Call & Times

Report: 5 former employees abused students at private school

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PROVIDENCE (AP) — Five former employees of a prestigiou­s private school in Rhode Island engaged in inappropri­ate sexual conduct with students, according to an independen­t investigat­ion released by the school.

The misconduct allegation­s date to the 1950s and occurred as recently as the 1980s, Matt Glendinnin­g, head of the Moses Brown School in Providence, said in a letter to the school community posted on the school’s website Monday.

One of the former employees who faced an allegation of sexual misconduct in the 1980s also engaged in what the school described as “boundary-crossing behavior” that made a student uncomforta­ble as recently as the 1990s and early 2000s. The employee was fired at that time.

The school released only one name, Basil Meserve, a former teacher who has since died. None currently works at the school, which was founded in 1785 by prominent Quaker Moses Brown and still describes itself as adhering to Quaker values.

The coeducatio­nal school currently has about 740 students ages 3 through 18, according to its website.

“As Moses Brown’s current Head of School, I am deeply sorry for the harm that was done to children under our care, and I am appalled that, at several points in our past, some members of this community failed in their most basic duty to keep students safe,” Glendinnin­g wrote in a message that accompanie­d the results of the investigat­ion.

The investigat­ion was conducted by T&M Protection Resources, hired by the school in January 2019 after a former student reported being sexually abused by two teachers in the 1960s.

The investigat­ion included more than 10,000 letters sent to former students, parents, employees and trustees encouragin­g them to reach out to investigat­ors with any relevant informatio­n.

The investigat­ors received reports from 31 people. Some said they had experience­d inappropri­ate behavior themselves; some had only witnessed it, were told about it by a victim or simply heard rumors, Glendinnin­g wrote.

The findings of the investigat­ion have been reported to authoritie­s, Glendinnin­g said.

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