The Sexual Abuse Scandal at Choate

Choate, one of the most prestigious private schools in the US which counts among its alumni President Kennedy and Edward Albee, is the latest in a string of elite private schools, including St. George’s School, Taft School, Thayer Academy and Concord Academy to now bare its institutional soul and publicly admit its shameful history of the sexual abuse of its students. An investigation commissioned by the Choate ( demonstrates that Choate turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse of its students for decades. The investigation reveals detailed accounts by 24 survivors, but as we know the numbers of actual victims is much, much higher. Even with all the publicity this report will engender, most victims will, out of fear, embarrassment and confusion stay silent. The report makes clear what we have seen in public schools, in the Boy Scouts and in the Catholic Church when a complaint was made against a Choate teacher, that teacher was allowed to quietly resign. And in some cases teachers went to work at another school. As the Choate investigation found, when sexual abuse of students was revealed such matters were, “handled internally and quietly.” There is no other way to say it: Choate put its institutional reputation above the best interests of its students. As I commented to the New York Times, because private schools like Choate “are closed systems where kids are separated from their parents,” it increases the opportunities for teachers to sexually abuse students.

Victims of sexual abuse in private schools like Choate should not remain silent. Justice should be yours. This report is an opportunity for them to speak out and protect future generations of students.