Phillips Exeter Academy

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Officials at Phillips Exeter Academy have released two reports detailing allegations of sexual misconduct at the private boarding school. 

 

The reports, which were released Friday in a letter to the school community, were investigated by outside law firms. They detailed allegations of abuse by 11 former faculty and staff members.

 

Phillips Exeter also released a supplemental report, detailing allegations of misconduct by students. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A New Hampshire prep school has hired an interim principal to succeed its departing leader, who helped respond to allegations of sexual abuse against former staff members and students.

Phillips Exeter Academy said Monday that Bill Rawson will be interim principal. Lisa MacFarlane said in February that she would return to the University of New Hampshire after three years of leading the school.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

Reports of sexual abuse at several top prep schools have surfaced in recent years. A group of Phillips Exeter Academy alumni have now launched an independent reporting website for sexual assault survivors from that school. 

Susannah Morrison Curtis is part of that group and she’s on the line with me now. 

(This transcript was lightly edited for clarity.)   

I’d like to get into what you’re trying to accomplish with this website, but first tell us a little bit about your experience at Phillips Exeter, whatever you are comfortable sharing.

NHPR File Photo

  The principal at a New Hampshire prep school who helped respond to allegations of sexual abuse against former staff and students is leaving at the end of the year.

In a letter sent to the school community on Friday, Phillips Exeter Academy Principal Lisa MacFarlane says she will be returning to the University of New Hampshire where she worked for 28 years before taking over at Exeter in 2015.

MacFarlane was hired in the midst of accusations of past sexual misconduct and the mishandling of those cases at the school.

Courtesy ReVision Energy

A new solar panel installation at Phillips Exeter Academy is now the largest at any school in the state.

The array of more than 1,500 solar panels was installed by Revision Energy. The company says it will provide the majority of the electric load for the private school’s new field house.

Christina Zlotnick with ReVision Energy says the continued decline in solar energy costs has more businesses interested in projects like this one.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 8, 2017

Dec 8, 2017

New Hampshire becomes the first state to opt out of FirstNet, a federal program designed to help first responders better communicate across the country.  Hillary Clinton returns to New Hampshire to sign copies of her book, and attracts protests and ponies as well as fans.  Eversource prepares to switch on its first major new power line in New Hampshire in 20 years.  And the Rockingham County attorney’s office releases more than 900 pages of the state’s investigation into Phillips Exeter Academy. 

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

A statement issued this week by the leader of Phillips Exeter Academy in defense of two deans contradicts a New Hampshire State Police report from 2016. The report alleges two deans had violated a mandatory sex abuse reporting law.

Rockingham County Attorney’s office decided against criminal charges, with deans Melissa Mischke and Arthur Cosgrove now remaining on campus.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with attorney Peter Hutchins about the dropped charges, and sexual harassment reporting at high schools.

A Phillips Exeter student who had earlier been reported missing has been found alive and safe in Hartford, Connecticut, according to family friends.

Authorities had been searching for 17-year-old Jed Breen after he left a hospital in Exeter where he had been treated for dehydration.

The original post continues below:

Police in Exeter and officials with Phillips Exeter Academy are searching for a missing 17-year-old student.

Authorities say Jed Breen was last seen Tuesday afternoon after being treated at a local hospital for dehydration.

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Phillips Exeter Academy and the Exeter Police Department have announced a new agreement concerning the reporting of sexual assaults on campus.

A new memorandum of understanding between the prestigious prep school and the local police department outlines procedures they say will help keep students safe from abuse of all kinds.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The sexual assault trial of a former student from an elite New Hampshire prep school who was encouraged to bake bread for his accuser as an act of weekly "penance" has been called off by the prosecutor.

The Portsmouth Herald reports jury selection was scheduled Monday in the misdemeanor case of 19-year-old Chukwudi Ikpeazu, of Parkland, Florida. A Phillips Exeter Academy classmate alleged that he fondled her against her will in 2015.

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Three seniors at an elite New Hampshire prep school have been expelled days before graduation for tampering with an election for student council president.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Phillips Exeter Academy expelled the students June 2 following an investigation by the school's discipline committee.

A spokeswoman said the academy was presented with evidence that fraudulent ballots had been filled out and counted in the results of the April 25 election. She says the school is working with council and faculty advisers to determine how best to address the election results.

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A former New Hampshire state representative is suing her English teacher at Phillips Academy Andover for sexually assaulting her when she was 15.

Jeff L via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5t8J2D

An independent investigation revealed last week that there are more sex abuse allegations against former faculty and staff at Phillips Exeter Academy than previously thought. The allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior involved several students over a period that began in 1966.

Hadley Barndollar has been covering this story for the Portsmouth Herald. She joins NHPR’s Peter Biello to talk about these new revelations.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

   A New Hampshire prep school criticized for how it's handled sexual assault cases faces trial on a lawsuit brought by a former student's mother who alleges the school wrongfully withdrew her 15-year-old son after he had sex with another student.

The lawsuit alleges Phillips Exeter Academy first said the boy would be placed on leave, but could return this fall after seeking therapy, among other conditions. The mother says Exeter changed its mind and decided to withdraw him altogether as it was responding to reports it mishandled sexual assault cases involving staff and students.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Students at Phillips Exeter Academy are back on campus following a wave of criticism around how the elite boarding school handles complaints involving sexual assault.

But as the school year begins, the Exeter community will be watching to see how the school will address sexual misconduct moving forward.  

 

A New Hampshire prep school criticized for how it handled sexual misconduct and assault cases has sent an email to faculty members, students and parents saying it's hiring a director of student well-being.

Tuesday's email was signed by the Phillips Exeter Academy's principal and the president of its board of trustees. It says the student well-being director will have oversight of all matters regarding student safety, especially those involving sexual misconduct, harassment and assault.

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  A group of alumni of Phillips Exeter Academy are set to deliver their letter today vowing to withhold support to the elite school until it changes how it handles cases of sexual assault and harassment. 

A former admissions officer at an elite New Hampshire prep school who went on to become a Teacher of the Year at another school has pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse charges.

Seventy-four-year-old Arthur Peekel was charged with two misdemeanors from his time at Phillips Exeter Academy. He's accused of assaulting Lawrence Jenkens when the then-14-year-old visited the school in 1973.

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Exeter Police have charged a former employee of Phillips Exeter Academy with two counts of sexual assault.

Authorities say Arthur Peekel turned himself into authorities today.

Eddie Cheuk

Former students at elite private schools all over New England are coming forward with allegations that teachers and school officials sexually abused them. The schools in question include several in New Hampshire, St. Paul's School and Shaker Road School in Concord, Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, and Phillips Exeter Academy. 

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New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster says he sees "no active role" for his office in investigating Phillips Exeter Academy's handling of sexual misconduct allegations at the elite prep school.

Rep. Katherine Prudhomme-O'Brien, a Derry Republican, recently sent a letter co-signed by 18 fellow legislators to the Attorney General's Office requesting their involvement in the investigation. 

 

An elite New Hampshire prep school says a second teacher has been fired after admitting having sexual encounters with a student more than two decades ago.

Phillips Exeter Academy said Wednesday in letters to staff, faculty, students, parents and alumni Steve Lewis has been fired and is barred from campus and all school events.

Lewis can't be reached for comment. There's no telephone number listed in his name.

The school says police have said there are no investigations involving current faculty members. The police chief can't be reached for comment.

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Police reports say a student who had a sexual relationship with a teacher at a New Hampshire prep school described it as consensual while another student accused the same teacher of sexual abuse.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As part of our coverage of the 2016 elections, NHPR is broadcasting a series of conversations with candidates about the issues of the day.

All Things Considered host Peter Biello spoke with U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte on Friday. Ayotte, a Republican, is facing a challenge from Democrat and N.H. Governor Maggie Hassan in a race that's drawing national attention.

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Phillips Exeter Academy officials say they are hiring a law firm to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct on campus, including several new reports received recently.

School officials at the elite prep school sent an email to parents and alumni Saturday informing them of recent developments. The letter was also posted on the school's Facebook page.

The school is not identifying the law firm.

Wikimedia Commons

 

Police say they're investigating allegations of misconduct and abuse at an elite New Hampshire boarding school after it alerted alumni last week a longtime teacher had admitted to two cases of sexual misconduct with students in the 1970s and 1980s.

An email from Phillips Exeter Academy said history teacher Rick Schubart acknowledged the misconduct in cases reported in 2011 and 2015. Schubart was forced to retire and leave campus housing in 2011.

Gov. Maggie Hassan is apologizing for not removing a former prep school teacher who has admitted to sexual misconduct from her public supporter list during her 2012 campaign.

Rick Schubart was forced to resign from Phillips Exeter academy in 2011 after he admitted to the misconduct in the 1970s. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race is one of the most watched races in the country, and one that may help decide who controls the senate after November's election. As the first of a series of conversations NHPR will be having with the candidates in all the statewide races leading up to November, Democratic candidate and two-term New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan spoke to Brady Carlson, host of Weekend Edition.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Governor Hassan says she never discussed the details of Richard Schubart's abrupt departure from Exeter's campus in 2011 with her husband, who was Exeter's Principal when Schubart was forced to resign, and chalks up Schubart's appearance in 2012 campaign press release as one of 125 community leaders who had endorsed her as  "a lot of people on lists," and not having specific information that she could have shared with her staff.

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Officials at Phillips Exeter Academy have acknowledged two cases of sexual misconduct by a celebrated former faculty member.

In a letter sent to alumni earlier this week, Phillips Exeter Principal Lisa MacFarlane said Richard Schubart, who taught history, has admitted to both cases of misconduct which occurred in the 70s and 80s.