St. Paul’s School will now offer an independent therapy fund that former students who were sexually abused by faculty members can access confidentially.
In a letter to the St. Paul’s community Tuesday, school administrators also announced that claims made by alumni for general compensation would now be handled by an independent arbitrator, and the school’s Alumni Association has established a new initiative focused on healing within the community.
In a phone interview, Board President Archibald Cox, Jr. said these steps should have been taken sooner.
“That’s on me, that’s not on anybody else,” he said. “I wish we had done it earlier but we didn’t, so at least we’re doing it now.”
NHPR reported last week that by not having a therapy fund, St. Paul’s was an outlier among elite boarding schools that had dealt with similar histories of sexual misconduct. In response, St. Paul’s announced that it would be starting a fund, but the school didn’t reveal any details until Tuesday.
In the letter, administrators said St. Paul’s would give financial assistance to any alumni who were abused, and former students are not required to make a formal report to the school of the misconduct. Therapy services are available through Sandra Matheson, an independent victim advocate consultant, or through the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, or RAINN.
St. Paul’s said it would not have access to any information shared with either resource, and it has also organized a third party administrator to organize payment of therapy bills.
The Concord boarding school also announced changes to the way it deals with alumni who seek compensation for any harm suffered from faculty abuse. St. Paul’s said it would no longer be involved, and that victims will share their story confidentially with Nancy Holtz, an independent arbitrator.
Lastly, the St. Paul’s Alumni Association announced plans to explore ways to promote healing within the school community, which will include a church service next spring called the “Service of Repentance and Healing.”