Until last week, most Horace Mann alumni didn’t spend much time analyzing their experiences attending the Riverdale prep school.
Then The New York Times Magazine published “Prep-School Predators” by alumnus Amos Kamil, documenting Horace Mann’s “history of sexual abuse” based on stories of alumni who said they suffered at the hands of three now-dead Horace Mann educators from 1973 to 1993.
The article, first published online on June 6, rattled off former students’ recollections of assistant football coach and art professor Mark Wright giving athletes invasive physicals and performing oral sex on a 13-year-old boy; ancient history teacher Stanley Kops’ allegedly grabbing his groin in front of a student he rubbed up against; and the arts and music department head and Riverdale resident Johannes Somary reportedly “grooming” teenage boys into sexual partners.
In the week since, narratives accusing at least three former Horace Mann teachersh of misconduct emerged in comments on Facebook groups and on The Times’ website. The accounts of sexual misconduct rifled thousands, sending alumni looking for answers and inspiring City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to request an investigation of the school’s current policies.
More than 2,000 alumni have joined the private Facebook group Processing Horace Mann since it was established in the wake of the story’s release. Mr. Kamil said a second private Facebook group designed for — but not entirely made up of victims — has attracted more than 400 members. Additional alumni have accused three or four new teachers, one of whom left Horace Mann in the last “couple years” of sexual misconduct, Mr. Kamil said.
The first Facebook group contains postings that recount a former Horace Mann driving instructor’s racy behavior first detailed in a June 7 Daily Beast piece by alumna Kate Aurthur. One alumnus wrote about a teacher propositioning him in his home. Others described female students never being comfortable in a foreign language teacher’s class.