Report corroborates allegations of sexual misconduct in National Cathedral schools

The findings of an investigation into three prestigious D.C. private schools corroborated allegations of sexual misconduct that was perpetrated against students decades ago by 16 former employees.

The cathedral and its affiliated schools — the National Cathedral School, the Beauvoir School and St. Albans — released the findings on Thursday.

The report said the sexual misconduct took place beginning in the 1950 and stretching to the early 1980s, with the most recent corroborated incident dating back 11 years.

In a letter, cathedral and school officials said the report, conducted by an independent law firm, did not find evidence of sexual misconduct by any current employee. However, revelations from the schools’ past were “deeply troubling.”

The cathedral and schools said they reported the adults who were accused of sexual misconduct to police and to employers where they might have had contact with children.

The investigation started in February when St. Albans School hired a law firm to conduct a sexual-misconduct investigation after former teacher Vaughn Keith was implicated in having inappropriate sexual relationships with students at an Annapolis school.

The National Cathedral schools’ investigation found no allegations that Keith, who was a teacher at St. Albans in the 1980s, engaged in sexual misconduct.

In March, the two other schools and the Washington National Cathedral joined the investigation. The cathedral and the schools form an affiliation called the “Close.”

Investigators from Deveboise & Plimpton went through 40,000 documents and conducted 200 interviews. They used “sexual misconduct” or “sexual abuse” to refer to a wide range of behaviors that either involved physical contact or other contact sexual in nature; and “boundary-crossing behavior” to refer to conduct that did not rise to the level of sexual misconduct, but which violated accepted adult-child boundaries.

The 16 former employees were reported to have engaged in behavior ranging from alleged rape to making sexual jokes.

“Close” officials said that Deveboise’s review confirmed that the schools currently have “strong protections in place,” but could be strengthened further.

Deveboise’s recommendations that “Close” said it will embrace include an ongoing committee on student safety, a new position that oversees compliance of student safety policies and a collaborative approach to address student-on-student misconduct issues.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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