NYC Firm Schools Should Take Note of the Freeh Report

by NYC Firm Schools on July 13, 2012

In light of sex abuse allegations against, not one, but two NYC Firm Schools, Poly Prep Country Day School in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn and the Horace Mann School in Riverdale, Bronx, we recommend all members (parents, administrators, board members, students, faculty, etc.) of the NYC private school community look at the Freeh Report which examines Penn State’s handling of the Sandusky scandal. In particular, we encourage all board members/trustees of each and every NYC private school, nursery school, preschool, independent school, religious school, etc. to carefully read the report.

Here is the original press release, Freeh Report, and press conference:

  • “Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
  • “Although we found no evidence that the Penn State Board of Trustees was aware of the allegations regarding Sandusky in 1998 and 2001, that does not shield the Board from criticism. In this matter, the Board – despite its duties of care and oversight of the University and its Officers – failed to create an environment which held the University’s most senior leaders accountable to it.”
  • “After a media report on March 31, 2011, the Board was put on notice about serious allegations that Sandusky was sexually assaulting children on the Penn State campus. The Board failed in its duty to make reasonable inquiry into these serious matters and to demand action by the President.

    The President, a Senior Vice President, and General Counsel did not perform their duty to make timely, thorough and forthright reports of these 1998 and 2001 allegations to the Board. This was a failure of governance for which the Board must also bear responsibility.”

  • “The Board did not have regular reporting procedures or committee structures to ensure disclosure of major risks to the University; Some Trustees felt their meetings were a “rubber stamp” process for Mr. Spanier’s actions; The Board did not independently ask for more information or assess the underreporting by Spanier about the Sandusky investigation after May 2011 and thereby failed to oversee properly his executive management of the worst crisis in Penn State’s history”

Here is Penn State’s response to the Freeh Report and press conference (refresh the page if video clips don’t load):

For complete coverage and analysis, we recommend The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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