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Apr 10, 2016 10:19 AM

Phillips Exeter hires lawyers to investigate misconduct

EXETER — Phillips Exeter is hiring a lawyers to investigate sexual misconduct reported at the school. The reports show that a former faculty member had sexual relations with two students in the 1970s and 1980s.

According to the Union Leader, principal Lisa MacFarlane sent a letter on Saturday to update members of the Phillips community of the steps taken to be more transparent with information some feel should have been made public a long time ago.

The letter did not state which "highly-respected, outside law firm" will be investigating the allegations.

On March 30, MacFarlane sent a letter to the Phillips community notifying them of the actions by long-time teacher Rick Schubart and offering their assistance to anyone who might come forward.

Schubart was forced to retire in 2011 after admitting to having an affair with an 18-year- old student in the 1970s. In 2015, a second woman came forward accusing Schubart of misconduct when she was a student in the 1980s.

Both of the incidents were made public over a week ago when one of the women told her story to the Boston Globe.

“As those charged with the stewardship of the academy, the trustees accept responsibility and are deeply sorry that this happened,” the letter read. “We are committed to understanding fully the process and decision-making that surrounded the situation and to learning whatever lessons we can to strengthen the way our institution operates.”

The letter provided links to many resources for sexual assault victims and the PEA website where there is a list of recent public statements regarding Schubart.

“We know that many of you have expressed powerful feelings about the news and its implications,” the letter stated. “We recognize that this disclosure has caused some of you to question your confidence in Exeter and that you have concerns, both about Exeter’s past and its future.

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