Mar 31, 2016 4:22 PM
NH1 Digital Content Manager - NH1.com
EXETER - Phillips Exeter Academy has come forward about sexual misconduct between students and a teacher more than a quarter of century ago.
Principal Lisa MacFarlane wrote a letter to parents and alumni saying they learned of the incidents in 2011 and 2015.
Rick Schubart admitted to the misconduct that took place in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the school.
In 2011, Schubart was forced to retire and removed from campus housing. In 2015, he was stripped of his emeritus status and banned from campus.
Tom Hassan, husband of Gov. Maggie Hassan, was principal in 2011.
In a statement he said, “As anyone who has encountered an incident of sexual abuse can attest, it is often a challenge to balance the privacy and wishes of the victim with the utmost need to protect the community. We sought that balance to the best of our ability at the time.”
MacFarlane said the school's actions regarding Schubart’s behavior were “guided by a concern for the privacy of the victims.”
Phillips Exeter was in the middle of a fundraiser leading up to what they call Challenge Day, which was April 6.
Amid the news, Phillips Exeter’s director of institutional advancement and alumnus Morgan W. Dudley wrote in another letter to alumni that, ”we no longer feel it is appropriate to ask you for a gift at this time.”
Gov. Maggie Hassan expressed her support for the victims who spoke out.
"My heart goes out to the two women who came forward to report the instances sexual misconduct. It can never be tolerated. It's very serious. And all schools need to do everything they can to keep their students safe. I am very grateful for these two brave women for coming forward. It speaks to the need to make sure that all schools have policies and procedures prohibiting sexual misconduct but also encouraging people to come forward to report it, and continuing to work on kinds of policies and procedures in place that prevent it from happening in the first place. We all have to work together to keep our young people from harm."
Phillips Exeter had recently been named the best private high school in New Hampshire, and the second best private high school in the country.
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