A private boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut, has fired a teacher following allegations of sexual misconduct. An investigation at Choate Rosemary Hall found evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior against more than one student.
This incident is the latest in a series of revelations about sexual abuse at New England private schools. Rosemary Choate Hall itself has already been the subject of abuse allegations. Abusers at these schools take advantage of their positions to groom and exploit their students.
Choate Rosemary Hall Has a History of Sexual Midconduct and Abuse
Choate Rosemary Hall is a boarding school with a history of abuse allegations. In 2017, the school reported on decades of allegations of teachers abusing students. It acknowledged at least 12 teachers who molested students dating from the 1960s to 2010.
Teachers abused both male and female students. In the early 1980s, a female student contracted herpes from her English teacher. In 2010, a faculty member kissed a female student and made inappropriate sexual comments to her. The headmaster at the time decided not to fire the teacher. Only after the student’s father complained was the teacher dismissed, although he was still paid through the end of the academic year.
According to the report, the school covered up the abuse allegations. It failed to report any abusive teachers to the police. In at least one instance, the school fired a teacher accused of raping a student on a school trip. Choate Rosemary Hall did not notify the police of this incident. The teacher then went on to work at several other schools in Connecticut.
Of the 12 teachers, some were allowed to resign rather than be fired. When fired, administrators wrote them letters of recommendation.
2017 Investigation Revealed Widespread Problem of Sexual Misconduct in New England Private Schools
In 2017, the Boston Globe reported on more than 200 former private school students who said they were abused at New England private schools. The report noted the difficulty of investigating private school abuse cases. There is no central database of abuse allegations against private school employees. Making matters more difficult, schools often keep abuse reports confidential.
The abuse allegations in the report date back to 1991. They likely represent only a fraction of actual cases.
New Sexual Misconduct Allegations Result in Choate Rosemary Hall Firing Teacher
In July 2022, Choate Rosemary Hall administrators released a statement about a teacher fired for sexual misconduct. The statement noted Julie Oxborough-Yankus was fired after a third-party investigation into the accusations against her. According to the statement, the school also informed state and local authorities of the alleged abuse.
The school received an initial report that led it to begin an investigation and contact the authorities. The report concerned misconduct against a former student during their time at Choate Rosemary Hall. The investigation found evidence to support the initial report’s claim. It also uncovered evidence that the teacher had engaged in sexual misconduct against at least one other student.
“These things were really embedded in the culture, and not just at Choate. A lot of progress has been made, but we can’t feel like we’ve just tied this up into a tidy little gift and said, ‘It’s in the past.’ We’re talking about the past because we have to deal with this in the present.”
In their statement, the school claims that the abuse took place many years ago. It can often take years for victims of child abuse to come forward. Many states are passing laws that allow for older victims who were abused as children to take legal action against their abuser.
If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault or a serious physical assault, you may have legal rights. Our team of attorneys is here to help you seek justice against predators and the organizations that cover up or ignore your abuse. Learn more about your legal options, the claims process and potential compensation.
(2022, July 27). Choate Rosemary Hall Employee Fired Amid Sexual Misconduct Claims. NBCConnecticut.com.
Harris, E.A. (2017, April 13). Sexual Abuse at Choate Went On for Decades, School Acknowledges. New York Times.
Spotlight Team. (2016, May 6). Private schools, painful secrets. Boston Globe.