firm, named former faculty members who had molested or raped students, and it described how administrators contributed to an atmosphere of secrecy and an impunity that allowed the assaults to metastasize.

“As long as no one was talking about it, then it was growing and breeding,” said Cheryl Hart, whose daughter is a day student at Choate. “Now it feels to me like the kids are less vulnerable. I hope I’m not being na├»ve, but that’s my feeling.”

The report was released days after the deadline for incoming students to sign contracts to attend Choate, which costs $57,000 a year for students who live on campus. The school said the timing was coincidental and was based on when the report was completed and a board meeting that was scheduled more than a year ago. Schools do not get much more elite — or wealthy — than Choate, whose famous alumni include President John F. Kennedy, the actor Michael Douglas and Ivanka Trump.

Paul Mones, a lawyer who represents victims of sexual abuse, said the report was likely to create a safer environment for students. Nonetheless, he said, Choate does not deserve a “pat on the back.”

“They did it because they were forced to,” Mr. Mones said, noting that The Boston Globe ran a story about abuse at the school in October. “They saw the way the wind was blowing, and they knew they had to get out ahead of it.”

“These are smart people,” he continued. “They knew they had to do something.”

Choate’s openness is a long time in coming. Revelations of systemic sexual abuse of children stretch back to 2002, when abuse by Catholic priests received widespread attention after a series of articles published in The Globe.

Next, the revelations hit schools. In 2011, Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State, was arrested, and later convicted, on charges of rampant sexual abuse; it became clear that the university had willfully averted its eyes, allowing his attacks to go on for years. In 2012, an article in The New York Times Magazine chronicled abuse at Horace Mann from the 1970s to the 1990s.

There is now a lengthy roll of elite institutions that have faced similar revelations in recent years, including Deerfield Academy and the Fessenden School in Massachusetts, and the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut.


Staff sex abuse at 110+ New England private schools

Several schools proactively undertook investigations last year in response to a Boston Globe inquiry that found staff at more than 110 private schools in New England had faced allegations of sexual misconduct in the previous 25 years.

Because the schools involved are private, it is hard to tell whether the scandals have caused a dip in applications from new students or in their ability to raise funds. The prestige of graduating from these schools has not diminished, and they remain major funnels to the Ivy League.

Eric F. Peterson, head of school at St. George’s, said in a statement Friday that admissions and fund-raising numbers had not been affected. “They have remained strong, at near record levels,” he said.

But the scandals have clearly taken a toll, as some schools have reached costly settlements with aggrieved students and lost top administrators.

St. George’s paid an undisclosed sum last year to at least 28 students. The amount was believed to be in the millions of dollars, as was a settlement reached by Horace Mann, initially with 32 students.

Experts have said that the prep schools have been prodded to be more transparent and to settle after watching what happened at Penn State, which agreed in 2013 to pay $59.7 million to 26 sexual abuse victims of Mr. Sandusky. Late last month, a jury convicted the former Penn State president of child endangerment for failing to stop the abuse.

By not reporting abuse allegations to authorities, Choate made it easier for those who had abused students to move to other schools without any red flags.

One teacher who did just that was Jaime Rivera-Murillo, a Spanish teacher who the report said raped a student while on a class trip to Costa Rica in 1999. He was fired from Choate but was never reported to authorities as Connecticut law required, and he went on to teach at several schools in the region, eventually becoming principal of Wamogo Regional High School in Litchfield, Conn. He resigned from the school last week.

On Friday, the superintendent and school board of Regional School District 6, which oversees Wamogo, sent a letter to the community saying they had not known that Mr. Rivera-Murillo had worked at Choate until recently.

“The fact that any school would not report alleged sexual abuse to D.C.F. and law enforcement is alarming,” the district’s letter said, referring to the state’s Department of Children and Families.

Attempts to contact Mr. Rivera-Murillo were unsuccessful.

Many schools are conducting more rigorous background checks when hiring staff and training employees to recognize grooming behaviors among adults. Several have developed anonymous tip lines and created confidential areas where students can discuss their concerns. Choate has set up a fund to help alumni pay for therapy expenses.

But the school’s new openness had its limits. Calls to 18 members of the school’s board of trustees resulted in either unreturned calls or polite refusals to talk.

A spokeswoman for the school, Lorraine S. Connelly, said that “The Board spoke in a unified and heartfelt way in yesterday’s community letter,” and felt that it spoke for itself.

Connecticut