According to news reports a former teacher at the Pingry School, an elite preparatory school in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, is under investigation for sexual abuse of students that allegedly occurred throughout the 1970s. Accusations of the abuse were made by alumni from the school. Officials from the school contacted law enforcement in response to the allegations and the school has agreed to assist with the investigation, in addition to hiring its own independent investigators to address the issue. (Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/pingry-school-investigates-sex-abuse-allegations-against-ex-teacher-thad-n547731)
The former teacher under investigation is Thad Alton. Alton joined Pingry when the school merged with Short Hills Country Day School and remained a teacher at the school until 1978. In a separate incident, Alton was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse of two boys in 1990 and is listed on the New York Sex Offender Register.
Sex Abuse Allegations Common within Private Schools
Pingry is just one of several elite prep schools facing accusations of decades-old abuse. For years the problem of the sexual abuse of students has been a problem in private schools. Only in the last five years, following the sexual abuse scandal at the prestigious Horace Mann School in New York City, has the issue been receiving the attention it deserves.
Unfortunately, families often assume their children are safer in private schools, but regardless of expense, these schools are no safer than any other. Boarding schools that allow students to live on campus away from home leave kids especially vulnerable.
As victims of sexual abuse in school, children and teens can face serious, long-lasting emotional and psychological injuries. In addition to the problems caused in childhood and adolescence, sexual abuse can trigger issues later in life. Many adults who were sexually abused as young students eventually struggle in their careers, with business and personal relationships, and as parents.