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Annapolis, MD – Key School, a private school in Annapolis Maryland, launched an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse that allegedly occurred decades ago with the knowledge of administrators. Former students of the school initiated a social media campaign, using the hashtag #KeyToo, to shed light on the alleged sexual abuse that took place during the 1970s to 1990s. As a result, the school hired the Baltimore-based law firm of Kramon & Graham in 2018 to conduct an eight-month investigation.

Decades-Old Sexual Abuse Allegations Exposed at MD Private School

The investigation, concluded in 2019, revealed disturbing details. The report confirmed that at least eight faculty members and two adult chaperones, all men, engaged in various forms of sexual exploitation, improper sexual contact, or pursued inappropriate relationships with students. The investigation covered a span of three decades, from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Private School’s Response to Evidence Backing Up Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

Matthew Nespole, the current head of Key School, expressed his support for the victims and survivors, stating that the school has taken action to support their well-being. The school has established a Survivor Therapy Fund and implemented strict policies, procedures, and practices to protect students. Multiple avenues for anonymous reporting have also been established. Nespole emphasized that the school remains committed to supporting the victims and providing an exceptional education to its students.

Key School Sexual Abuse Accuser’s Fight for Justice

The allegations came to light after Carolyn Surrick, a 59-year-old former Key School student, fought for years to bring attention to her own story of abuse and those of other accusers. Surrick launched a social media campaign using the hashtag #KeyToo, drawing inspiration from the #MeToo movement. Her efforts led to six other accusers coming forward, shedding light on the alleged misconduct that occurred at Key School.

Key School Acknowledges History of Negligence and Apologizes

The current head of school, Matthew Nespole, acknowledged that former Key officials failed to protect students and expressed deep regret for the behavior of the accused. Joe Janney, president of Key School’s board of trustees, described the allegations as credible and extremely upsetting. The school issued an apology to all those impacted by the abuse and expressed a commitment to address the issue and begin the healing process.

Scope of the Allegations and Institutional Responsibility

The survivors, now in their 50s and 60s, have accused the school of not adequately addressing the scope of the abuse. Several former students have come forward, revealing that it was widely known that some Key teachers engaged in sexual relationships with underage students. Some teachers were reportedly fired due to complaints, but many others remained in the classroom, continuing the alleged abuse.

Background on Key School and Current Status

Key School, founded in 1958, is a progressive coed school that serves students from prekindergarten through 12th grade. Known for its informal atmosphere and curriculum based on St. John’s College’s “Great Books” program, the school has over 600 students and an average class size of 16. Tuition at the upper school exceeds $28,000 per year, and the school’s endowment stands at $12.5 million.

Police Investigation and Legal Implications

Anne Arundel County police stated they have not received any recent reports of inappropriate conduct at the school. It remains to be seen whether the living alleged perpetrators can be prosecuted, as some of them are deceased or incapacitated.

The Key School stories, which were long whispered about, are now being addressed publicly for the first time. The survivors hope that by coming forward, they can bring attention to the issue and promote healing within the community. The school faces the challenge of confronting its past and ensuring the safety and well-being of its current and future students.

Private School Abuse Survivors Seeking Justice: An Interview with Maryland-based Private School Abuse Lawyer

Attorney Laurence Banville sits down with Aaron Blank, Esq., a renowned Maryland-based private school abuse lawyer, to discuss the legal options available to victims of private school abuse. As recent scandals, such as the Key School case, have shed light on the prevalence of abuse within private schools, it is crucial for survivors to understand their rights and avenues for seeking justice. Join us as we look closer into the complexities of civil cases, the liable parties involved, and the potential outcomes victims can hope to achieve with the guidance of a dedicated attorney like Aaron Blank.

Laurence Banville, Esq. (LB): Thank you for joining me, Aaron.

Aaron Blank, Esq. (AB): Thank you, Laurence. It’s a pleasure to be here.

LB: Given the recent revelations regarding the Key School scandal, many victims of private school abuse may be wondering what legal options are available to them. Can you shed some light on this matter?

AB: Certainly, Laurence. Victims who were subjected to abuse while attending private schools have the right to seek justice through civil litigation. By filing a civil case, they can hold the liable parties accountable for the harm they have suffered.

LB: That’s crucial. Can you explain who the potentially liable parties might be in these types of cases?

AB: Absolutely. In private school abuse cases, the liable parties can vary. It could include the individual perpetrators themselves, the school administration, faculty members who knew or should have known about the abuse but failed to act, and even the institution as a whole for negligence in providing a safe environment for the students.

LB: Thank you for clarifying that, Aaron. Now, for victims who are considering filing a civil case, what should they expect during the legal process?

AB: The legal process can be complex, but an experienced sexual abuse attorney can guide them through each step. Initially, the attorney will gather evidence, which may include witness statements, documentation, and any available records. They will then file a complaint on behalf of the victim, initiating the lawsuit. From there, the case may proceed to negotiations, settlement discussions, or litigation, depending on the circumstances.

LB: What outcomes can victims hope to achieve through a civil case?

AB: Through a successful civil case, victims can pursue financial compensation for the damages they have endured, such as medical expenses, therapy costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Additionally, it can bring a sense of closure and validation for the survivors, and potentially lead to institutional changes that prevent future abuse.

LB: Thank you for highlighting those important aspects, Aaron. Finally, what else would you say to victims who are contemplating taking legal action against their abusers and the institutions involved?

AB: Reach out to an experienced attorney who specializes in private school abuse cases. They can provide the necessary guidance, support, and legal expertise to navigate the complexities of these cases. It’s important for victims to know that they are not alone and that justice can be pursued.

LB: Thank you, Aaron, for providing valuable insights on this topic. Your expertise will undoubtedly be a source of guidance for those seeking justice in the wake of private school abuse.

AB: Thank you, Laurence. It was my pleasure to discuss this important issue with you today.

Are You a Survivor of Private School Abuse? Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one have been a victim of private school abuse, remember that you do not have to face this journey alone. Our dedicated team of private school attorneys is here to support you every step of the way. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases and are committed to helping survivors seek justice and obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your legal options and begin the healing process. Your voice matters, and we are here to listen and fight for you.

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