Elite NYC school apologizes for past abuse

AP News
Posted: May 24, 2013 8:39 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Horace Mann School, one of New York City's most prestigious private schools, has apologized for more than three decades of sexual abuse perpetrated by some of its teachers and administrators, according to a letter posted on its website Friday.

"We sincerely apologize for the harm that was caused by the teachers and administrators who abused anyone during their years at Horace Mann School," wrote Board Chairman Steven Friedman and Head of School Thomas Kelly in the three-page letter. "These unconscionable betrayals of trust never should have happened."

The Bronx district attorney's office and the New York Police Department launched an investigation into allegations of abuse at the school after a New York Times Magazine article last summer that said the academy was plagued by teachers who sexually abused children in the 1970s.

Friday's letter apologizes for abuse by former teachers and administrators between 1962 and 1996.

In April, prosecutors said that while there was a systemic pattern of suspected sexual abuse at the Bronx school, the statute of limitations to prosecute them has expired.

In the letter Friday, Friedman and Kelly said the school had hired a private mediation firm which presented the board of trustees with impact statements from 31 individuals who described their abuse. They said settlements have been reached with "the great majority" of those individuals.

Additionally, Friedman and Kelly said the school's board would eliminate a board position of trustee emeritus and create an advisory board on student safety, which may include a victim of sexual abuse.