BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Park School of Buffalo released a report that details the findings of an independent investigation into past faculty misconduct.
The 46-page report, released Friday morning, comes after the school launched an investigation in April 2018 after former students came forward and alleged they were victims of abusive behavior in the 1980s and 1990s.
Attorney Julia Hilliker of Hodgson Russ wrote the independent report. In a letter to parents, Jeremy Besch, the head of the school, said the report contains "emotionally difficult" material that is not intended for young children. Besch went on to say that school officials discussed with upper school students that the report would be released Friday.
The letter said with one exception, nothing that investigators uncovered happened in the past 20 years and that most of the findings span from the 1950s to 2000s. The letter said the "overwhelming majority of the reports related to conduct that occurred between 1960 and 1990," and "reported conduct ranged from inappropriate, but nonsexual, verbal exchanges with teachers to entirely inappropriate relationships, some of which were sexual in nature."
The school noted that no current teacher or staff member at Park was accused of misconduct and no accused teacher is still teaching at another school.
The school said alumni came forward and shared their experiences of sexual and emotional abuse with Hilliker. She in turn reported to a board committee created to guide the investigation process and next steps.
Thirty different individuals shared their accounts of alleged sexual misconduct and inappropriate emotional relationships between students and faculty. Of those who reached out, 28 were former students, one was a parent of a former student, and one was a former faculty member.
Those 30 people recounted alleged abuse at the hands of 12 named faculty members, coaches, or staff. Two accused faculty members were not publicly named. Part-time employees, non-faculty members, and three unnamed fellow students were also mentioned in the report.
The Park School is not talking about the report, but did release the following statement. "We are grateful that the District Attorney has indicated that he may further investigate these matters, and sincerely appreciate his commitment to protecting the victims, who courageously came forward to tell their stories. Transparency and honesty with these stories have always been of paramount importance and the guiding focus of this work. The timing of the release of the report was in no way intended to affect his efforts. The Park School remains committed to working with the District Attorney’s office to assist it."
In the letter to parents, the school called the report's findings "as upsetting as they are inexcusable."