St. Paul's School | New Hampshire Public Radio

St. Paul's School

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An official overseeing the response by St. Paul’s School in Concord to cases of campus sexual misconduct has resigned, saying school leaders are blocking his efforts.

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A report released by the state attorney general's office found that a New Hampshire prep school rocked by sexual abuse claims is providing support to students but that its policies around investigating a crime and assisting a victim can be improved.

The report by a third party is the second on St. Paul's School following accusations of abuse by 20 former faculty members over several decades.

Rather than bringing the charges over the abuse, the attorney general's office entered an agreement with the school to put it under government oversight.

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  St. Paul’s School in Concord will remove the names of two former rectors – Bill Oates and Bill Matthews – from buildings on the school’s campus.

The decision came after conversations within the school's community, about whether former school leaders involved with mishandling reports of sexual abuse should continue to be honored. 

St. Paul's School

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office has released the first report required under the terms of its settlement with  St. Paul's School.  The Concord prep school reached an agreement with prosecutors last year stemming from decades-long allegations of sexual misconduct on campus.  

The report is the first St. Paul's will be subject to for five years under the settlement agreement. The report covers the first six months of 2019.

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St. Paul’s School in Concord has a new head of school.   Kathleen Carroll Giles has taken on the role after the former rector, Michael Hirschfeld, stepped down in January.

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A New Hampshire prep school graduate convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old classmate is set to be released from jail.

Twenty-three-year-old Owen Labrie, a graduate of St. Paul's School in Concord, reported to the Merrimack County jail just after Christmas, after a judge refused to shorten his sentence. 

Labrie had been due to serve the remaining 10 months of his jail sentence but was expected to be released today for good behavior.

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On Saturday, survivors of sexual abuse at St. Paul's School gathered for the first time on campus for an apology that some called a first step and others a missed opportunity.

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Alumni of St. Paul's School in Concord are hosting a service on Saturday to reckon with the legacy of sexual abuse on campus.

Revelations about decades of abuse at St. Paul's have prompted multiple lawsuits and investigations, but until this weekend, no campus event has formally acknowledged and welcomed survivors.

On Saturday, a group called "Alumni Doorways" is hosting a service of "lament and apology" at the chapel, open to trustees and alumni.

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office has picked Keene State College's director of campus safety to oversee St. Paul's school's compliance with the settlement it reached with the state over its handling of sexual misconduct by faculty and students. 

Jeffrey T. Maher holds a law degree, and spent 20 years working for the Nashua Police Department, retiring as a Captain.

Deputy Attorney General Jane Young says starting Feb. 9, Maher will be at St. Paul's School, and reporting back to prosecutors for at least three years and possibly as long as five.


Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie was in court Wednesday asking for a new trial more than three years after he was convicted of sexual assaulting an under-aged student.


The jury found Labrie guilty on a charge of using a computer to lure the victim. During the trial, email and Facebook messages between Labrie and then fellow student Chessy Prout were used as evidence.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A former St. Paul's School student accused of lying under oath during a grand jury investigation into sexual misconduct at the school was in court Monday.

Stephanie O'Connell of Chicago pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor offenses.

The charges stem from emails and phone contact she's accused of having with former St Paul's teacher David Pook during the state's investigation into the school.

Investigators claimed O'Connell had a sexual relationship with Pook, who was her teacher at St. Paul's.

O'Connell will serve no jail time as long as she pays a fine and does 500 hours of community service within five years.

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New charges were filed Monday in connection with the state's probe into reported misconduct at St. Paul's School.

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office is alleging 28-year-old Stephanie O'Connell made false statements to the grand jury tasked with investigating the elite Concord boarding school.

Prosecutors claim O'Connell, of Chicago, lied about her contact with David O. Pook - a former St. Paul's teacher who pled guilty in August to interfering with the investigation.


Advocates and attorneys who represent sexual abuse victims see the settlement between St. Paul’s School and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office as “groundbreaking,” and some say it could serve as a model that could be implemented at private schools around the country.

St. Paul's School

St. Paul’s School focused more on protecting its reputation than on protecting the children entrusted to its care. That was the message from New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald today as he announced the end of his criminal investigation into the elite Concord boarding school.

A new report details allegations of sexual misconduct by ten former members of St. Paul's School faculty, including David Pook, a former teacher who pled guilty to witness tampering in a case related to his alleged relationship with a student.

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A former St. Paul's School teacher accused of interfering with an investigation into the school pled guilty in Merrimack Superior Court today. David Pook was sentenced to spend four months in jail.



St. Paul's School in Concord has hired its first female head of school. 


Kathleen Carroll Giles has been appointed by the school's board to be its new rector.


Michael Hirschfeld, the former leader, announced this year he was retiring early, after multiple sexual abuse lawsuits were filed against the school.


Giles currently serves as head of Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts and will start at St. Paul's next July. 


Courtesy SPS

St. Paul’s School in Concord has hired one of its former math teachers to serve as interim rector for 2018-19 school year.


Amy C. Richards has been hired to replace current rector Michael Hirschfeld, who retired a year earlier than originally planned. Hirschfeld told the St. Paul's community in May that he was leaving early because it had been "an usually painful time for the entire School community and also for my family."

Courtesy of St. Paul's School's Website

St. Paul’s School in Concord is extending its resources for sexual abuse victims to alumni of its prestigious summer program. NHPR's Lauren Chooljian reports.

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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.

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St. Paul’s School in Concord has agreed to settle with a former student who was sexually abused in the 1970s, though it continues to face lawsuits from other alumni.

The settlement, which remains confidential, was finalized in May and was shared with NHPR by the victim, William Foley, who said he was sexually abused by two teachers while attending St. Paul’s School in the early 1970s. In a statement, the school said it was “pleased" to reach a resolution with Foley and apologized for the abuse he suffered.

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  St. Paul's School in Concord said Wednesday it plans to create an independent therapy fund for alumni who were sexually abused by faculty. The school’s announcement comes just hours after NHPR reported St. Paul’s is an outlier among boarding schools that have grappled with similar issues.

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Over a year ago, St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire published an investigation that revealed decades of sexual abuse allegations. The school is currently being sued by two alumni over faculty sex abuse allegations.

And yet they haven’t established a therapy fund for alumni who were abused, something academics, attorneys and victims believe is essential for healing.

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The head of St. Paul's School in Concord has announced that he will resign next month - a year earlier than planned.

Rector Michael Hirschfeld was going to step down at the end of next school year, in June 2019.

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A former St. Paul’s student has filed a federal lawsuit against her alma mater, alleging the Concord private school did not protect her from sexual assault and harassment from male students in 2013-2014.

The former student, who enrolled at St. Paul’s in 2012, is not named in the lawsuit, instead referred to as Jane Doe.

Chester Irons' relationship with St. Paul’s School didn’t always feel so complicated.

He’s in his 60s now, yet he can still remember the exhilarating feeling of being dropped off at the Concord boarding school for the first time.

"I stepped out of the car with my parents and said goodbye to them and ran off with a bunch of friends I met literally 20 minutes earlier. It was a new beginning, a new adventure and I was very excited," he recalled in a recent phone interview.

Alumni Sue St. Paul's School Alleging Sex Abuse

May 8, 2018
St. Paul's School

We look at a lawsuit brought by two alumni against St. Paul’s School, saying the school failed to protect them from sexual abuse by faculty members in the 1960s and 70s. Their lawsuit calls the Concord prep school a “haven for sexual predators” that has failed to protect children for decades.  We also examine a recent agreement between the private school and the Concord Police Department about reporting sexual assault.

St. Paul's School

Two alumni are suing St. Paul’s School for not protecting them from sexual abuse by faculty members in the 1960s and 70s, and their lawsuit calls the Concord prep school a “haven for sexual predators” that has failed to protect children for decades.  

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St. Paul’s School is now required to report any allegations of sexual assault to the Concord Police Department, according to an updated agreement between the college prep school and local police.

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Chessy Prout has released a new memoir in which she talks about her time at St. Paul’s School in Concord, where she was sexually assaulted as a freshman.

In the book, I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, she provides an unfiltered look into her assault and her decision to go public as a survivor. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley talked with Prout about activism and her new book.