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CBS NY: Hackley School Comes Clean

Hackley School Comes Clean In Email About Past Sexual Abuse At Hands Of Staffer

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Westchester County’s prestigious Hackley School has acknowledged sex abuse that occurred in the 1960s and has apologized to victims.

The private school in Tarrytown confirmed to WCBS 880 that it emailed a letter to nearly 4,000 alumni and current parents on Wednesday night.

It says the perpetrator was an unidentified, now-deceased former employee who “had a role in teaching.”

Details of the abuse and the number of victims were not disclosed.

At the time, Hackley was a boarding school for about 500 boys in the sixth through 12th grades.

The letter says several alumni from that era contacted the school over a period of time to report the abuse. The school hired a law firm to look into the allegations.

As WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane reported, the Horace Mann Action Coalition is aimed at fighting sexual abuse in schools, including its own.

Robert Boynton with the group calls Hackley’s handling of the situation inspiring.

“It was an occasion where an academic educational institution acted like an academic educational institution. It acted with compassion and humanity,” he told Murnane. “The issue of sexual abuse of children, of students has always been with us and always will be with us. The only thing that can change and evolve is the way that we treat it when it comes out.”

The letter includes information for anyone who needs counseling.

NY Post: HM Overboard


Horace Mann overboard


Since 1887, the insanely expensive Horace Mann School in The Bronx has educated rich and fabulous budding masters of the universe, from future Pulitzer Prize winners to the boy who grew up to be known as former Love Gov Eliot Spitzer.

But after a sex-abuse scandal plus a series of outrages, from sex parties thrown by kids to the arrest of an employee for allegedly threatening his ex-girlfriend, Horace Mann is losing its mojo. Many parents want nothing to do with the school.

Two years ago, a top Manhattan firm that guides parents through the indigestion-provoking private-school application process steered about 500 hopefuls to Mann. But for the 2014-15 school year, the company has seen the number of Mann applicants dwindle to one. And that kid’s parents, from Taiwan, decided to send their kid to another school.

How did one of the country’s premiere educational institutions wind up scrounging for attendees like a cut-rate strip club?

“No parent wants to deal with a school that has this much weird stuff going on,’’ Amanda Uhry, owner of Manhattan Private School Advisors, which helps place kids in hard-to-get-into schools, told me.

“It’s more than just the sex-abuse scandal,’’ said Uhry. Those infamous episodes, dozens of students who attended Mann, possibly from the 1960s to the 1990s, have said they were molested by teachers and staffers who were protected from punishment by the administration, a pattern of horror first revealed by The New York Times magazine in 2012. Some victims have received cash settlements from the school.

Lately, Mann has gone out of control.

In November, The Post reported that kids threw wild parties in which boys tried to have sex with “randos’’ — a code word for unattractive, drunken girls.

Efforts by Mann administrators to convince rabidly social parents to stop their darlings from attending these sick soirées fell on deaf ears. Apparently to some adults, having a kid fit in is more important than schoolwork.

Last month, a 16-year-old whose parents are worth more than $100 million asked her peers to empty their closets of used Gucci and Prada clothes and accessories, and sell them to raise money for the therapy sessions of sexually abused Mann alumni.

“Is this the tone-deaf way that Horace Mann can begin to take responsibility for what has happened there?” alumnus Robert Boynton, a spokesman for the Horace Mann Action Coalition, said to The Post. The coalition wants a major investigation into sex crimes rather than the services of shrinks.

Then last week, Mann’s head of college counseling, Canh Oxelson, 42, who also performs as an impersonator of golfer Tiger Woods, was arrested after he allegedly threatened to ruin the life of a nurse who dumped him by sending her naked pictures to the woman’s bosses, The Post’s Tara Palmeri reported.

With a student body of about 1,800, Mann charged an eye-popping $41,150 for tuition this school year. All that to educate kids as young as 3 who attend Mann’s full-day program in Manhattan, all the way up to educating 12th-graders who take classes on the leafy campus in the affluent Riverdale neighborhood in The Bronx.

Parents go positively cuckoo trying to install their kids in New York’s top-tier  top-tier  private schools. Manhattan Private School Advisors charges each of its 1,500 clients  from $15,000 to $30,000 to help increase a young one’s odds of getting accepted into schools, from preschools to colleges, starting from age 1. “One client came to see us at six weeks pregnant. Can you imagine?’’ said Uhry.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the serial crises are taking a toll. One mom who’s looking for a place to park her baby girl told me she’s not considering the school.

“It seems like every day, we hear about something new,’’ she said. “I don’t need the aggravation.’’

Mann’s administrators won’t say what’s going on. The director of admissions told me he doesn’t talk to the press. Thomas Kelly, the head of school, did not return a call.

And still, Uhry tries to get her clients to apply there.

“It’s really a great school,’’ she said. “But parents won’t hear about it.’’

It’s time for Horace Mann to clean up its act.