An alleged culture of sexual misconduct at a Long Island high school, described as a longtime “public secret” in the community, has been brought to light by more than 20 students. painful memories of abuse.
Presented at a public hearing on November 15, the charges against teachers and coaches at Babylon High School included instances of grooming, attempted kissing and unwanted physical contact. want and lust under the guise of helping student-athletes.
“The bad guys are everywhere,” said former student Brittany Rohl News 12, “And the good people sat back and watched.”
Rohl, 28, ignited the Babylonian firestorm by sending an eight-page letter to the Babylon Union Free School District earlier this month alleging that her athletics coach had prepared her have sex and wait until the days after her 18th birthday to get her virginity. She continued to abuse her through her sophomore year of college, she said, monitoring her on an “hourly” basis.
Rohl wrote that she had to act after finding her teacher had been removed from class a few weeks earlier because of “disturbing allegations”.
The letter, also posted to Instagram, went viral. The school district scheduled a meeting for Monday, November 15. Rohl, who lives in Florida, flew home to the close-knit seaside village of 12,000 students to attend.
More than 100 people showed up in person, with more than 1,000 logging in to watch on Zoom.
The meeting opened with officials announcing the hiring of an outside investigator and conducting sensitivity training. They asked current students, alumni and parents to limit their speaking time to three minutes, according to The Independent.
Rohl stepped in front of the microphone and said she would keep talking for as long as she wanted. When she indicated that she would only name educators she knew as abusers, she was warned by a lawyer there that publicly naming the accused teachers could be harmful. may constitute defamation or rioting.
When the meal was over, Rohl spoke again. “To the parents of this community,” she said, according to patch, “I recommend that until the following individuals are removed from contact with the student, it will not be safe to send your child to school here.”
“[He] pressed his body against mine, grinded against mine, and then moved his body in a way to show me proper service, and I was 14 years old at the time.”
She named four current teachers and six former teachers. Her words were met with applause. Women line up behind her to talk. Many of them were moved and cried as they spoke.
Darcy Bennet, a 2009 graduate student at Babylon, said her tennis coach often commented on her body, and once tried to kiss her in his own home. “Luckily, I was able to move my face in time for him to just kiss me on the cheek,” she said.
She choked as she spoke, describing how the teacher used a racket to hit a student’s ass, slip between the students’ legs and onto their skirts.
“[He] pressed his body against mine, clenched his fist against mine, and then moved his body in a way to show me the right way to serve,” Bennet said, according to CBS New York, “And I was 14 years old then.”
Bennet said she reported the coach to guidance counselors, who removed him from his coaching position. But he is still a teacher in the district.
“We’re basically screaming for help,” said Bennet Newsday, “But Babylon didn’t do anything to help us.” Bennet said at the meeting that she later developed substance abuse problems and “went into a deep depression.”
Another woman, now a public defender, graduated in 2011 with Rohl. In her job, she says, being raped by a teacher – like the one she experienced – leads to misdemeanor and sex offender status.
“In Babylon, you get a huge subsidy,” she said.
Another alumnus, Katherine Crawford, spoke with News 12 on Thursday, detailed how she ignored pleas for help after she was sexually harassed by older students. “The principal kept telling me it was my fault,” Crawford said. “I shouldn’t look the way I do. I shouldn’t dress the way I do. I am a beautiful girl and this is what will happen”.
Crawford said she switched to homeschooling, graduating a year early to escape the community.
“I think it’s an open secret. But there are very few people brave enough to resist it. It’s part of the culture. It’s not just one or two teachers.”
In response to the accusations, the school district’s board of education sent five teachers home. The superintendent, Linda Rozzi, did not name them in a statement Tuesday.
“Since these are all personnel and personal matters that are protected under privacy laws, the school district is limited in sharing further information,” she said. “However, it is important to know that the district does not tolerate abuse of any kind, takes all allegations very seriously, and is committed to acting on every single complaint we receive. .”
“I think it’s an open secret,” said Linda Scordino, former school board president News 12 last week. “But there are very few people brave enough to stand against it. It’s part of the culture. It’s not just one or two teachers. “
Scordino, the wife of the late mayor of Babylon Village, sat on the board of trustees of the Babylonian Union Free School District from 1994 to 2000. In an open letter she posted to Facebook, she stated that she had arrested first heard “very disturbing things” about the teachers and coaches.
“The same teacher names over and over again,” she wrote, adding that most abusive teachers are the most common with parents: “It was like a TV series.”
According to Scordino, the parents who complained were given “the same line of stock”: The child was confused, the teacher retired, which was the first complaint ever made.
Scordino claims she tried to speak out at the time but was told she was “not playing football”. The president of the teachers union is said to have told her, “We’ll make sure you can never prove it.” Another official, she said, warned her: “Keep your mouth shut or you’ll ruin the value of our property.”
She also spoke during Monday’s meeting, reading parts of her letter aloud. Scordino said she invited Rozzi to her home after she moved to Babylon to “get her help”. Rozzi, Scordino alleges, appeared with a board member. “I outlined everything for her,” Scordino said. “I was furious when I heard her say, ‘We don’t know anything about this.’
Scordino’s daughter, who was also targeted as a student at Babylon, stood beside her, confirming her mother’s accusations.
Parents and students who refuse to leave the meeting until the five named teachers still employed by the district are barred from leaving the school. The Board of Directors has entered an emergency executive session.
The meeting ended around 1 a.m., after the re-export panel announced that the teachers publicly accused would be “reassigned” to their homes until the investigation was complete.
“It takes a village to raise a child, and we failed.”
The next morning, hundreds of students joined a walk. Principal Al Cirrone sent a letter to the families to commend them. “It takes a lot of courage for young people to advocate for change and we are proud of them for using their voices,” he wrote. “The safety, security and well-being of our students remains our top priority.”
The school has hired special external counsel, Chris Powers of Ingerman Smith, LLP, to review the claims.
The father of two Babylon High School graduates, Kenneth Silverman, said in a letter last week he asked the New York State Attorney General’s Office for Civil Rights to open their own records on the county. He said he and other parents did not trust the investigation overseen by the school board or administration.
According to local sources, officials from the Suffolk Police Department’s Special Victims Unit are currently engaged in an investigation into the school district. No criminal charges have yet been filed.
Rohl told News 12. “It shouldn’t take us until an hour in the morning to convince them to remove them from contact with students.”
“It took a village to raise a child,” Scordino said at the meeting, “and we failed.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/babylon-high-school-student-accusers-detail-years-of-sexual-abuse-misconduct-by-teachers-coaches?source=articles&via=rss Babylon high school student accusers detail years of sexual abuse, teacher, coach misconduct