The New Yorker, the New York publication least likely to publish articles about city private schools, this week features a shocking and enthralling story: The Master by Marc Fisher.
Fisher, a Horace Mann alumnus, describes in detail the psychological and sexual manipulation practiced for years by an influential and brilliant English teacher, Robert Berman, upon his vulnerable students. The abuse took place when Horace Mann was still an all-boys private school.
Fisher brings to light techniques abusers use to win the confidence of their victims and their ensuing silence. All parents and older students can learn from this article.
Horace Mann is currently in negotiation with victims. The community is vigorously debating how to balance the needs of alumni victims with the needs of currrent students and the financial health of the school today.
The people I know at Horace Mann (over the years I have helped numerous current students get in) report that they feel perfectly safe, as these horrendous incidents happened decades ago. I have not seen any falloff in parents’ interest in Horace Mann as this sad history has come to light.