2015 in review


What are the patterns of progress in abuse prevention? The pace of news can be overwhelming. The lessons learned are too important to let slip over the transom. So are our schoolmates. Here is a summary of key events in 2015 about Horace Mann, safe schools and wider related issues. Scroll over words in italic for embedded links to articles in blue. Readers can catch up or dig into items of interest using the links.



Head of school: “We believe that it is best for both the school and its alumni to deal with these issues now,” Devey said. “We will support our alumni.”



“Mr. Friedman, a class of 1972 graduate who chaired the board for the past nine years, added that he “didn’t really sign up for the challenges” that sprang from the revelations of abuse.” The many survivors of abuse “didn’t really sign up for the challenges” of repeated sexual abuse by their teachers.

“He spoke of the difficulties of helping the alumni who suffered abuse but didn’t immediately report it — a statement sure to anger the many Horace Mann victims who say their complaints as students were brushed aside by administrators trying to protect the elite academy.”


“Not being deposed saved Friedman from having to testify under oath about what he knew about the Horace Mann scandal and when he knew it.”

“The deal came just after Arnold grilled current headmaster Tom Kelly who’s been accused by survivors groups of trying to sweep the ugly history under the rug. The case was scheduled for a jury trial when it settled earlier this week.”

“Had the case continued, it would have forced the school to defend itself against abuse allegations in court for the first time.”

“Marlborough failed to investigate complaints against the teacher or to alert authorities to possible abuse and stood by as Koetters preyed on at least two other students over more than a decade on campus, according to the lawsuit.”

Decades-long cover of abuse in France: “Teachers who try to speak out about child abuse at the hands of other teachers are silenced by school directors and local officials, and even threatened with legal action – usually defamation. Others have lost their jobs. As for the teachers the children accuse, they usually stay at the same school, or are quietly transferred to another.”

“The lawyer prosecuting a Horace Mann graduate arrested last week for threats against the school told a judge that “deals related to the school over the past three years” partly motivated the defendant to commit his alleged crimes — an apparent reference to Horace Mann’s recent settlements with victims of sexual abuse.


Video: CBS news 2, CBS news, PIX11,

Press: Buzzfeed, New York Magazine, Washington Post, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Newsday, NBC, NY Post, NY Daily News, NY Times, Business Insider, Survivors, Huffington Post, SNAP, Refinery29, Marci Hamilton , Kevin Mulhearn , Riverdale Press



“If effective responses to institutional child sexual assault are to be developed, we need to move from an understanding of institutions as merely places where child sexual abuse may occur to places where the institution itself is conducive to crime. And if institutions or organisations are directly or indirectly responsible for criminal behaviour such as child sexual assault, the law should hold them to account.





Press:  Riverdale Press, NY Daily News, NY Times, Time, NY Magazine, Hamilton, Chicago Tribune, Podcast with Marc Fisher on NPR, Seattle Times,