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The Bishop's School dealing with multiple claims of sexual misconduct spanning several decades

Posted: 6:24 PM, Jul 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-23 21:49:02-04

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV) - One of San Diego’s most prestigious private schools is opening up about claims that several former employees had sexual or inappropriate relationships with several former students, which spanned a period of three decades.

The Bishop’s School in La Jolla is actively investigating allegations made by alumni, including five first-hand accounts of sexual misconduct or boundaries that were crossed.

For weeks, 10News investigative reporter Jennifer Kastner has been in contact with a graduate who says her teacher seduced her when she was a minor.

With an annual tuition of more than $36,000, the exclusive campus is now addressing what has become a painful part of its history.

In a highly transparent move, the school is updating alumni about an investigation that started last September when it notified alumni in a letter that one of its graduates had come forward and shared [his or her] experience of sexual assault committed many decades ago by a former, now deceased, member of the school’s staff.

Monday, a bombshell development was released in a new letter from the school to the alumni. The school reports that seven alumni had reached out and described fifteen separate instances in which they specifically identify an alleged survivor and/or perpetrator by name.

The school reports that five of these were first-hand accounts of sexual misconduct or a boundary violation committed by a school employee.

A graduate wrote to 10News that she was seduced by her teacher in 1983 in “an affair that lasted several months."

She explains that he was married at the time and she was a 17-year-old Junior. For decades, she reveals that she abused drugs and alcohol to numb the pain and sometimes wonders where her life would have gone had she been spared the trauma.

She has shared her experience with The Bishop’s School as part of its investigation, which is reportedly now focusing on the five first-hand accounts of incidents that occurred in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The school writes, “In each instance, a different perpetrator is named. In two instances, the employee is deceased; in the other three instances, the employees have long been separated from the school’s employment.”

The school declined 10News’ request for an interview, but in a message to alumni, it offered reassurance that student safety is of paramount concern and that it trains all faculty and staff on sexual harassment as well as appropriate boundaries and relationships with students.

The school also reports that its investigation is ongoing and it is notifying San Diego Police Department of all first-hand reports of experiences that would have been a crime at the time of the occurrence, regardless of whether the perpetrator is alive or deceased.

Graduates who had an experience that the school should be aware of are reportedly encouraged to contact incoming Interim Head of School Carol Barry at (858)875-0721 or  barryc@bishops.com , or Ms. Jennifer Branch, Esq. directly at  jbranch@albblaw.com  or (858)345-5073.