|By Tubby (Tubby) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 04:52 pm: Edit|
i found this article on St. Paul's school. I have an interview in 3 weeks. If my mom sees this she may not even let me have an interview. Should I show her or hope she doesn't ever find out about it?
Posted by dvirtue on 2004/9/24 22:00:52 (1792 reads)
PARENTS SHOCKED AT ST. PAUL'S HAZING
Lesbian chaplain contributed to problems, they say
By David W. Virtue
CONCORD, NH (9/24/2004)--Parents of a teenager who sent their daughter to St. Paul's, an elite Episcopal prep school, said they were not surprised at recent hazing story revelations.
"Our daughter went to this school for a year and a half in the early
90's and we were oblivious to the environment into which we sent her. A
counselor on her hall told us that there had been seven suicide attempts
during her sophomore year there."
"We were shocked at what our daughter encountered at St. Paul's. You
name it-- the kids were trying it, and there was little or no
supervision of the coed dorms. The Episcopal chaplain was a lesbian who was very interested in "sharing the pain" of the students. When we
finally became enlightened about what was going on, we answered a
distress call from our daughter and got her out of there."
The parents who asked not be named, said it took her a good while [for
her] to recover from the stresses to which she had been subjected there.
"Thanks be to God she did. My wife and I both attended single sex
Episcopal boarding schools in the early 60's when they really were
Christian environments with Godly leadership, Bible study as part of the
Curriculum; prayer and hymns every day, -- not perfect by any means, but very safe and a monitored situation for the students. All that has disappeared."
"I am not in any way shocked to hear about this incident. I am only
surprised it has taken this long for something public to come out. That
school and most of these high pressured, no supervision boarding schools are truly toxic environments for the students."
Five senior girls at St. Paul's School were suspended for a term and 10
others were suspended for two weeks after hazing 12 new students in two dormitories, according to an employee of St. Paul's who asked not to be named.
|By Pinkheart (Pinkheart) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 05:51 pm: Edit|
if you really wanna go dont show her =p what grade you applying for? g'luck :D
|By Annieivy (Annieivy) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 06:03 pm: Edit|
Unless your mom is an over the top homophobe, a read through that article and comments on the web site should only be good for a major laugh. This is all such nonsence and has been an interesting lesson to me of what the press can do. My brother is at SPS and one of the suspended girls is a good friend and neighbor. The worst things the girls did was assign crude nicknames. The school over reacted because of a real incident of sexual abuse hazing at Groton that went unreported. Groton was brought up on charges in June for this and a warning went out to every prep school to report any possible hazing. Wait for the results of the police investigation. It is certain that no charges will be brought as the supposed victims all feel there was no hazing. Contrary to popular belief, no girl complained or reported hazing. This is sad. Girls are having their futures impacted for a lesser offense than what goes on daily in every school in the country.
|By Tubby (Tubby) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 06:06 pm: Edit|
What about the attempted suicides from the article? That is what would really freak her out.Do you think they made that up or it was just a really strange class?
|By Annieivy (Annieivy) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 06:08 pm: Edit|
A lot in that story does not ring true. Pretty extremist site, don't you think?
|By Mlee (Mlee) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 06:32 pm: Edit|
Read the articles I linked in the Boarding School thread and then make your own interpretation of whether you would feel comfortable in that environment. I think that the article you posted sounds homophobic and extreme in its point of view. Ask relevant questions in your interview.
|By Calidad (Calidad) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 06:57 pm: Edit|
Good comment, Mlee. You should bring it up in the interview. SPS has had a few years of bad press, with drug arrests and headmaster compensation being the most visible. It is insensitive to people from different faith traditions to think that this incident is insignificant. Also, don't you think that SPS is strong enough to find their own way without referring to incidents at Groton?
|By Annieivy (Annieivy) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 07:21 pm: Edit|
I made the connection with Groton, not the school. The point is that isolated drug arrests and hijinks happen at every high school in America. They only get media attention when the school is perceived to be a hotspot for the rich and famous. How much attention would an incident involving 12 girls, the worst accusation being simulating oral sex, have gotten at you local public school?
|By Annieivy (Annieivy) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 07:25 pm: Edit|
I was looking at the first article my brother sent us on this. Girl's gone wild at elite prep school...on the exclusive campus...the prestigeous school includes Kerry among its grads...all sensationalized.
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 07:39 pm: Edit|
The parents also sound pretty atypical from their quotes. They sound like religious extremists reacting to something other people might consider to be a pretty teenage environment.
|By Annieivy (Annieivy) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 07:43 pm: Edit|
Those are not parent quotes, it's some fanatical group. Where did you even find that Tubby?
|By Tubby (Tubby) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 08:25 pm: Edit|
I googled st. paul's hazing. it was from virtuosityonline.org. I don't know anything about the site. I agree with everything you guys say about the homophobia and the teenage pranks, but the attempted suicides still bother me. i hope they are making it up. Calidad, what's up with the drug arrests? How did that happen in Concord? Do you have any info on that? I never heard anything about drug arrests. thanks
|By Calidad (Calidad) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 08:33 pm: Edit|
Read about it last year in the Phillipian (Andover student newspaper). Was also in the local Concord press. Sounds like you guys think all of this is ok, which it may be from a NY/NE perspective. But what if you were a newly arrived Malaysian Muslim student? All this on your second night in New Hampshire? Wow.
|By Mlee (Mlee) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 08:45 pm: Edit|
The 13 and 14 year old girls I know would be disgusted and embarrassed if on their second day at a new school they were awakened by seniors in the middle of the night, blindfolded with sanitary napkins, locked in a closet, and made to simulate oral sex on a banana. They would not find this a bonding experience.
One more media account, in addition to the others on the boarding schools thread:
|By Kevakster (Kevakster) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 08:57 pm: Edit|
Just because some students agreed to the things the girls did doesnt mean it isnt hazing. The state of NH has guidelines regarding the definition of hazing, and if St. Paul's found out that their students had crossed them, it is only legal that they would report it to the police. As far as disiplinary action goes, St. Paul's needs to start to set a anti-hazing precident in an atmosphere that has long fostered the tradition. This was done at Exeter and Andover in the eighties, but St. Paul's seems to have lagged behind.
|By Leanid (Leanid) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 10:47 am: Edit|
"...hotspot fo the rich and famous."
That is perhaps the most compelling reason it DOES make big news. They cannot have their cake and eat it too. There is something called noblesse oblige, that too often is not instilled in the offspring (not to mention the parents) of the wealthy and privileged class, who, like it or not, are looked on as leaders of society and as such have an OBLIGATION to set an example that is worthy of their stature.
St. Paul's, and other schools like it, have made it no secret that it sees its students as future leaders. Well, with leadership comes that responsibility, and the teenage years are probably the best time to drill that message home.
Would anyone here want irresponsible and possibly harmful behavior to be a characteristic of their leader(s)? Have we not seen such instances before in our leaders (however great they may have been otherwise) that elicits at least a certain chagrin that we do not have better than THAT as our standard bearer?
One last thing, you mentioned that there would be little made of the incident had it occurred at any public school. Is it the public schools' mission to form leaders in the way that the elite privates purport to do? Do we really care what someone does who is not PERCEIVED as leadership material?
|By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 11:45 am: Edit|
For those who do not know, David Virtue is an infamous homophobe who has made it his personal obsession to go after any gay person possible in the Episcopal church. He has run so many nasty smear campaigns that it is difficult to keep track of them. I know almost nothing about St. Paul's school, but I would take anything David Virtue puts out with a ton of salt.
|By Mlee (Mlee) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:14 pm: Edit|
I think that if something similar happened at a public school (there aren't very many public boarding schools) it would also attract media attention, particularly because of the legal reporting requirements which would bring it to attention. Since Columbine, the media have had great interest in high school bullying and hazing stories.
|By Leanid (Leanid) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:37 pm: Edit|
Mlee - Perhaps, but it would be viewed in a different light.
|By Mlee (Mlee) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:47 pm: Edit|
Leanid - agreed. Here's an interesting article that gives insight into the culture and tradition of Groton, and, perhaps by extension, other NE boarding preps:
|By Calidad (Calidad) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:21 pm: Edit|
Aparent4 - this story has been reported in the mainstream press and is not a creation of David Virtue.
|By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 05:59 pm: Edit|
Thanks, I've seen the articles in the mainstream press. Virtue's "article" links the incident to an Episcopal chaplain who is a lesbian. According to the mainstream articles, the more likely explanation appears to be that this is a case of a long-standing tradition that turned nasty. It is Virtue's pattern to seek to find a gay person on which he can blame every problem he sees. He foments hate against women and homosexuals at every opportunity. The subject of hazing at St. Paul's certainly merits exploration, but comments by David Virtue will not shed light on the facts because they inevitably serve his ugly agenda.
|By Tubby (Tubby) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 04:27 pm: Edit|
that is another disturbing article. Maybe I should rethink this thing. Doesn't anybody have anythng to say about the attempted suicides? Have you heard about this happening at any other schools besides St Paul's
|By Leanid (Leanid) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 05:15 pm: Edit|
I too would not put much faith in Mr. Virtue's article, and have heard nothing about attempted suicides until now. I have no idea if it is true or not. As to whether it happens at other schools (attempted suicides, that is), I do not know that either, but if it does then one must be extremely careful to look for the cause, which may have little or nothing to do with the school.
Please do not "rethink" your plans based on what you find on this forum. At best it offers a variety of opinions. YOUR final opinion is what matters and I would strongly suggest you make a visit to St Paul's for an interview or open house to be more fully informed before deciding. Spending some time there will also tell you if it is right for you, ie comfort level, academic stress level, attractiveness, etc.
Remember this, St.Paul's is not one of the top schools in the country for no reason. There are PLENTY of reasons why it is. Go for a visit, you will see...then weigh the pros and cons.
|By Tubby (Tubby) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 05:52 pm: Edit|
You are right. thanks for calming me down. After you read Mr. Virtue's article followed by the one you posted you start to wonder. The more I think about it, seven attempts doesn't sound right. If the Paulies are that smart and accomplished, you would think there would not be so many failures!! lol
|By Calidad (Calidad) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 06:00 pm: Edit|
I agree with Leanid. Go to different schools and see which one suits you.
|By Annieivy (Annieivy) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 06:01 pm: Edit|
Last night I had dinner with one of the suspended seniors. It felt like a condolence call, we brought cake! Here's the story she tells, and I believe it. Things got a bit out of hand in 1 dorm with 5 seniors and 4 freshmen. But no more out of hand than an episode of Sex and The City. There were some verbal sexual overtones. Period. In the second dorm, with 10 seniors and 6 freshmen, the worst offense was a truth or dare type game. No student complained. An employee, obviously disgruntled, was the whistleblower and did not complain to the school, she called a local paper seeking headlines. The school then had no choice but to make a police report. The police have not found any girls who claim to have been hazed. The families of the seniors have hired lawyers to try to clear their names. The freshmen girls have also made efforts to clear the names of the seniors involved.
As for the religious freak article which claims awful things happening in the coed dorms, SPS has no coed dorms! Neither my brother, a junior, or the senior girl I met with last night, have ever heard of a suicide attempt at the school. There was an article I read when I considered going a few years back which claimed that SPS was an incredibly happy place. All I know there agree.
|By Mlee (Mlee) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 06:24 pm: Edit|
I, too, think you should go and evaluate these places for yourself. In addition, you should evaluate yourself. All schools will have some kids who have problems of one sort of another and some teachers who are less than sterling. All schools will have some (but a minority of) kids who are bullies, who abuse substances, who have eating disorders or injure themselves. Are you independent enough to follow your own course? Have you had experience before living away from home - say in a summer residential program? Are you prepared to work hard and not neccessarily get the best grades in the class? How rigorous has your academic preparation been up to this point - how much of an adjustment will the work be for you? How easy or hard is it for you to make new friends?
|By Nemom (Nemom) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 10:21 pm: Edit|
Some thoughts - most schools tend to be as quiet as possible about suicides and suicide attempts for a variety of reasons, good and bad. Rumors can also run wild about such things. So, I won't take anything about suicides/suicide attempts that's not well documented very seriously - it might or might not be true. High pressure schools can have serious suicide problems - surf on MIT and suicide as an example, but boarding schools tend to be aware of the possibilities and fairly protective.
I would also take Annieivy's comments with several grains of salt - one of the seniors involved might be less than unbiased. That none of the girls complained is meaningless - that could mean that they were okay or that they were too scared to speak. Maybe they were afraid of having to leave if they spoke. Maybe they did speak and the senior doesn't know it.
Mr. Virtue does seem to have an axe to grind. However, I've seen some news reports in which the head of the school acknowledged a problem and was clearly taking the matter seriously.
I would say that the incident, as described in various reasonable press sources, was hazing. It could easily frighten/embarass a 12/13/14 year old girl. COnsider the affect on a girl who has suffereed actual sexual abuse.
All in all, I'd say, go to the school and see how you feel. Ask about the incident - they are doubtless expecting folks to and should have a reasonable response.
|By Annieivy (Annieivy) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 11:17 pm: Edit|
I wouldn't have posted what I did if I didn't ernestly believe it, but as nemom says, who really knows? I can say that my Grandfather, Father and three Uncles went to SPS, my brother and several cousins. No one would have sent their offspring there if they didn't believe it was a special place. Bad things happen everywhere. I just think it would be sad to take a special school off your list for rumors in the press. It was interesting reading the story on Groton in Boston Magazine. I don't think that story would stop me from going to Groton. I think the main thing is to be aware of the potential for such things wherever.
|By Mlee (Mlee) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 11:52 pm: Edit|
Different schools have different cultures and it's important to try to get a sense of them. Also, things don't always work as anticipated. I know kids who have gone to boarding schools (Exeter, Choate) for a year or two and then decided to return home to attend local schools. Gianscolere posted here on CC about his year at Milton and his decision to leave.
I know several students who attend prep schools and each student had different reactions to the different schools they looked at when applying, depending on their individual personalities and preferences. Some schools are more rah-rah, some less; some more intellectual, some less; some more preppy, some less; etc. And sometimes schools coast on their reputations but are significantly dysfunctional in reality. Pay attention to your intuition and don't be swayed by brand names. I know nothing about St. Paul's other than what was written in those news articles, so these are generic comments.
|By Eztelle (Eztelle) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 06:02 am: Edit|
That's so scary!
My friend (Freshman at the moment) at St Pauls, and he talked about it. Pretty scary, huh?
Lol, anyway, you're going for interviews in two weeks, right? So am I! Which day are you going on?
|By Justice (Justice) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 02:15 pm: Edit|
i think there is validity in taking those things into consideration. Groton is assuredly a more classic prep school, as is St. Pauls, and Deerfield is arguably as classic, while A/E/Choate are known for being more progressive. i think kids should understand that some of these schools have centuries-old traditions and know about them going into the school. i agree that some kids would be rightfully shocked--as a bourgeois white kid, it might seem like "meh, worse stuff happens at public school and no one cares," but some people come from places where no one expects that, and it's difficult to speak up when others around you don't think it's a big deal
|By Peace2 (Peace2) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 07:27 pm: Edit|
Does anyone know what happened to Mom101 or bruceconti?
|By Pinkheart (Pinkheart) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 07:45 pm: Edit|
mlee: gianscolere left milton? [jaws drop] but he was like super resourceful knows prep school stuff milton kid =P I thought he loved it there..
|By Mlee (Mlee) on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 04:51 pm: Edit|
Pink - if you use the message search feature of College Confidential accessed at the top of the Main Topics page, you can read what Gianscolere wrote about his decision to leave Milton. It sounded like he did a good job of deciding what was most important to him and what schooling situation would be best for him after his year at Milton.
|By Pinkheart (Pinkheart) on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 11:25 pm: Edit|
mlee - what forum is it under?
|By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 02:54 am: Edit|
HI...i saw my name mentioned so i thought i should post something at least. yes, incidents like what happened at sps are not uncommon. as far as milton is concerned, the seniors in my dorm trashed the entire freshman floor (unfortunately, i was assigned a room there due to space constraints) and put shaving cream all over the freshmen (i was wise enough to shut my door b/c i didn't trust anyone- HAHA that was good of me...i did hear them trying to unlock it forcefully). they also stole things from our bathroom including the shower curtain (which really got on my nerves because like most, i'm not always friendly when i wake up early in the morning hoping to at least get a good start on my day). i was forced to take a shower on the second floor which made things really inconvenient. the freshmen didn't care if they took a shower fully exposed...they were just angry that their rooms were entirely messed up.
i actually searched my own post (i remember posting it on the parents' forum because i wanted to hear jamimom's advice, specifically). reading it now makes me feel better about my decision to transfer out, since i'm much better off now than i ever was. i'm less stressed out and more in control of things. my situation was so bad that i had to be put on psychotherapy (after i refused any kind of medication) by my counselor.
earlier at church, the thought of milton crossed my mind. i thought about what would've happened to me had i stayed but still, i decided that i'm happy with my decision. i now work 20 hours a week, am the founder/president of my school's history club (for which i have a strong interest but it's the only subject in the school that didn't have a club prior to my initiative to create one), subscribe to the ny times (a habit i developed at milton), attend city hall meetings, participate in youth groups, run/walk events, etc. these are things i love doing and which help keep me from returning to my depressive state.
at first, i was worried about how people in my community would react to my decision to come back. i was embarrassed to admit that i gave up on what people in my community thought (and still think) was a steppingstone to an elite lifestyle...they thought it was my chanceto rise above my circumstances since i was practically getting paid to go to an elite school ($30,000 a year plus a large stipend). i had this in the back of my ahead all year when making that important decision. i didn't want to, 20 years down the road, regret leaving milton. needless to say, i felt a lot of pressure in making that choice, but in the end, i chose to leave and i can truly say that i'm happy with my choice. i was happy that people here welcomed me back with open arms...my teachers still even had, after a year since i left, the newspaper article about me hanging somewhere on their wall...and that is of course a good thing.
many people say that it's hard to measure how much a person has changed unless she brings herself back to where she came from. well, returning to my old high school has made me realize how much i've changed, and people tell me constantly that i have indeed changed a lot. i remember thinking to myself in the beginning of sophomore year that i wanted to become more like our student body president because she always made people smile just by her presence and because she clearly embodied the qualities of a leader (maturity, demeanor, confidence). i think that after a year of prep school that i've come really close to achieving this goal, since maturity and confidence are what you get from living away from your parents and from being around teachers and students 24/7.
on weekends, i find the time to visit uchicago (and staying in this area allows me to do this), my first choice college ever since 8th grade. it's the only college (and i have visited many) where i truly feel i belong. however, i don't think i have a very good chance of getting in for undergrad because of the drop in my class rank. since i finished my sophomore year at milton with a B/B+ average and my english/history classes were non-honors (b/c milton didn't offer honors classes in the humanities), my class rank dropped tremendously. right now, i'd be only in the top 20% of my class of 318 students (if my grades from milton were to be converted to my current school's GPA scale). however, if i finish the year off with straight As (i'm off to an excellent start), then my rank should improve somehow but i don't know by how much. only 10 people are taking the most rigorous courseload and i'm one of them, so hopefully my GPA would go up by a lot. fyi, ~90% of uchicago's entering freshmen who reported class rank were in the top 10% of their class and the rest were probably special cases (legacy, athlete, URM) but i don't exactly know if these factors are very much at play in uchicago's admissions process at all. all i can do now is move on and make the best of the situation (even though my counselor was in tears when she realized that i'm no longer in contention for the top schools. she thinks it's unfair that i had to work so much harder at milton and got only mediocre grades but she still wants me to try for uchicago nonetheless...she says she will bat for me to the greatest extent and so would my other teachers). we'll see.
i wasn't ready to go away at 15, but i think i will be ready by the time i graduate high school. i tried telling this to my regional rep for uchicago (we spoke in person) and she seemed very sympathetic to my situation and she was glad that i went with my gut despite the pressure brought on by college admissions. however, i also know that there are many more kids they could accept over me, so the reality is that it would be unlikely for me to get in.
i had difficulty accepting the fact that had i stayed at my current school, i would've achieved a better record. i'm very much disappointed because i set my undergrad ambitions way high and now, i'll just have to save uchicago (and columbia) for grad school. i took a risk and failed miserably at it but i'm gonna keep trying. at least, i walked away from prep school knowing so much more about myself and what i want out of life, and also how to view the world.
|By Mlee (Mlee) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 02:06 pm: Edit|
It's good to hear that, once again, you are able to be fully engaged in your interests and are enjoying life; that you made the right decision. Your maturity in dealing with a difficult situation is laudable. You didn't "fail miserably," and certainly your teachers and counselor don't believe that. Kudos to you for your healthy perspective on the lessons learned and your ability to move on with gusto.
|By Peace2 (Peace2) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 03:44 pm: Edit|
Does anyone know what happened to Mom101 or Bruceconti? Are they still around with different screennames, or did they just stop posting once the St. Paul's hazing story came out? Just curious because I was wondering if they had thoughts or first hand knowledge of what went on and how bad (or not bad) it was?
|By Pinkheart (Pinkheart) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 04:50 pm: Edit|
sounds like you made the right chpoice gia. props to you, you seem happier than before =]
anyone applying to sps for 11th? i like the school alot.. but they only take like 5..
|By Peace2 (Peace2) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 08:04 pm: Edit|
hello...does anyone know what happened to them? I've been a reader for a long time - just never got up the nerve to post anything. Why does it say Banned on Mom101's profile. Was she banned from the forum? If so, why?
|By Bruceconti (Bruceconti) on Monday, October 11, 2004 - 06:19 pm: Edit|
beleive me, it isnt something that makes sps not worth applying to
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