Sexual Abuse Allegations at Landon School Lead to Investigation More Than 50 Years Later

Accused teacher has since died, according to the Bethesda private school


Published:

Via Landon School

Prompted by recent allegations of sexual abuse that occurred more than 50 years ago, the Landon School has hired a private firm to investigate a teacher who has since died.

In a letter to the Landon community, school officials wrote that two alumni this summer alleged sexual abuse by a former Landon faculty member.

Meredith Josef, a spokeswoman at the all-boys school, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat that the school is not yet providing information about the nature of the allegations or when the alleged abuse took place, except to note that the teacher has not taught at the school for more than 50 years.

The school is also not identifying the teacher or providing any further employment details. Josef said such information “may inadvertently identify” the two alumni, who wish to be anonymous.

The letter, signed by Headmaster Jim Neill and Scott S. Harris, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said school officials expressed “deepest remorse and sincerest apologies” to the two alumni.

“We are filled with great sadness and anger that any Landon student ever experienced such behavior from someone given the sacred trust of caring for a boy's well-being,” the letter read. “Let us be clear: such abhorrent conduct is counter in every way to everything Landon stands for.”

The letter said the school would look into whether there are other unreported instances or allegations of sexual misconduct and “whether information about such matters has previously come to the attention of the school, and if so, when.”

Josef did not elaborate on whether the school had reason to believe there were past allegations that were not acted on, but said safety and security of students is Landon’s priority.

The school hired T&M Protection Services, a New York City-based security and investigations firm, to investigate the allegations. Josef said police were not involved because the teacher has died.

Landon, on Wilson Lane in Bethesda, is a private school with 680 students from third to 12th grade. It was founded in 1929 and aims to “prepare talented boys for productive lives as accomplished, responsible and caring men,” according to its website.

School leaders and counselors plan to talk to students about the letter in the upcoming days.

The letter asked anyone with concerns or information to contact Laura Kirchstein at T&M at landonschool@tmprotection.com or at 646-445-7505.

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