The Horace Mann Coalition, an advocacy group of mostly graduates, says the cover ups and sexual abuse incidents went on for decades without being noticed, and have identified as many as 30 new victims and three times the number of sexual predators.
Reports of abuse by teachers and even the headmaster from the 60s to late 90s were thrown under the rug until victims began to step forward, leading to a New York Times report in 2012. After that report, new victims continued to tell stories of their abuse at the hands of administrators, revealing that the sexual attacks began around 1962, a decade earlier than previously thought, according to the Horace Mann Action Coalition, a group of independent investigators.
The information was gathered by the coalition and passed to the NYPD and Bronx District Attorney’s office.
“The numbers are so much greater than had we been thinking before hand,” said Robert Boynton, a 1981 alumnus of Horace Mann and member of the coalition.
The coalition is certain there are more victims and urges them to come forward as the investigation continues.
Boynton says, “We had the highest hopes for the school and believed everything it had taught us there to believe about it and the way to act and then we became very dismayed by that and decided we had to set up some sort of organization. So we are a non profit organization to help support the victims in whatever ways that we could and as our mission has developed it’s become one where we’re investigating the sexual abuse and cover ups and sexual abuse itself,” said Boynton.
The biggest problem in the case for possible prosecution is that many of the abuses fall beyond the statue of limitations in New York for criminal prosecution. Nevertheless, victims still may be able to mount a civil lawsuit against the school and the individuals responsible.
The advocacy urges parents and students to not waste time reporting a sexual abuse incident.