A former student at the Kent School, a private boarding school in Connecticut, sued Kent on Wednesday, alleging that administrators did not do enough to protect her from a teacher who she said sexually abused her in the late 1980s.
The lawsuit comes amid a string of disturbing reports of past abuse at private schools in the Northeast, which for many years handled claims of sexual misconduct by keeping them quiet.
Last month, Choate Rosemary Hall released a report that detailed decades of sexual abuse perpetrated against students by 12 teachers. Soon after, Emma Willard, an all-girls boarding school in Troy, N.Y., released its own report about sexual misconduct. And just last week, the Brearley School, an all-girls school in Manhattan, announced it was investigating allegations of abuse that occurred in the “distant past,” and asked anyone with information about sexual misconduct to come forward. Kent has not launched a similarly wide-ranging investigation.
The former student who said she was abused at Kent began attending the school as a sophomore in the fall of 1987, according to the suit, which was filed in State Superior Court in Litchfield, Conn. There, she met a French teacher named Clyde Douglas Fenner. She was 15 years old at the time, and he was 49 or 50, and married, the complaint says. The woman is identified in the suit, but The New York Times is withholding her name.