We have in previous reports on St. George’s school focused on the alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse. But what about the headmasters who fired staff members for sex abuse of students, female and male, or failed to act on a student’s allegation of rape? In none of those cases did they report these allegations to Rhode Island law enforcement. And, unbeknownst to the schools that hired them, alleged staff perpetrators went on to work in schools where they had access to students.
The Rev. George E. Andrews II, former headmaster
Perhaps most prominent of these former headmasters is the Rev. George Andrews. As reported by the Boston Globe,
[The former student] said that at the time, he and another student spoke to the school psychiatrist about [Franklin] Coleman, who was then fired by headmaster George Andrews, an Episcopalian chaplain. But Andrews did not report Coleman to child protective services, according to the school’s own recent report, on advice of legal counsel — a violation of state-mandated reporting laws.
The Rev. Andrews, who runs a chaplaincy search firm in Hobe Sound, Fla., could not be reached for comment. [link added]
According to the Rev. Andrews’ search firm,
G.E. Andrews & Associates specializes in chaplaincy search and placement. Utilizing our connections, we assist and serve Episcopal schools in identifying and hiring capable and experienced people to serve as chaplains. We work with our clients to discern the role of the spiritual leader within their community, and we and guide them through the search process accordingly. Using leading research and our extensive contact network, we identify and present highly qualified candidates who posses the desired blend of knowledge, skills, experience, faith, and character.
The Reverend George E. Andrews II is committed to the ministry of chaplaincy within the school setting. With decades of experience in both roles, serving as Chaplain and Headmaster for both Episcopal and non-denominational schools, Rev. Andrews fully understands the importance of the chaplain’s role and relationship to the head of the school. In addition to serving on the Governing Board of the National Association of Episcopal Schools from 1992-2000 (as Vice President from 1995-1996 and President from 1996-2000), he was the recipient of the Ruth Jenkins Award for Outstanding Service to NAES in 2004. Rev. Andrews has continued his involvement and commitment to Episcopal education by maintaining associations with key constituencies, enabling him to remain connected with the issues and trends in Episcopal school chaplaincy and to cultivate a wide network on behalf of chaplain search efforts.
His clients include, Episcopal Schools: Canterbury School, Greensboro, NC; Episcopal Day School, Augusta, GA; Episcopal School of Dallas, TX; Grace Church School, New York, NY; Groton School, MA; Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, Atlanta, GA; Kent School, CT; Palmer Trinity School, Miami, FL; St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Jackson, MS; St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, Washington, DC; St. Stephen’s School, Austin, TX; Trinity Episcopal School, Austin, TX; Non-Denominational Schools: Woodberry Forest School, VA; St. Mark’s School of Texas, Dallas, TX.
He served as headmaster at St. Andrew’s School, Boca Raton from 1989 to 2007, and subsequently has done interim work in the Diocese of Southeast Florida at least as late as 2013.
St. George’s School’s report of December 23, 2015, conducted by lawyers hired by the school, has several references to the Rev. Andrews. For example, from May 1988:
The School’s former psychologist, Dr. Peter Kosseff, a private practitioner who contracted to provide services to the School, recalled that, in the spring of 1988, a student came forward with what Dr. Kosseff determined to be a credible complaint about an incident involving the student being naked in front of Employee Perpetrator #3. Dr. Kosseff has declined to reveal the names of other relevant witnesses, citing patient confidentiality and doctor-patient privilege. Two students, former Headmaster Rev. George Andrews, Dr. Kosseff and a former administrator have described the events surrounding Employee Perpetrator #3’s termination similarly: a student spoke to Dr. Kosseff about Employee Perpetrator #3; Dr. Kosseff communicated with School administrators about that; and Employee Perpetrator #3 was terminated immediately thereafter. All of this took place on the same day in May 1988.
The School did not report Employee Perpetrator #3’s misconduct to DCYF [Department Of Children And Their Families] in 1988 on the advice of then legal counsel. In the course of this investigation, the School has made a report about his misconduct to the Rhode Island State Police.
In a petition at change.org students calling for an independent investigation say “Currently, they must go through a lawyer, who is also the partner of the School’s counsel, to share their experiences or seek assistance with therapy costs. Many of them have told us that they do not feel safe doing this.”
Perpetrator #3 has been revealed to be Mr. Franklin Coleman referenced in the quote from the Boston Globe above. As we observed in an earlier post, he was later employed at Tampa Preparatory School. The victim reports that he informed Tampa Prep’s head of school in 2004, but Coleman remained employed there until 2008 when he retired.
Also from the school’s report, a lawsuit against the school that was initiated in 1988:
The “Jane Doe” Lawsuit
In 1988, a student from the Class of 1980 sued the School, alleging that she had been raped and sexually abused by [Athletic Director Al] Gibbs. At the time, the lawsuit did not include her name; it referred to her as “Jane Doe.” Jane Doe and other victims who are aware of the School’s litigation strategy stated their view that the School’s conduct in the lawsuit in 1988-1989 was traumatizing, and in other cases may have made other victims reluctant to come forward. …
Gibbs died in 1996.
NPR reports that “Jane Doe” is Anne Scott. From NPR’s recent report of the news conference with former students:
FRED THYS, BYLINE: Three former students traveled to Boston to talk at a news conference about their alleged sexual abuse. Anne Scott graduated in 1980. She says she was repeatedly raped over two years by an athletic trainer who threatened that he would come after her if she told.
(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CONFERENCE)
ANNE SCOTT: I stopped talking or communicating with people, interacting with people, for long periods of time after that. My parents did get me into therapy when I was in college, and through that, I was hospitalized four times, one time for a prolonged period during my early 20s. My parents did bring a lawsuit which I – my name was on the lawsuit when I was 27 years old.
THYS: Scott says she dropped the lawsuit because of the distress it was causing her family.
Readers better informed than me may be able to explain why Title IV (the Episcopal Church’s disciplinary procedure) was not initiated by St. George’s at the time St. George’s began its internal review in the Spring of 2015, if not earlier. Each diocese has a Title IV intake officer. I am referring to disciplinary action that has only now begun: see the Bishop of Rhode Island’s letter of January 5, 2016:
As of this morning, two Episcopal priests and a third person who has worked in Episcopal congregations have been named in the ensuing media coverage of the report. One of the priests allegedly committed abuse and the other allegedly failed to report allegations of abuse made against a St. George’s employee as mandated by state law. The third individual is alleged to have committed abuse.
I have been in touch with bishops in whose dioceses the three men reside, and am currently working with other church leaders to make sure that appropriate disciplinary proceedings are initiated in the case of the clergy named.
Bishop Knisely has also contacted places where these men have worked since leaving St. George’s. Added: In cases where civil law is broken, Title IV is paused until police have concluded their investigation, or (has now transpired) the names of alleged perpetrators has been revealed in this case by the victims.
Evidence points towards Andrews being a resident in the Diocese of Southeast Florida.
During the tenure of the Rev. Andrews there are reports of school sponsored Casino Nights where boys dressed as gamblers and girls dressed as Playboy Bunnies. See Lisa Hanrahan White’s comment on Casino Night here. For details on Casino Night, scroll to the end of this post. Andrews can be accurately placed at St. George’s during this time because former student Tucker Carlson is his son-in-law.
Anthony Zane, former headmaster
From the school’s report,
Al Gibbs was an Athletic Trainer at St. George’s from 1973 to February 1980, when he was dismissed after a male student discovered Gibbs photographing a nude female student in the athletic training room. Gibbs passed away in 1996. Based on seventeen first-hand accounts (by students from the Class of 1976 through the Class of 1982), Gibbs engaged in a range of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct including kissing two female students publicly, telling students to remove their clothes without reason, taking nude photos of three students (and in some cases showing such photos to other students), fondling or grabbing the breasts of seven different students, touching the genitals of three students, and in one case rape.
Former Headmaster, Mr. Anthony Zane, said that he fired Gibbs in February 1980 after receiving a report of inappropriate activity by Gibbs, and after Mr. Zane then spent several days inquiring into Gibbs’s misconduct. Specifically, based on several witnesses’ reports, in early 1980, a senior came by the training room, saw flashes under the door, became afraid that there was a fire, and barged in. He came upon a female student totally nude 4 in the whirlpool with her eyes covered as protection from a heat lamp, and Gibbs was photographing her. The senior reported this incident, and Gibbs was fired within a week thereafter.
Regrettably, the School did not report misconduct by Gibbs to any state agency at the time of his termination in 1980.
THYS [WBUR REPORTER]: … Katie Wales would’ve graduated in 1980. She used to go see athletic trainer Al Gibbs, now dead, because she’s injured her back riding a horse. She says he would lead her through the boys’ locker room and would lock her inside the training room. She recalls one time when she says Gibbs photographed her naked without her permission.
KATIE WALES: Within days of that, I guess he had shown it to the boys in the varsity locker room, and that’s when the taunting started and it was absolutely horrible. I became known as the slut of the school, that I would show my body to anybody. I was pinned down by the same perpetrator that assaulted Harry – tickled and, let me see, let me see. And I went to see Tony Zane.
THYS: Zane was the school’s headmaster. Wales says Zane called her mentally unstable and did not believe her. He’s not returned a voice message left at his home. Wales says she was kicked out two weeks before graduation, she says for alcohol and drug abuse she blames on the sexual assaults. The Rhode Island State Police says it’s investigating the allegations. There’s no statute of limitations for rape in Rhode Island.
NBC News 10 reports,
“I walked into his [Zane’s] office. I told him what happened. He looked at me and said, ‘You’re just a distraught young lady. You’re mentally unstable,'” said alleged victim Katie Wales Lovkay.
Lovkay’s alleged attacker was former athletic trainer Al Gibbs. “He completely ignored what I told him, and I think that’s what upset me more than anything else, is the fact that he didn’t believe me, and it still happened to other girls after me,” said Lovkay. But when NBC 10 confronted Zane on Wednesday, he told a completely different story. In fact, the exact opposite. “When I heard about what Al Gibbs has been doing, I went to see four girls and she was one of them. I went to her and I accepted her story. And then I fired Al Gibbs. I never called her crazy,” he said.
He went on to become the director of New Bedford’s Whaling Museum, but his internal letters from the 1970s didn’t disappear with time.
Perhaps the best evidence against Zane is a 1974 letter he wrote to alleged abuser, the Rev. Howard White. The letter was released by the victim’s attorneys Tuesday. Soon after White left the school, Zane wrote on school letterhead: “I feel strongly that you should not be in a boarding school and should be seeking psychiatric help. [link: exhibits CC, DD and EE]
Protesting former students have demanded Zane’s name be removed from a girls dormitory.
Mr. Zane also figures in the firing the chaplain in 1974, the Rev. Dr. Howard “Howdy” White. In the school’s report he is referred to as perpetrator #2:
Employee Perpetrator #2 was employed at St. George’s until 1974, when he abruptly left the School after a report to the School of his inappropriate conduct with a male student.
The investigation learned that this former employee reportedly had inappropriate and potentially sexual contact with at least three male students, including sharing a bed and trying to touch students in bed.
The investigation determined that the School quickly terminated this employee after a student’s parent reported the misconduct to Mr. Zane. Mr. Zane confronted this employee, who admitted to the misconduct. Thereafter, Mr. Zane also tried to prevent this employee from getting another job that would involve contact with students.
At the time, the School did not report this employee’s misconduct to any authority. In the course of this investigation, the School has made a report about his misconduct to the Rhode Island State Police.
Although according to “tried to prevent this employee from getting another job that would involve contact with students” that was far from successful. As the Rev. Dr. White reports he subsequently was Academic Dean and Chaplain of Chatham Hall, Chatham, Virginia and Headmaster of Asheville Country Day School prior to his election as 20th Rector of Grace Church in the Mountains, Waynesville, NC where he served as Rector for twenty-two years including an active ministry with children. Prior to St. George’s he was chaplain at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH. Yesterday his ministry was restricted by the Bishop of Central Pennsylvania. He celebrated his 50th year in priesthood in December.
Chuck Hamblett, former headmaster
From the same NPR report concerning the news conference with former students:
THYS: .. It says it’s authorized reimbursement of counseling for survivors with no set limit on the number of counseling sessions. Harry Groome graduated in 1982. He says he was publicly raped by a fellow student as a freshman. He says he did not file a complaint at the time but in 2002, he did write to Headmaster Chuck Hamblett.
(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CONFERENCE)
HARRY GROOME: I received an acknowledgement of the letter, but I never got the meeting I was looking for.
THYS: Headmaster Hamblett died in 2010….
Students are reporting their own experiences as victims or friends of victims at change.org. For anyone interested in this story it is a must read.
Reel Girl, in a blog post written in August in response to the St. Paul’s School verdict.
Though I blog about rape fairly often on Reel Girl, much more often then I’d like, I’ve been following the St. Paul’s story in particular. I also went to prep school at St George’s in Newport, Rhode Island from 1983 – 1985. One of the first big occasions I remember as a freshman was a tradition called Casino Night where all the new girls dressed up as bunnies. We pretended to sell candy and cigarettes. Here’s a picture of a classmate from my 1984 yearbook.
Here’s how the senior boys dressed for the same night. Notice anything different about their outfits or poses?
Added January 10: It passed our notice that the bishop of Western North Carolina posted a letter on January 7th concerning the Rev. Howard White.
Full disclosure: The author and Nicholas Knisely, now the Bishop of Rhode Island, served together on the Episcopal Café.